Homes and Antiques Magazine - - TRAVEL -

Run­ning through the bustling area of Shored­itch in the hip­ster E2 patch of east Lon­don, the cob­bled Vic­to­rian street known as Columbia Road wel­comes thou­sands of vis­i­tors ev­ery Sun­day when the ower mar­ket, which started in the 1860s, bursts into life. Most of the 60 or so shops are in­de­pen­dent and, while busi­nesses come and go, they re­main an un­usual mix of ar­ti­san mak­ers, vin­tage and an­tiques stores such as Two Columbia

Road (, and bou­tiques sell­ing gar­de­na­lia, fash­ion and food – Ma­son &

Pain­ter (ma­so­nand­ uk), and The Gar­den Shop to name a cou­ple. Margaret Wil­lis of Vin­tage Heaven (vin­tage, who has been here for 11 years sell­ing vin­tage home­ware and also runs a cafe in her shop, be­lieves it is the

ower mar­ket that sus­tains them. ‘ It is a beau­ti­ful spec­ta­cle,’ she says. The road’s up­com­ing ‘Christ­mas Wed­nes­days’ fall on 12th and 19th De­cem­ber, when stores open for late-night shop­ping with carol singing pro­vided by the lo­cal vicar, ac­com­pa­nied by a piano that is wheeled down the street.

ABOVE At num­ber 82 Columbia Road you’ll find Vin­tage Heaven, a home­ware-cum-cake shop that houses a wide ar­ray of col­lectable items from glass and ce­ram­ics to fab­ric, and even a small se­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture. BE­LOW The fa­mous Flower Mar­ket is a huge draw to this hip and hap­pen­ing area of east Lon­don.

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