Columbia Road Flower Market in London

Hello everyone and welcome to Travel Tuesday! My name is Amanda and I blog over at Rhyme & Ribbons. I’m originally from America, but I live in London now. Spring is in the air and I  thought I’d introduce you to one of the blogging epicentres in London: Columbia Road Flower Market.  It’s a combination of all things twee: puppies, vintage clothing and furniture, artisan pastries, babies, bicycles and most importantly lots and lots of flowers. I love every minute of it.

Columbia Road Flower Market
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The first of many photos of flowers. If you don’t like flowers, click away now.
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Despite the early hour, it was still packed.


In east London there exists the market of my dreams: Columbia Road Flower Market. A market devoted solely to bunches of flowers, flowers for planting, plants, bushes, shoots and sprouts. And it’s only open Sundays from 8am-3pm. Breaking with our usual Sunday sleeping-in tradition, Sam and I set alarms to head out early doors on Sunday in an effort to beat the the worst of the throngs in the market. Despite only having been open for a little while, the road was already packed. (But that was nothing compared to the crowds that came later in the morning.) 
Columbia Market was originally opened in 1869 as a food market and then started making the transition to focus solely on gardening in the 1960s. In the 1980s the road began garner international press and is world famous today.  While some criticise the prices, I’d have to say that personally, I found them really reasonable. To clarify, I am not a flower expert at all. All my bouquets come from Sainsburys or Tesco. Marks & Spencer if I’m feeling really middle class. And the flowers I bought at Columbia Road were significantly cheaper than any bouquet I’ve bought at the aforementioned places. (I spent a total of £10 and took home a bouquet of hyacinth, a bouquet of ranunculus, and a bouquet of anemones.) 
The surrounding shops are open and are selling equally beautiful wares; the smallest of alleys is turned into a temporary bakery- there’s hardly a square inch of space that isn’t being utilised to sell something.  We decided to really make a morning of it and visit the famous Lily Vanilli bakery since it was right there as well and I’ve been keen to go for ages.

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As you can see, the bakery is absolutely tiny but adorable.
bakeries london
bakery london brownies and coffee
Sunday funday, right? So brownies and coffee for breakfast is okay?
Despite the fact that the brownies were a bit rich to have at breakfast, they were delicious. Dense, moist and fudgey with chunks of chocolate. The flat white coffee was really great as well.
The market is very crowded but the street itself is quite small. So before buying anything, I fought the crowds twice walking up and down sizing up what exactly I wanted to buy.
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This was the stall where I ended up purchasing my flowers.
me at the market london
Trench: Kenneth Cole (old, similar seen here.) Dress: Modcloth. Boots: similar (on sale). Bag: Longchamp Le Pliage.
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I was fascinated by these black roses but they weren’t the kind of flower I’d like to have around the house.
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london england market pastries
A selection of delicious pastries that are for sale tucked into a small alcove in a nearby building.
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roses markets london
I loved the rose stalls with their big swaths of colour.
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london england flower markets bouquet
The flowers I ended up going home with.
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I like Lyn’s post on Chile

  • Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld

    Great post! I used to go to this market as a child and back then it closed much earlier than it does now. I used to enjoy looking at all the plants with my parents and then going to a Spanish café where we used to order a delicious slice of tortilla. Wonder if that café is still there?

    • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

      I wonder! Do you remember the name of it? x

      • Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld

        No idea! I’d have to ask my parents.I hope it is! :)

  • Sara

    I love the Columbia Road Flower market! It’s always made me wish that I lived in the area so I could buy flowers for the house there. I’m coming to London for a visit this spring and am renting an Airbnb – maybe I’ll make it over and buy some flowers to have in the apartment for the week :-)

    • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

      I think you definitely should! 😉 x

  • Elle @ WhatTheElle

    I’ve been to London a zillion times and still have not managed to make it to the flower market on a Sunday! They are so beautiful and now that we are slowly warming up to Spring I really need to make a visit!

    PS – I’m attempting to do the link up for the first time, pretty sure I’m failing epically. Is there an intro/how to post for ding dongs like myself?

    • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

      It’s so lovely at Columbia Road but very crowded as well!

  • Sara Rose

    Loveeee your coat Amanda!

    • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

      Thanks Sara! xx

  • Christine | A Keane Sense

    Looove all the pretty flowers! I wish there was a flower market in Houston! There’s a huge one in LA too that I really want to visit!

    • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

      Ohh- I bet the weather in LA is better for it as well! x

  • Madaline

    OMG. All those people. I can’t get past it. It looks like an awesome (but crowded) place.

    • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

      It really is super crowded, so I’d advise people who aren’t good with crowds to stay away! x

  • Carly @ Let Us Wanderlust

    Gorgeous photos Amanda! The Columbia Road Flower Markets honestly sounds like my ideal market too! You look so chic, and those brownies look mouth-wateringly yum. I haven’t had breakfast yet (it’s only 6.30am here in Australia) but now I want brownies and coffee haha so thanks for that 😉 xx

    • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

      Hahahaha you’re very welcome 😉

  • Sara Elizabeth Urquidez

    Goodness!! These are stunning!! Those blue roses look so cool, even if they aren’t natural!! I’m definitely going to keep this on my radar!!

    • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

      It’s a really neat place! x

  • Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor

    Brownies are always okay for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. And as a midnight snack :-)

    • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

      I’m so glad you agree! x