Getting to spend Sunday morning at Columbia Road Flower Market is one of the great privileges of living in London.
Every Sunday morning (from about 4am) flower traders set up shop on Columbia Road. They flood the little street with colour. Flowers from every corner of the world bloom from trays, tumble from shelves and rustle in the breeze.
Mouthy sellers shout about their offerings, luring shoppers over for a chat ‘n’ a browse.
You can pick up armfuls of blossoms for next to nothing, and it’s a great reason to get out and about on a Sunday!
Something Custard thoroughly approves of!
Wrap up warm.
And take a camera. This place is too much for a shutterbug to resist!
It’s a great idea to stop off before/after brunch with friends.
Hell of a spot for an unusual date, especially if he really wants to spoil her with an enormous bouquet to take home!
But it’s also a great little jaunt for a family, to pick up a few stems for mum.
Just don’t get too distracted and lose your pack!
I couldn’t resist a great big bunch of hydrangeas, for the kitchen table.
These beauties last forever!
They’re semi-dried so don’t need any looking after. Handy for those missing a green thumb.
Columbia Market’s been going since 1869. Most of the traders are 3rd, 4th or 5th generation. They follow proudly in their family’s footsteps, and are some of the nicest Londoners you could hope to meet.
Cheery, friendly, full of advice and chatter.
They’re always up for a good natter!
If you’re not sure on something, or you want advice… just ask.
You can trust them. They want to give you a great deal and send you off with a skip in your step, so you’ll come back again next week.
My picks certainly had me grinning from ear to ear!
But there’s more to the flower market than just flowers.
There are classic victorian shops and cafes. They stock everything from sweets, to homewares, toys, vintage clothes, and sandwiches. There are little holes in the wall where people sell hot coffee and cakes to groggy shoppers.
The street has a very old, friendly and buzzy feel to it.
Great for a bit of a mooch.
This post is sponsored by American Express. I’m working with them on their HandpickedÂ® offer for Cardmembers – it’s a pretty cool deal that lets Cardmembers download awesome free iTunes content every season. The themes vary, but this time they’re all based around fashion and photography… which is rather handy!
Out of all the “free iTunes content” on offer, this one is perfect if you’re into snaps and all things old school.
“Halftone” is the holy grail for vintage aficionados, or those who want to add a little text to their pics. It’s a photo editor that let’s you put together old school postcards, comic book strips and posters.
If you’re REALLY into vintage photos, make sure you check out the “Fashion Ads of the 20th Century” iBook by Taschen too. Amex have partnered with iTunes to give all Cardmembers their own copy, which is rather generous!
There are plenty of places to grab a bite on Columbia Road!
^ Coffee queue at a little hole in the wall.
But my favourite by far, is Laxeiro. A pequeÃ±o family run, Spanish place at the end of the street.
I had scrambled eggs with jamon.
He went for the Spanish breakfast (but he hates the idea of black pudding, so I got to have it!)
It just might be the best black pudding I have ever tasted. Spicy, rich, well balanced and very morish.
The tortilla is another cracker too!
I wore my mum’s delicious new Honey Bee Stacking Rings, and spent the day being complimented on them.
It’s lovely to wear something with so much meaning, and know I’ll keep them forever.
Towards the end of breakfast, Custard noticed the restaurant’s cat watching him.
So insisted on a better seat.
Having warmed ourselves in the Autumn sunshine, we drained our coffees and headed West.
Just stopping for a few utterly irresistible snaps with my boy!
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See? I told you Halftone was fun!