BlogTour 2011 at London Design Festival was a whirlwind of trade shows, design exhibits, media events and fabulous dinners. All wonderful and inspiring but when we had Sunday morning off, I suggested we veer away from the buzzing design venues of London and re-discover one of my favorite destinations in London, Columbia road flower market. I’ve written about this place before and always feel compelled to wax poetic about the juxtaposition of the old brick buildings and cobblestone roads on one hand and the ocean of color that washes over Columbia road on Sundays, during the flower market.
Columbia road is not just about the flowers, mind you. There are street vendors, antique and vintage shops, tiny art galleries, some of which are actually not shops but the hallway of someone’s home.
There is always a street musician or band, surrounded by locals who treat Columbia Road more like a park or weekly festival, where they can gather, bring their children and spend a relaxed morning, oblivious of the busy metropolis that is London.
Columbia road is soothing to the mind and inspiring to the eye with hundreds of different flower varieties, offered for a “Fiver”, and it’s hard for us to not buy a bunch to bring back to our hotel rooms, if only for a day.
So many sides to London and always a contradiction to one another. It reminded me of a slogan about “Why I love Britain” I had written for a contest a while back :
It’s stubborn yet yielding, angry yet humorous, bold yet fragile, abrasive yet friendly. Most of all, it’s real.