During the last five years we’ve been spending a few long weekends in London. As fascinating as the city is, it can be a little overwhelming because there’s so much to see and so little time! However, a couple of weeks ago we finally got to visit the charming Columbia Road flower market. Since it takes place every Sunday morning we hadn’t been able to stroll along its stalls before. Returning flights usually happen on Sundays and I’m always too scared to miss the flight, therefore I tend to reserve Sunday mornings for a lazy breakfast and a nervous trip to the airport. Not this time!
We woke up early and ventured to Shoreditch, the hipster’s cot in London and an area that we didn’t know really well. A shy visit to Spitafields market and a small walk around a couple of years ago was all our experience. This time we got to explore a little bit on our way to the beautiful flower market. But first, coffee.
And what a coffee! After queueing for barely ten minutes we got our table in Dishoom, a Bombay café that we wanted to visit for a while. We had read amazing reviews of its breakfast so we felt the urge to find out what the fuss was about. While waiting to be seated we were amazed by the extremely good coffee and the fun atmosphere. So we were off to a good start.
The menu was really different from the average breakfast and so were the prices, surprisingly convenient. The decor was nice, the crowd seemed out of a Dazed and Confused magazine, and we were treated kindly (the waiter was weirdly happy). We ordered Naan Rolls and Granola to share. Plus more coffee because it was outstanding!
My egg Naan Roll was fantastic and it had a sweet touch (probably seasoned with chutney) that really surprised me. It was comforting and delicious. But the house granola stole the show. Sweet and sour at the same time, crunchy and creamy… I can’t recommend it enough. After a great conversation we finally headed to the flower market with happy bellies.
We followed the guys with beards and the girls in vintage dresses until we found a terribly crowded but adorable little street full of every flower you can imagine. The sellers were shouting, the coolest girls were going crazy about the succulents and perfect little families with cute dogs were buying loads of flowers for their Sunday dinner.
Since there was so, so many people in the market (tip: get there early, it opens at 8 a.m.) we tried to escape the crowds (but, mostly, a very annoying girl with a huge hat) and took a look at the wonderful little shops on the sides of the market: antiques, baby clothing, stationery… all the beautiful things that one can buy one after the other and scented with the almost intoxicating smell of thousands of flowers.
At the end of the street we enjoyed a little concert form a small band that, obviously, had a double bass, we tried to pick up our jaws from the floor after seeing the weirdest outfits (we are not that modern after all) and discovered that one can make a living carving spoons. And the sun was still shining. Bombay inspired breakfast and Columbia Road flower market: Oh, what a morning!