Christmas at Columbia Road Flower Market , Hackney, East London, E2 7RG

The festive build up to Christmas at Columbia Road Flower Market in the East End, is like a scene out of ‘Love Actually’. It’s where Londoners go to buy evergreens and enjoy brunch on Sunday mornings.

christmas shopping Columbia Road Flower Market

Londoners go to Columbia Road to buy Christmas trees and evergreens

Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly

In early December, trendy Londoners and tourists in-the-know, flock to Columbia Road Flower Market on Sunday mornings to buy everything they need to ‘deck the halls with boughs of holly’. Last Sunday, it was buzzing with the excitement of people buying Christmas trees, bunches of mistletoe, branches of red berries and garlands, to decorate their homes. Stands brimmed with colourful Christmas wreaths ready to adorn London’s smart front doors and announce that the festive season has begun in the city. Extra Christmas shimmer came too from the Pearly King and Prince spotted amongst the crowds.

Red Christmas berries Columbia Road Flower Market London

Christmas berries and foliage

Christmas Garlands Columbia Road Flower Market

Colourful Christmas wreaths

Have a Festive Breakfast

The market traders set up their stands early so many people come along bleary-eyed from the night before, ready for a strong coffee and an East End breakfast. For over thirty years, the family-run Café Columbia has been serving bagels every week so it’s traditional for shoppers to eat one for breakfast. Choose old favourites like smoked salmon & cream cheese, crayfish tails with cream cheese or a cranberry Christmas turkey festive special, maybe with a glass of mulled wine?

Christmas Bagel with turkey and cranberry sauce

Christmas Bagels

Mulled wine for sale Columbia Road Market

Mulled wine

Have Christmas Coffee in a Cowshed

There are coffee stalls squeezed in doorways and shop windows but if you want to sit at a table and people watch, try S. Jones on Erza Street. A century ago, it was a Dairy selling milk, butter and cheese from 8 cows kept in the cowshed behind the shop. Today in the café – the former cowshed – you can enjoy a great coffee but also a fresh fish and oyster brunch. For freshly baked bread and mince pies, pop into The Pavilion Bakery, and for gorgeous and very pretty cakes, Lilli Vanilli, in the courtyard, is the place to go.

Mince Pie Pavillion Bakery Columbia Road London

Mince pies at the Pavilion Bakery

Cakes at Lili Vanilli Bakery Columbia Road Flower Market

Cakes at the Lili Vanilli Bakery

Go Vintage Shopping

The flower market is sandwiched between Columbia Road’s two rows of Victorian shops. Proudly independent, they burst with vintage finds and the creative expression of their owners. It’s the place to source unique and one-off gifts many made by local artisans and designers. What to Buy: Champagne coupes (and vintage handbags) from Glitterati, Portugese food specialities from A Portugese Love Affair, kitchenalia from Pot Luck, scents and candles from Angela Flanders.

Silver Vintage handbags Glitterati Columbia Road Market

Vintage handbags at Glitterati

Father Christmas Glass Decorations

Traditional Christmas decorations


  • Columbia Road Flower Market takes places on Sundays from 8am-3pm
  • Arrive after 2pm and the market traders starting cutting their prices, shouting ‘everything for a fiver’
  • Special Christmas shopping evenings are on Wednesdays in December from 5pm-9pm
  • Combine with a visit to the Christmas Past Exhibition at the Geffrye Museum which is a short walk away

How to Find Columbia Road Flower Market 


Columbia Road Flower Market, Hackney, East London, E2 7RG

The Foodie Travel Guide

The Foodie Travel Guide

Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures. 

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