Who doesn’t love a good market?! Rows of stalls to browse, items to buy that you didn’t even know you needed and people to meet. In London we are spoilt for choice when it come to markets, be it food, farmers, antiques or clothes. However when it comes to plants and flowers one stands out – Columbia Road Flower market!
Every sunday this one road fills with merchants selling their flowers and plants. The air-filled with sweet flowery smells and grassy herbs, the wind carrying the perfumes to you. The vendors calling to the swelling crowd, all trying to out do each others sales, playing the game of out bidding each other – this is a proper old school market! So much is happening around you as you become mesmerised by the colours, the crowd of people pushing you forward, its easy to get to the end of the road without fully appreciating everything.
Being brave I jump out of the moving crowd towards a stand, herbs! That is what I am after! Overwhelmed by the choice in front of me…. so many type of basil, who knew…. I go with safe options to start off with ( I am planning on a having my own herb garden!) chives, oregano ( already have basil growing at home) and for a touch of the exotic Moroccan mint ( yes I am thinking it as well – mint tea and mojitos!)
With herbs in hand ( 3 pots for £5, that is brilliant bargain), I jump back into the flow of people. The market is full of tourists taking photos of the flowers, but also locals and not so locals are stocking up on fresh flowery delights. Everything is so reasonably priced its hard not to go mad and not buy everything. With control I decide on some fresh peonies 3 bunches for £10 that sounds like a deal I cannot pass on.
The market is open 8am – 2pm, so if you are going with a list probably best to get their early to avoid the crowds, however if you are just going for a mooch and fancy a bargain, head towards the end of the day but be prepared for the crowds. Once shopping is complete then there are plenty of places around the market and on Columbia Road to grab a drink and something to eat. There are also lots of cute and quirky shops on the road, well worth a look.
This is a market with a long history, and well worth a stop if you are looking for something to do on a Sunday morning, it will certainly brighten up your day…. it’s certainly brightened up the flat!