Sunday, November 17, 2013

Columbia Road Flower Market

Columbia Road Flower Market is one of my favorite markets in London - especially at this time of the year. It feels so festive and full of bright, vibrant colors.

I'm lucky to live at the intersection between Dalston and Islington, so I'm still close to Columbia Road and Broadway Market (another favorite). I texted Hannah this morning and we met up near Hoxton to walk over to the market, which was already very crowded by the time we got there: 11:30 a.m. If you're ever in the mood to browse, I'd suggest you get there about half an hour or an hour after it opens at 8 (I know that's early for a Sunday!). Otherwise, you'll be stuck in a very slow and frustrating conveyor belt of tourists and other hipsters trying to take photos and awkwardly clutch oversized bouquets (or in one instance, a potted fern, which nearly took my eye out).

Beautiful flowers always put me in a good mood - especially if said flowers are being offered at a fraction of the price of what you'd find in a typical London florist's.

Although I get easily overwhelmed and indecisive when I'm at the market, I immediately chose this gorgeous autumnal selection for a mere £5, which the stall holder had nicknamed the "festive" bouquet:

Isn't it lovely? And it was only £5! If I bought this at the flower stall outside Holborn station, everything would be wilting and it'd probably set me back about £35. I'm not even kidding. I'm a huge fan of cabbage roses (someone recently told me she hated them, and I looked at her like she was crazy - roses that look like cabbages? What's not to love?) and the orange, yellow, and red colors in the rest of the bouquet immediately made me think of cinnamon sticks and mulled wine. Mmm ...

We had just enough time to browse some of the boutiques on either side of the road, and I got sucked into buying this whimsical scarf from L'Orangerie, a store that's filled to the brim with vintage and new jewellery, scarves, hats, and other accessories:

I'm currently rotating between two scarves at the moment: a super warm and soft navy oversized one from Zara (that also doubles as a blanket at work when I get really cold) and a monochrome patterned voile scarf from & Other Stories that I bought over the summer with Sophia that I just can't get enough of. So when I spotted this hot-air balloon motif with bright orange and baby blue details, I knew it had to be mine - even when the price rang up to be £4 more than originally quoted to me by the shop assistant. Le sigh.

On my way back to my flat, I stopped in at 52A Coffee Shop for a soy chai latte and a piece of their orange bread. The spices filled my nose and I smiled all the way home, on cloud nine ... that is, until I narrowly avoided stepping in a huge, smeary pile of dog doo doo. Oh well, there's always something to bring me down to earth ...


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