I have wanted to visit Columbia road flower market for a while and with my recent photography project documenting the journey of the flower, I thought it would be the perfect time to go and take some photos.
On the bus journey over, the streets were empty as it was a cold, drizzly afternoon, that is until I reached Shoreditch and there was a real buzz as the streets were lined with people carrying bunches of flowers and Christmas trees.
The flower market is open from 8am until around 3pm and I decided to go in the middle of the afternoon because I wanted it to be busy. I don’t think I was prepared for just how busy it was and trying to navigate through the market while taking photos is no mean feat. The road is quite narrow and the pavements have even less space, so although they are filled with what looks like quirky little shops and cafes it is hard to have a proper look when you are fighting your way past other people.
I had plenty of photos of flowers from my trip to New Covent garden market so what I really wanted to capture was the people.
Being a flower market and with a street lined with cute shops it obviously attracts people with their cameras but a lot of the market traders don’t seem too impressed by this, one asked me to delete his photo as he was “fed up of people taking photos to put on Facebook” I was going to tell him that they would more likely end up on Instagram but didn’t think he would appreciate it either way!
The market obviously attracts lots of customers but I think a lot of people also go just to have a look and take photos. I didn’t actually buy any flowers but the prices seemed pretty reasonable. I would like to go back in the Spring when it’s a bit warmer to buy some flowers but I think I will go a bit earlier or later in the day when it isn’t so busy.
Have you visited Columbia road before?
If you happen to be around the Southbank between Friday and Sunday and are struggling to decide where to eat you may want to head towards the Southbank centre’s street food market.
Whether you are looking for a snack, cooked food, a sweet treat or even just a tipple then there is likely to be something here to tickle your tastebuds. We decided to check out the market after our meal at The Archduke down the road. We were looking for dessert but there was so much food to choose we actually thought we should have just went there to begin with.
We were hoping to find a stall that did waffles and crepes but didn’t see any, there was however loads of cake!
We chose a selection of these cupcakes from sweet tooth factory (which I had to unfortunately share with my kids) and the they were delicious. We didn’t get to sample anything else but if I happen to be around there again when it is open I would love to try out some other dishes.
Where is your favourite food market?
With the summer season upon us it is a great time to shop outdoors at the many markets that London has to offer. When I was younger I spent loads of time at markets, from food shopping with my mum at Hoxton market to clothes shopping with my friends down Petticoat lane, but I have rarely visited any since.
A couple of months back I went to Borough market and it had changed so much, and more recently I decided to pop into the Jubilee market in Covent garden because I hadn’t been inside before and thought I would have a gander at what was for sale.
Jubilee market is open everyday. Mondays is the antiques day, the weekend is for arts and crafts and the rest of the week it plays host to a general market. I visited on a Saturday and it was full of all sorts from candles to baby vests and even tiny models made out of various metallic materials.
I love that a place with a huge amount of visitors and tourists has a market with small businesses selling their unique creations. I think this is somewhere I will be returning to closer to Christmas as they have gifts that could cater for everyone.
The highlight for me was the sweet shop at the back where we picked up some tradition sweets and reminisced about all the sweets of our childhood, rosey apples or rhubarb and custard? White chocolate mice or bon bons? Just too many to choose!
I hope to visit many other markets over the summer and do my bit to support smaller businesses. Which markets would you recommend in London?
I feel a bit like I am drowning in work at the moment and my to do list seems to never end. I am a few weeks into the second semester of my second year studying for a photography degree, the projects and tasks I am currently working on include…
- Creating a photobook of Elephant and Castle including archived images that I have to source myself
- Setting up a photography website
- Writing an essay on photographic debates, my subject is questioning the ethics of the paparazzi and whether celebrities have a right to privacy in public (your views on the subject are welcome in the comments)
- Mentoring first years on a commissioned project
- Collaborating with sound design and digital design students to create a film
- completing different types of work experience (paid or voluntary) to gain new skills across the industry
- Creating a live portal installation in collaboration with a group of creative industry and engineering students based in London and Toronto to be placed in the windows of our two universities. (This is a competition that has 10 groups of students, the winning team get to fly to Canada to install their idea…no pressure!)
Now I am really enjoying the work and it is exciting to get to meet and work with new groups of people but being the biggest procrastinator there is I am always looking for a distraction and what better place to take my mind of it all than somewhere filled with loads of food!
I had to visit the local history library in Borough to look at their archived images so decided to meet my daughter for lunch while I was there as she works around the corner.
I haven’t been to Borough market for many years and was surprised at how big and how busy the place was but it may have been because it was the middle of the afternoon and everyone was on their lunch break.
You can pick up just about anything you feel like eating, from fish to fresh fruit smoothies, the finest cheese to the fluffiest chocolate brownies, it’s probably best not to go when you are too hungry because you might want a bit of everything.
There is a mix of stalls where you can buy products (anyone for liquorice covered in white chocolate and chilli powder?) or cooked meals. I really like the way you can pick what you want and then watch the chefs cook it for you.
After walking around for a while we decided to eat at Café Brood as they had a nice seating area away from the crowds. We chose the steak sandwich with fries as it sounded the most filling and we were salivating from the smell of food everywhere. I do like steak but don’t order it very often. At £7 I thought it was quite expensive for a sandwich but I have to say this was one of the nicest pieces of steak I have eaten for ages so was well worth the price.
Visiting Borough market was on my list of 10 places to visit in London so I can now tick that off but I will definitely be back in the future to try out some more of the dishes as there was so much to choose from.
Have you got a favourite food market?