Along with coconut lattes and avo on toast, picking up your weekend blooms to Instagram has become another millennial stereotype to check off the list. Luckily London has a wealth of flower markets to accommodate. From hipster hangouts strewn with cafes, pubs and independent shops to nocturnal landmarks for horticultural hardcores that open in the small hours. Whether you’re wild about hydrangeas or go nuts for a bouquet of ranunculus, here are the best flower markets in London, ideal if you’re weekend schedule is looking a little stale.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Without a doubt London’s best and most famous flower market, Colombia Road is where locals, Londoners and tourists flock on a Sunday to get that all important Instagram snap. The narrow road is lined with independent shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries, in fact, it’s one of the few in the country that doesn’t have a single chain brand.
But it’s Sunday when Colombia Road really comes alive, as flower and plant sellers pitch up with everything from hydrangeas to banana trees on offer. If you want to get the best flowers head there for 8am, or if you’re after more of a bargain, the stall holders are usually packing up by 3pm and giving out serious deals. “Three for a fiver, mate!”
WHEN: Every Sunday from 8am until 3pm(ish)
WHERE: Columbia Road Flower Market, Hackney, E2
Mare Street Market
Ok, so not technically a flower market, but certainly one of Hackney’s coolest curated spaces. The site plays host to an open kitchen, deli, wine bar and bottle shop, pop-ups, interiors and the stunning mini flower market by Rebel Rebel, whose clients include the likes of Vogue, BBC, BAFTA and Dior. Their style is seasonal, as British as possible and bursting with colour. Don’t blame us if you come away with half your salary’s worth of blooms.
WHEN: Saturdays 9am to 5:30pm
WHERE: Broadway Market, London Fields, E8 4PH
WHEN: Monday to Saturday 8am to pm
WHERE: Berwick Street Market, Soho, W1
Berwick Street Market
Just a stone’s throw from Oxford Street sits Berwick Street Market in the heart of Soho. Dating back to 1778, it’s one of London’s most iconic central spots – where market stall holders, from florists to fruit and veg and street food, sit together. Head to Ronnie’s Flowers – London’s oldest flower market stall to pick up some of our favourite blooms from dahlias to roses.
New Covent Garden Market
Don’t be mistaken on the location of London’s biggest flower market. After 40 years, New Covent Garden has relocated to between Battersea and Vauxhall, to a huge space that houses some of the capital’s top wholesalers. This is where many London florists come to stock up for their own businesses, so be aware you can only buy wholesale. And unless you’re Elton John, that’s a lot of flowers for the average London home.
We suggest grabbing a bunch of friends and making a morning of it, splitting the flowers and splitting the cost, which due to the wholesale nature of the market, will get you a seriously good deal. Oh, and be aware, the market officially opens at 4am (some sellers open even earlier), so be sure to get an early night the day before.
WHEN: Monday to Saturday from 4am until 10 am
WHERE: New Covent Garden Market, SW8 5BH
New Spitalfields Market
Not to be confused with Shoreditch’s Old Spitalfield’s Market, New Spitalfield’s Market sits in Leyton and offers wholesale fruit, veg and flowers. Here’s the raw deal, it opens at midnight and runs until 11am – one for the most hardcore of botanists (or serious insomniacs).
WHEN: Monday to Saturday, mdinight to 11am
WHERE: New Spitalfields Market, 23 Sherrrin Road, Leyton, E10 5SQ