Columbia Road Flower Market
68 reviews of Columbia Road Flower Market in English
Another one of those with the old 'institution’ tag. Yes, it’s rather more trendy these days than I expect it was when trading first started there… but the prices and quality are still fantastic, and the traders are still in fine voice.
It is rammajam on a sunny day, no space to push a three-wheeled buggy (though the yummy mummies and daddies still try), but it’s worth the pushing. I picked up a potted sunflower this time with a lovely red shiny pot - could have easily spent a week’s wages though on orange and olive trees, vines, bedding plants, orchids, lilies…
The street itself seems to be growing shops selling cupcakes, vintage clothes and pretty household pottery at an impressive rate of knots which makes for a fun (and perhaps expensive) day’s browsing. Still the most popular though is the store selling squiddy and prawns for £1.50 a pop.
Go late to pick up the bargains and don’t forget to barter!
I absolutely love this place! I love coming down when the sun is out and taking some photos or buying some fruit seedlings, or even just having a wander!
There is a great selection of all things garden: from flowers to shrubs, trees to herb plants, pots, birdcages, olive trees, lemon trees, patio chairs… the list goes on!
This is a fantastic little market where you can go and buy as much or as ittle to do with a garden as you like! There are lovely little cafes and eateries scattered around so you can really make a day of it!
On my first visit to these beautiful markets I collected all the info I could find and mapped out what was to be my perfect route. This is not a normal thing for me. I would generally get a feel from other reviews and then meander… but something told me I would be annoyed if I came to the complete opposite side of London early on a Sunday and got it wrong!
So I found the most talked about items and then went for it. I must say the double up of very delicious chocolate cake and oysters seemed wrong until I arrived and found out that I was the one that was wrong.
Definitely do it on a sunny day, so you can keep on keeping on to Brick lane and get a huge lunch down! If you’re after cheep flowers to ferry back home then stick out your elbows and throng with the crowds at about 1:30 when prices drop and a slightly desperate form of flower patron appears!
Columbia Road is having a hard rap these days; full of hipsters that clog the street, looking glamourous and aren’t buying any flowers at all (it seems); even the most hardened flower and plant fanciers are apprently heading elsewhere in droves. No one has told me where though!
As for me, I love the place, personally. Of course said love is limited as I have hayfever, so it’s one long sneeze laden street as far as I’m concerned; yet at the same time it does bost some lovely small local traders; cafes like the flea pit, homeware store WAWA, and even place where you can get jellied eels, as well as the fashionista-filled Royal Oak pub. The Globe - a pizza place - is also small, perfectly formed and credit crunch proof, price wise. What’s not to love? An ideal way to spend a Sunday if I wasn’t out climbing or cycling or something.
This place has got a bit too hip for its own good. Horribly overcrowded with Shoreditch hipsters, you can barely move through the market so it’s not a lot of good for browsing, and the pavements are full of queues for the little shops selling food. There’s just not enough space here for that kind of product and it makes the whole experience unpleasant. I was told by one stallholder to go away after I was spending 'too long’ considering which colour orchids to buy! Prices good, service and crowds bad. I’d rather pay a bit more for Interflora!
This flower market is always busy and if you really want something a little extra special then get there early on a Sunday morning. The prices are by means the cheapest but the quality is unquestionable. Have a stroll first and then pick the flowers you want to buy. Bring plenty of cash but please be wary as there are lots of pick pockets about.
I never tire of visiting Columbia Road's Sunday flower market. I love the buzz, the mix of East Enders cast extras with hipsters and tourists, the cockney call of the vendors, all the beautiful flowers. In fact, a ramble through the market (I've gone several times but I don't think I've ever actually bought any plants there - shame on me!) with a tapas pit stop at Spanish restaurant, Laxeiro, is about as ideal a way to spend a sunny day in London as I know. Good spot for photographers too!
A great way to spend a Sunday morning. It’s always quite a shock to walk through the grime of Whitechapel and arrive at Columbia Road which is full of beautiful and contrasting colours when the flower market is on. If you’ve got something in particular that you want to buy, a certain plant for the garden or some specific flowers for someone, it’s probably best to get there early. However, if it’s more of a morning/early afternoon out for you and you’re not too fussed about buying anything than I’d recommend getting there at a leisurely 12 midday so you can grab the bargain flowers before stall holders pack away. Honestly one of the best ways to spend a Sunday morning in the East End and beats staying in bed watching Hollyoaks!
"Three bunches for a fiver, three bunches for a fiver" screeches the old geezer at the start of the market, the sweet scent of roses meandering up your flared nostrils impregnated with perfume. Best to pop down to this wonderful flower market after 1pm for the best bargains, my personal favourites are the rather colourful and somewhat phallic collection of cacti opposite the Royal Oak, plus check out the wild bunches of Birds of Paradise flowers from the quirky character with the jester hat. Nothing beats this flower market on a Sunday, great for families and loved ones alike.
I’ve been going here to meet friends on a Sunday since I was a teenager. It makes a change to the usual venues and I love the hustle and bustle of the flower market. You have to be prepared to be jostled a bit and weave between the crowds, as it’s very popular.
Stop off for superior bagels and freshly brewed Columbian coffee at the little cafe tucked down an alley (just down from the bakery on the yard). Browse the trendy shops that have sprung up in response to the increasing hordes who turn up every Sunday. Nab some bargains as the market traders reduce prices and start selling off their stock just before 2pm. And finish up with some tapas and a nice glass of rioja at Laxeiro, the tapas restaurant on Columbia Road.
As a student, I used to be lucky enough to live just a road or two away from the Columbia Road flower market, and I have never lived in such a colourful house. Our Sunday morning ritual involved crawling from our beds and walking our hangovers down to the market to collect armfuls of whatever was going cheap to adorn our living room - ginger lillies, roses, daffs - we weren’t fussy. But before collecting the flowers, we would duck into the food stalls off the courtyards on the left-hand side of the main road and stock up from the deli and bakery - almond and chocolate croissants, olives as big as our fists - piles of handmade goodies and treats to see us through the rest of the weekend and into the working week.
If this sounds decadent, it was, and the luxury of this spot and the goods on offer seems far removed from some of the sink estates which border it, but don’t let that put you off. The market is always busy and lively and you will come home laden with all manner of goodies, the like of which you never though east London could produce.
This is a wonderful experience for any visitor or resident of London. Its location is a little off the beaten track and its not especially close to any tube station. Be warned though, car parking is limited, especially on street and the enforcement officers are very vigilant! The market runs on sunday morning and the later the day (think early afternoon) the cheaper the flowers tend to be. I have created some very amazing flower arrangements at home with very unusual flowers thanks to Columbia Road. In spring especially the flowers are amazing. Its got busier over the year but the benefit is that more food shops have opened up in the area making this an even more enjoyable experience!
I discover Columbia road flower market after watching a tv gardening programme and decided to try and find where it was. After much internet surfing I was able to find the market online and actually chatted to the market manager whom was very helpful regarding parking and how to get there. The market is held every Sunday come rain or shine and having gone there that first time I have been a frequent visitor even though it takes us over an hour to get there by car. This is the first review where I have given 5 stars and the reason for that is that fact that the market delivers everything above and beyond what you would normally expect. First off there is the flowers and plants, all at amazingly low prices, a few examples I have bought an 8ft bamboo tree for only £10, 3 huge bouquets of very exotic flowers for only £10 all in, a salix tree for only a fiver, an olive tree, 5ft tall, £8, many bedding plants at only £5 for three trays that over 30 plants for a fiver. The list of bargains goes on and on and if you arrive lateish on in the day you can pick up some even better bargains. I once picked up a grape vine and two other climbers for only £5 the three all growing splendidly well in my garden. The parking is in a nearby school which is used every Sunday for this purpose, it’s only £2 to park, usually free for disabled but £2 is cheap to park in London. The surrounding shops are all open offering such diverse things as African art, antiquities, bread, musical instruments and many other craft and novelty shops. There is usually some kind of street music and there are plenty of 'pricey’ little on street eateries. All in all this is one good Sunday out even if you’re not into gardening it’s still a wonderful experience and an oasis in a part of London not famed for it’s beauty.
Easily one of my favourite London markets; all the usual bustle but an awful lot more fragrant. Apart from the fantastic array of flowers and plants, the market is lined with some brilliant art shops and boutiques, and there’s some lovely cafes around.
Sunday mornings in Columbia Road are legendary among the gardening and breakfasting set. You get the best quality plants at rock-bottom prices, direct from the growers, and you are surrounded by restaurants where cheap and tasty breakfasts can be devoured at leisure. There is a downside of course. Now that the word is out, it gets very crowded indeed. Two things you need to know. Get there early (8am or before) and buy your plants. Get a “Columbia carrier” (a big bag, available there) to carry your trays of seedlings. Then head for a cafe and watch the world go by. Job done. See you there.
I visited the flower market for the first time last Sunday. We arrived at Brick Lane by bus and made the short walk through the estates to Columbia Road. We found it easily without a map as we kept seeing people walking past us with huge beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers so we knew we must be heading in the right direction. The market starts early on Sunday and finishes at 2pm. We arrived at about 1.45pm as we had heard you can get some bargains at the end of the day. I got a huge houseplant for £10! The choice of fresh cut flowers, indoor plants, outdoor plants, herbs, cactuses were incredible. I will definitely be back for more but maybe with some more hands to help me carry my purchases.
I love markets, I love flowers and plants so Colombia Road is an addictive place for me.
Get there early on Sunday morning - lots of little cafes or pubs for breakfast. Some nice different shops.
The selection of plants for the house and garden and cut flowers is brilliant. The prices are good but if you stay until the end the flowers are reduced, sometimes to ridiculously low prices.
I think Colombia Road is brilliant. I love the atmosphere here. It can get packed but part of the fun is trying to walk along the narrow gap between the two rows of stalls.
I always buy my christmas tree from here.
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