If there is any way to brighten the grey winter of London, it’s to spend a Sunday with your girlfriends eating Beigels (the grandpa of bagels) and wandering the vibrant Columbia Road flower market.
First stop, Beigel Bake on Brick Lane! Don’t be put-off by the line winding out the door and down the road. It appears to always be there. It moves fast, and I promise it will be worth it. A lox and cream cheese beigel will only set you back a pound sixty, which in London is something to cherish. They’re good too!
The walk from Beigel Bake to the flower market is also a chance to see all the quirky street art in Shoreditch.
Even if I don’t always have the funds to actually buy any flowers, walking around the Columbia Road flower market in East London may be one of my favorite things to do in this city. Even on a chilly January day, the market is filled with people buying anything from a lemon tree to a bundle of thistle. The crowd can be a challenge to navigate later in the day, but it’s part of the fun! Especially around 2 o’clock when the flower vendors want to sell the last of their fresh flowers. They start shouting out various deals and you can pick up oodles of blossoms for a lot less.
The flower vendors are also incredibly nice, often chatty and they even sometimes throw in an extra bundle of flowers to your purchase. There is so much more than just the flower market too–cafe’s, vintage stores, buskers, and all sorts of alleys and shops to peer around in. Although I didn’t realize it at the time Lilli Vailli is a famous bakery and it did not disappoint. Enjoy a cappuccino and oddly enough, just about the best hip hop playlist you can find.
Markets are my absolute favorite thing about living in London. And this one is just the best place to brighten up a Sunday!
Columbia Road Market Address: Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG
Columbia Road Market Hours: Sunday 8am-3pm
Transport: Overground: Hoxton/Shoreditch High Street or Tube: Old Street