Last time I posted about Columbia Road Market, I had forgotten to take my phone or camera, so when we went back today I took some photos of my favourite haunts there. The iphone isn't the best camera for a dull day, so I apologise for the quality.
I will start with a general overview of the market, before taking you round some of my favourite haunts. First and foremost, the Sunday morning market is a fabulously cheap place to pick up plants and flowers. It's a gardener's paradise.
There is a mind-boggling range of market stalls offering everything from bedding plants to seeds to herbs to cut flowers. It reminds me of Hampton Court Flower Show in the variety and quality of the items for sale, but about half the usual price. Most of our favourite specimen plants have been lugged back from here at some point in the last 10 years or so.
But although the flowers and plants attracted us there, it is the boutiques and shops that bring us back time after time. Here are some of my favourites.
First up, the Fleapit, one of the fantastic retro coffee shops in the area.
All the furniture and even the crockery feels like it is straight out of my childhood home. Well, if my parents had stuck to their original 1970s style, I suppose.
It is a great place to get a home-made cupcake and a coffee to start you off on a cold morning.
First stop after coffee was Vintage Heaven, where they have the most fabulous collection of vintage crockery, kitchenalia and fabrics.
It's an absolute treasure trove of bits and bobs, and not so expensive that you can't pick up something quite reasonable to add to your rapidly expanding vintage fabric collection (eek).
This time I got a set of chair covers for some dining room chairs that haven't made it out of my head into reality yet.
Next up, Treacle the cupcake shop, which is the only reason my girls still get excited about the whole experience.
They definitely have a way with icing and pink sparkles that hits the spot:
The smaller cupcakes are £1. Although it's a lot of money for a mouthful of cake, it is worth it for the rapturous reception the girls give it, and the 10 minutes peace and quiet it buys me to browse the other shops and galleries to follow.
Fred Bare, a shop dedicated to interesting handmade hats:
Lots of shops full of vintage inspired nicknacks:
A retro sweet shop:
Beyond Fabrics sell a range of haberdashery supplies and lots of fabrics sold by the metre:
I love the range they have, again many either vintage or retro-inspired designs.
This is really just a very small selection of some of my favourite places. There are baby boutiques, vintage clothes shops, as well as many places to buy unusual gifts. It's very hard to come away without buying anything, but you also bring with you a hoard of ideas and inspiration.