Colors, crowds and Cheer, Columbia Road Flower Market

I love flowers. I love to see them in my home. When I read about the Columbia Road Flowers Market, I had to plan a trip there. Persuading my husband to accompany me to all my whimsical ideas is not a big deal. He knew he was needed to carry my purchases home and to keep me in check so that I don’t bring the flowers market home.
Columbia Road Flowers Market is open only on Sundays. The website said it is open from 9 to 3ish. I was in hurry to get out there. What if they ran out of flowers!
This market is quite far from anything I am familiar with in London. Our ever reliable Citymapper App pointed many different ways to get their. All required at least 15 minutes of walk from the nearest station. Previous day we had walked all over the Kew Gardens. So, our legs were protesting a bit. Finally we figured if we take Uber from London Bridge we can save time and effort. But it was a mistake. I think we would have saved money if we had got off at Faringddon or Waterloo.
We got off from Uber at the corner of Columbia Road. It is short narrow street from Victorian era. All we could see were people! Between 2 rows of canopies rows and rows of people. At that vantage point there was no way to say that it was a flower market.
But once we got near then the flowers galore! It had all the vibes of a Sunday market. Jostling crowd, shouting, bargaining and good deal of cheer. Of course who wouldn’t be cheerful amongst flowers. We were basically pushed by throngs of people from one direction of Columbia Road to another.
We checked out all the stalls. I couldn’t make up my mind about which flowers to buy. My husband was there to guide me away from buying every variety and help me make a decision. We came home home with hydrangeas, Calle Lilies and pots of succulents. There were so many different variety of flowers! some I could name, some I couldn’t. The sellers were so busy screaming louder than their neighbor to sell the flowers, that my questions were lost in that din!

There is other shopping there too. The rows of shops on both sides of Columbia Road sell all kinds of antiques, curios, pottery,little Knick knacks.
 Any market wouldn’t be complete without food. Of course there was food. We had fresh samosas even before we hit the flower stands. Anytime is a samosa time! At the little bakery Lily Vanilli’s we had cheese and leek toast. This bakery is a delight! They are open only on Sundays, the market days. This cafe is in Courtyard off of Ezra street. It is a lovely little nook with a few shops, selling furniture, clothes, food and such.
The next street had delightful bars, cafes and a little flee market.
Literally a hole in the wall bar put a smile on our face.
Now with all our flowers and pots in our hands we made a long journey home with satisfaction of morning well spent.

Published by Neha Shah

Hi! I love to travel, I love art and architecture, I enjoy cooking, and, more recently, I've been bitten by the photography bug. My family has always respected my need to explore and observe the world outside the window. They always leave the window seat for me, be it in a car, train, or plane. They are always walking along side me when I am out exploring. I am shy by nature so I guess I am happiest when I see, observe, and imagine. When we moved to London, it was a dream come true. This city was one I read about in books and dreamed about as a child. I had visited it many times as an adult before we actually moved here, but being part of the life here has brought me out of my inertia and made me pick up the pen again. My ever present phone helps me capture the images of what I see. One fine day my pen and phone made me sit down to write my first blog post!

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