London’s most famous flower market – Columbia Road

Finally we’ve had some sunshine here in London and as last weekend was the spring Bank Holiday weekend  we headed off to check out the offerings at Columbia Road Market. As soon as you see people walking along with enormous cascading bouquets of flowers or staggering under the weight of enormous palm trees – you know you have arrived! Turn a corner and there before you are the heaving crowds slowly making their way the length of Columbia Road.

Columbia Road Sunday flower market, London UK
Crowds at Columbia Road Flower Market

Pile it high and sell it cheap – is the main motto here and everyone loves a bargain!

Columbia Road Market, East London
Come on ladies and gentlemen – a fiver who will give me a fiver?

Look more carefully and amongst the crowd pullers you will find a selection of specialist stalls – the English Herb stall, the Climbers specialist, the Bare-Root Perennial stall and many more…

English Herbs Stall Columbia Road Market
English Herbs Stall Columbia Road Market

The atmosphere is genial and lively, the pace of movement the length of Columbia Road is slow and compacted so it has to be. Londoner’s readily chat to each other and everyone makes way for the guy carrying the 3m high jasmine. The woman next to me complains down her mobile phone that her friend has left her high and dry with their baby in a buggy and she was now firmly stuck and not at all happy about it. Everyone smiles at her sympathetically – we had been wondering – why on earth did this woman bring a baby buggy down here!

Columbia Road is lined with designer boutiques
Columbia Road is lined with designer boutiques
Palm Stalls in Columbia Road
Parlour Palms in Columbia Road

 

This is a great place to get cut flowers – going to a friends or to mum for sunday lunch? visit the market first and WOW them with a beautiful bouquet. The stalls are bursting with colour and every variety of ‘in season’ bloom. Enthusiastic stall holders shouting out the prices and those in search of an ‘Eliza Doolittle’ moment will not be disappointed.
Tip: fabulous bargains await towards the end of the day’s trading – suddenly and simultaneously they are thrusting 3 bunches for the price of one…

Flower stalls in Columbia Road
Flower stalls in Columbia Road

Trawling to the end of the market, though great fun, is thirsty work – a lovely yard in Ezra street has a range of different cafes, take aways and places for a bite. Everyone is entertained each week by one busker or another…

Busker by the cafes at Columbia Road Market, London
Busker by the cafes at Columbia Road Market, London

Or if you fancy fresh oysters (great Sunday morning cure-all with plenty of Tabasco) – the stall behind Jones the Dairy is always popular – serving up fresh Colchester oysters 6 for £9 – a bargain!

Fresh Colchester Oysters for sale in Columbia Road
Fresh Colchester Oysters for sale in Columbia Road

Columbia Road Market is open every Sunday morning in London’s East End
Read more here…
Guide to Columbia Road Market
Interactive Map of Columbia Road