The Columbia Road Flower Market is hardly a secret, but with cockney-accented traders hawking everything from buds to banana trees amid browsing hipsters and homemakers, it’s still worth the 40-minute Tube ride to the East End. Lesser known are the quirky boutiques lining the street, many of which are only open on weekends and deserve a visit in their own right. Among our favorites are the artisanal perfumer Angela Flanders, with hand-blended personal fragrances as well as scented candles and bath products; the upscale children’s store Bob & Blossom; and Glitterati for vintage clothing, accessories, and costume jewelry. Feeling peckish? Have lunch at Brawn, a light-filled local favorite from the team behind beloved West End wine bar Terroirs. The short, daily-changing menu focuses on farm-to-table provenance and natural wines.
From the Bethnal Green station, walk down Barnet Grove until you hit Columbia Road. Take a left and you’ll be able to see the beautiful blooms of Columbia Road Flower Market. Walk further down, admiring the little shops and boutiques along the street, and enjoy lunch at Brawn, on the corner of Columbia and Ravenscraft.
COLUMBIA ROAD FLOWER MARKET: columbiaroad.info
ANGELA FLANDERS: 96 Columbia Rd.; 44-(0)20-7739-7555; angelaflanders-perfumer.com
BOB & BLOSSOM: 140 Columbia Rd.; 44-(0)20-7739-4737; bobandblossom.co.uk
GLITTERATI: 148 Columbia Rd.
BRAWN: 49 Columbia Rd.; 44-(0)20-7729-5692; brawn.co