This flower market is definitely not only for those looking to refresh their flower boxes. It's a place where Londoners love to visit on Sundays for artisan coffee, homemade pastries, English and Italian delis and of course, fresh flowers from around the world. The flower market is located in East London on Columbia Road and has been going since 1869. The 60 small independent shops selling everything from vintage and antique pieces, homeware, clothing and sweets give the street an old feel to it. The flower stalls flood the street with scents and colors while the friendly locals try to lure you in for a chat 'n' buy. It truly is a great place to visit even for tourists because of the unique atmosphere and selection of merchandise.
It is best to visit early in the morning as to avoid large crowds. The market opens at 8 a.m. and closes around 3 p.m. There are many cafes, pubs and restaurants to go for breakfast or brunch. We dropped in at The Royal Oak but unfortunately, there wasn't a free table. A shame, because it really is a typical English pub offering traditional dishes.
Each little shop holds it's own treasures. This retro sweet shop called Suck and Chew sells sweets in the most adorable shapes and sizes. I bought most of my gifts here. I always look for things in metal or glass packaging, because that way I can reuse and keep the packaging even after I've eaten or used up the contents. I find that those make the best souvenirs that you can keep in the house or give away to friends.
Have you been to the flower market? What are your favorite places to visit? :)