Buckets full of posies, herbs, succulents and shrubs can only mean one thing – Columbia Road Market. Come rain or shine, you can guarantee Columbia Road will be transformed into a floral paradise on Sundays. It’s every Instagrammer’s dream. Starting as a traditional Saturday trading market, it’s since fully evolved into a flower market. Known for being one of London’s most beautiful markets, and rightly so, as it certainly attracts people from far and wide. However, it’s easy to forget the street is more than just the market.
Located on the edge of the city with Shoreditch to the West and Brick Lane and Spitalfields just a stones throw away, it’s certainly becoming its own little hub. Quaint shops piled high with antiques, racks of vintage clothes, adorable art galleries that are nestled in between scrumptious cupcake eateries, not forgetting an array of English and Italian delis. We’ve compiled a guide to why you should head to Columbia Road this weekend.
Of course, you can’t visit Columbia Road without fully immersing yourself in the vibrancy of the market. Rows upon rows of flowers, houseplants, shrubs – if you’re lucky, you might even be able to bag yourself a banana tree. If you’re wanting to avoid the crowds, head down to the market when it opens. The longer you wait, the busier it’ll get and you don’t want someone else to snapping up the last peace lily…
Every Sunday, 8am until 3pm
The Antiques And Shops
Antiques stacked high
Filling your house with one off treasure finds helps to make it feel like a home, even if you can hear cars beeping and sirens going off in every direction. Finding these quirky pieces is easy when you’re searching through unique shops. Columbia Road has several shops where you can do just that. In Open House, you’ll be able to find anything and everything for both your home and your garden; whether it’s rustic table, ceramic pot, or even a basket for your eggs, you can find it there. You can’t go far wrong with exploring Vintage Heaven either – whose owners love of recycled items grew into a career option – opening a vintage shop.
If there’s one vinyl you’ve spent your life searching for, you could be in a chance of finding it at Play Vinyl London. Or at least update your nan’s old vinyl player with one of their restored types.
London is filled with thousands upon thousands of galleries and exhibitions yet finding the right piece takes time and effort. It’s either too big or too small, too bright or too dark. Along Columbia Road you can find several independent galleries with pieces and options for every walk of life. Nelly Duff, for example, exhibits editions and original pieces from artists who are at the forefront of street, tattoo and the graphics art world – a more hipster side of art. They support the art of traditional craft and age-old techniques.
Those looking for a more traditional painting should head to Columbia Road Gallery. They also specialise in creating gallery walls – offering you the chance to curate a wall of art with affordable but original collections that combine contemporary and vintage pieces. So if you’ve got a wall that needs filling but you can’t quite figure out what will work, the team can help you out! Even if you’re just browsing, galleries are great places to grab a bit of inspo to spice up yo’life (and your house…)
Along with galleries, there are thousands of food options all over the city but finding somewhere that’ll satisfy your foodie cravings at that specific moment in time is always tricky. Columbia Road has lots of options, from salads for the health conscious to cake treats for those with a sweet tooth.
If you’re after sharing dishes Brawn has you covered with their lunch menu serving up seasonal produce reflecting their love of cultural European cooking. Or try a taste of homestyle Espania at Laxeiro, a family run local. 35 years on, they continue to pride themselves on serving up authentic, fresh cuisine that’s central to their tight knit community.
The Insta Shots
No road in London would be complete without multiple options for some Insta shots. Head down on a Sunday to fulfil your floral feed #goals or go on a quieter day during the week and pose in front of a colourful shop front.
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