Explorations in E1

22:18 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

I have not often ventured over into East London, with the exception of tourist sites like St. Pauls and Tower of London. There's so much to see in and around my little neighborhood, I haven't felt the need.

But when I read about another blogger's trip to London and the Columbia Road Flower Market, it got added on to my bucket list of things to try in town.

Yet, months later, I still hadn't found myself out there. Nearly an hour trip via tube or bus, and open on Sundays, meant that I was always finding excuses to sleep in and eat pancakes instead.

A few weekends ago, I finally made it out of my Sunday rut and over to the market, after much prodding from Paul.

In order to get to the flower market, we had some spontaneous wanderings through London where I stumbled across things I had heard about but not yet thought of visiting.

First off was Spitalfields Market - another version of Portobello Road, although better organised, cleaner, and definitely less crowded on this Sunday. I found a dress which I am looking forward to trying out on my next beach vacation.

Next was Brick Lane. As first, all I saw were tons and tons of people sitting on the curbs, eating of all things. Once I got past how unhygenic that seemed, I realised they were enjoying take-out from all the ethnic restaurants on the famous Brick Lane.

In addition to storefronts, there are also lots and lots of street vendors for the day. I got a hallumi wrap, perfect for wandering & eating, while Paul tried some empanadas. It was a perfect spot for people watching, all the food, vendors and people enjoying the outdoors.

Our last spot was the real reason for our visit - the Columbia Road Flower Market. It's a short stretch of road jam packed with flower stalls, and because of our late start to the day, people. I was looking for some peonies to have inside for a party, so we pushed through the crowds on a mission.

While we didn't do tons of browsing because of the hoards of people being herded like cattle through the narrow streets, I saw enough to make me want to go back for more again. There were lots of beautiful outdoor plants, which I will need when I kill those we just planted. There were also plenty of little shops stuck behind the stalls, boasting planters and other house goods. But on this day, with the sun out and 25 degrees, we found our peonies and headed on our way.

Next time? I'll set the alarm a tad bit earlier!

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