Sundays At Columbia Road

As a Londoner, it is a known fact that as soon as there is a hint of sun, you go and explore the city. As I live in East London, there is always a lot to do. With so many great markets around; Broadway Market, Netil Market, Well Street Market and Chatsworth Road Market, you can go from one to the other if you want to! One of my favourites is Columbia Road Flower Market.

Columbia Road for me is the epitome of the East End. It has lot of character, great shops and a huge selection of plants and flowers. The traders shout out and make jokes in strong cockney accents. I love it but as it is a major tourist attraction, it gets realllllllllly busy. This time round it is potentially the busiest I have ever seen it! If you get there are the wrong time you can feel like you are wadding through a huge crowd yet getting nowhere and not seeing many flowers.


As I saw hints of spring I went with the aim to get my first flowers of the year. I picked up a mix of flowers for £10. I also got some pussy willow for about £3.50. I love pussy willow and have only just found out they last for a few years! What a great value for money!

Independent florists can be really expensive. The great thing about Columbia Road is that you get a chance to pick from a huge range of flowers at great prices and you keep a London institution alive!

 

Christmas In London

Christmas time comes round so quickly! I have been fully excited for a good month or so.  We put our tree up just before we went to Amsterdam and I have been in the full flow of catching up with many people’s Vlogmas’s on YouTube (yes, I am one of those people).

The lead up to Christmas can be quite a stressful and frantic time at the best of times but London seems to go into absolute overdrive. Thankfully, working in Central London means that I can pop to the shops on my lunch break. Soho is a stones throw from Oxford Street so it was perfect if I needed to pick anything up. The downside to working that central was how unbelievably busy it was. Journeys became even more of a nightmare and wanting to do anything after work meant you had the same idea as everyone else in London!


I live in Homerton. The great thing about East London is that it can be pretty self contained. I live near Hackney Marshes and the canal, I have supermarkets in Leyton and Hackney and it is only a very short bus journey to Stratford and Westfield. If I wanted to, I wouldn’t have to go anywhere else. This made a difference in the lead up to Christmas.

After a team lunch for the content and SEO lot at work on the Wednesday, there were drinks and the option to go home early. I took advantage of a quiet train time and got home for 4pm which was bliss! After tying up all loose ends on the Thursday and the Friday morning it was that time – my out of office was turned on and I had nothing to do until the 4th January!
I met my boyfriend in waterloo as he works nearby. We went for a wander and ended up in a place called the Olympic Cafe for lunch near Lower Marsh Market. For just over a tenner, we had a great lunch that I can’t recommend enough. I had a duck noodle soup whereas Andrew had a pork noodle soup with crackling. So tasty and exactly what we needed before the stressful food shop.


We went to Stratford as there was a larger M&S to get the rest of our food for the weekend. It was rammed, there was hardly anything on the shelves so we gave up a few minutes into the chaos. We hopped on the train and got off at Hackney Central where the M&S was much quieter and relatively stress free!

On Christmas Eve we headed to Hackney to go and get our Turkey. I didn’t want to leave the food shop til the Saturday as the thought of going on a wild goose chase for food was not what you wanted! Christmas was just me and my boyfriend this year, with the chance to see family a few days after Christmas instead. We did the same last year and it means our time is pretty chilled out and it is nice to relax after a frantic month or so. We’ve nailed the roast dinner too so there are not any disappointments along the way either.

When walking back home we picked up some cinnamon buns from Charles Artisan Bread on Lower Clapton Road. They were delicious and really similar to some incredible ones we had last year in Copenhagen! After an afternoon of chilling – Andrew playing FIFA and me watching Zoella and Tanya Burr – we headed to the pub.


Our local is great. Good food, beers are pretty cheap and a nice local feel. We love the Adam and Eve, it is a good spot to go for a drink or two. We then walked to The Elderfield (if you watch Tattoo Fixers they go in there regularly) nearby us for a few more beers. It had coo board games to get stuck into as you drank so we played a bit of draughts.

Christmas morning is different when you are a child. The excitement was still there but it was more because we saw lots of presents under the tree we wanted to rip open. It is a harsh reality when you realise how much of an adult you actually are. I now LOVE candles, pens, notebooks, blankets – all the stuff you found boring as a child. I got a moleskin notebook, a parker pen, lots of candles, books, smelly stuff or make up.

Our Christmas dinner was later in the day and was so good. When it is just the two of you, there doesn’t need to be a rush of having dinner early. I remember there being a rush to eat before 3pm and it isn’t necessary.


Christmas Day and Boxing Day were both incredibly relaxed. As we are in London, a Boxing Day walk means you can see some great sights of London. As we didn’t want to go too central we walked along the canal instead. Seeing the river boats and people walking their dogs felt like we weren’t even in London. It was only when you looked up and saw Stratford and the Olympic Park.

The one thing that is great about spending Christmas away from our families is that our festivities are only going to continue! We are going to spend a few days with my family then off to Newcastle. More presents, more lush food and more time to celebrate! Christmas in London does have its perks!

Love Rebecca xoxo

Let’s start from the beginning…

All blogs need to have a first post to set the scene. I usually have lots of ideas and thoughts that stay in my head so there was an opportunity to put it all down in one place! As a girl who has always lived in London, there is a lot of places I love and enjoy. Sightseeing, shopping, food and so much more is amazing in the capital.

I have spent the last year or so in East London after spending my time in areas of North London. Despite already being an adult, it was a large adjustment to move from the home I grew up in to a house that is my own. Decorating, cleaning and bills have become a normal part of my life. I gotta say, adulting is HARD. Saying that, all these little things make you feel quite accomplished (yes, I have become that person).

I like to try out different restaurants, cook different foods, go and explore different areas and take trips to other cities. I am also a self confessed make up addict but I am an amateur – contouring, cut creases and ombre lips are not on my radar – I just like trying things and hoping they look alright!

Another big love of mine is music, film and television. I studied Media at university and focused a lot on film theory. This means I am probably that annoying person who asks questions and go into the feelings and thoughts of characters. Lets just say I get quite invested in characters and stories.

London and the UK in general is a hard place to be opinionated. For all the things that have been going on over the last few years. However, despite all of this, it hard not to form an opinion. I try to be careful about political views I put on social media but there might be times that I may delve into it here.

Happy reading!

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Rebecca

North London Girl In The East End