Columbia Road Flower Market. Bit of a nightmare? I think so. I haven't been for a while since I haven't felt the need lately to have my shins rammed by a baby buggy, or have cream cheese and salmon bagel vapours breathed in my face by a tourist, but today The Wig and I braved both of these unpleasant elements and visited Columbia Road. We thought if we went really early (9:30am) we would beat the rush but actually it was probably the worst day to go: Mothers Day. Since I don't really subscribe to this particular tradition, I hadn't really thought about it, but by the time we had walked there it was too late to turn back. Also, The Wig was on a mint plant and vegetable seed buying mission so it seemed fruitless to protest.
My friend the Internet will tell you that:
"On Sunday the street is transformed into oasis of foliage and flowers. Everything from bedding plants to 10 foot banana trees are up for grabs. The air is intense with the scent of flowers and the chant of the barrow boys “Everthin' a fiver”. A lot of the flower sellers grow their own plants or import flowers from around the world".
Yet it fails to mention that it gets more rammed than the Central Line at rush hour and you will most probably not get near any of the foliage since you will be swept along by the crowd from one end of the road to the other while simultaneously being elbowed in the ribs by East End 'trendies' and tutted at by East End locals. You may also have a panic attack if you are anything like me. It also fails to warn you that most of the flowers / plants you purchase here will not only be slightly over priced but also not live very long. But that's just my opinion.
Nevertheless, we braved the claustrophobia, and bought a few herbs but no seeds. The interesting thing about this market is that there is nowhere to buy a good variety of vegetable seeds. Maybe that's an idea for my business venture. One shop sold 3 packets of Organic seeds (some sort of posh lettuce, squash and radish) for £2 each but that was it, and this also seemed a little expensive to me and my Homebase priced taste.
The saving grace of this mornings little outing came in the shape of a coffee and croissant on the way home at a little cafe on Broadway Market called 'Dino's Deli'. I think it might be fairly new since I've not seen it before but would definitely recommend it as the cafes on Columbia Road were really busy and had long queues but if you walk a few minutes further away you can have some peace and quiet if you like that type of thing. Which I do.
So, after breakfast we went home and spent the afternoon in our little garden, which is the size of most of my friends bathrooms, and were happy to be away from the crowds. I am now preparing to spend the week alone as The Wig is off back to his Motherland on a very important mission. I can't spill the beans on his mission yet as we don't want to jinx it but hopefully this time next week we will be celebrating something exciting. So all that's left for me to do is miss The Wig and admire our new mint plant and the Hackney sunset.