We’ve visited Columbia Road before, but at Christmas this East London street transforms into something else altogether.
Lined with 50+ independent shops, Columbia Road is a haven for people who want their shopping experience to be… an experience. Aside from the bustling flower market that dominates the street on Sundays, there’s a focus on unusual homewares and quirky fashion that makes Columbia Road a destination at any time of the year. However, during December, the stores open for late night shopping every Wednesday night, and the street lights up both literally and metaphorically. You’ll find mulled wine and cider, mince pies and gingerbread, Christmas carols, Christmas tree sellers and, of course, shopping. Here are this year’s highlights from the first Christmas Wednesday.
Above: Angela Flanders makes luscious perfumes for both bodies and homes, and the store is dressed up in dramatic gold Christmas decorations. We love their porcelain discs which have been pre-soaked in perfume, and will keep your wardrobe or car smelling heavenly for months.
Above: Silk Reindeer Tree Decorations and other trinkets from Nom Living. Among many other things, Nom sell beautiful burnished coconut shell bowls in a whole rainbow of colours. As you can see, they’re also very generous with their in-store nibbles!
Above: Food to-go from Lee’s Seafoods, a charming little hole-in-wall with the curliest brown dog you’ve ever seen hanging behind the counter. Below: A cosy little pop-up store selling exquisite, handmade jewellery by Annie Sherburne. The pieces are made from reworked vintage components.
Above: The crockery paradise that is Vintage Heaven. Teacups, table linens and vintage kitchenware galore. Cake Hole (at the back of the shop) was serving giant hotdogs in addition to dainty cakes last Wednesday! Below: The Gift Cellar in the basement of Pot Luck sells lots of colourful, retro bits and pieces.
Above: Milagros, which is filled with spectacular, bold and whimsical homewares imported from Mexico. Think glazed tiles, tin decorations and colourful glassware. Below: Mason & Painter, for a well-edited selection of earthy vintage homewares. You’ll find school biology diagrams, succulents in worn terracotta pots, and delicious smelling candles.
Above: Jessie Chorley The Shop, which was renovated in summer of this year. It is filled with Jessie’s gorgeous hand made journals and ornaments which she makes on site – the store doubles as a workshop. If you follow Roger la Borde, you might recognise Jessie’s beautiful Full-Colour Journal amongst these pictures!
Below: Ryantown, Rob Ryan’s white-walled art boutique! Inside you’ll find Rob’s incredibly intricate original artwork being sold alongside the more ‘everyday’ products to come from his studio, from elaborately patterned jugs and plates, to cushions and even printed masking tape.
I thoroughly recommend that you head east on (at least) one Wednesday this month. Go for the shopping, and stay for the mulled wine! Enjoy!