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Buy flowers in Columbia Road

27 Feb
Columbia Road Flower Market by Yukino Miyazawa
One of the best things about London is its markets, from bric-a-bac and  antiques to food and flowers. Columbia Road plays host to such a flower market every Sunday from 9am. It’s an amazing tonic to be surrounded by blooms growing, cut, in flower or bulb form on a small stretch of street in London’s East End. Come with cash in hand and a basket big enough to carry your buys as you will be tempted to take home more than a bunch and have some of that flower magic with you for the start of the week.
Warning: it does get crowded and you may find yourself pushed along with the flow of people but it’s the  perfect excuse to just begin walking along the stretch again. The shops on the road also offer some respite. Start Space is a great gallery which has a welcome garden at the back with great coffee, there’s paper artist Rob Ryan’s Ryantown, cutesy cupcake and kitchenware seller Treacle, simple but appealing crockery at Pot Luck or more retro Vintage Heaven and its tearoom Cakehole.

Go gaga over a brownie

19 Jan

Because I’m committed to this blog so much, I sacrificed an early evening of a glass of wine and mushroom omelette at home to take a detour from work and visit Paul A Young, chocolatier in Soho.

Thinking I could walk away with a little bar of dark, I ended up stuffing a brownie (rather embarrassingly) in my plastic Morrison’s bag after I saw Time Out rated it the best in London.

I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for ‘best’ lists and just so I can casually drop: ‘These have been voted the best brownie in London’  as I walk past any of Paul A Young’s three outlets, I had to give it a try.

And it is indeed worthy of the title – silky, squidgy and oh-so chocolatey, I’ve had to leave half ready to rate again tomorrow night.

Oh yes, Paul A Young make other things as well – there was a pot of hot chocolate bubbling, various bars of milk and dark chocolate and salted caramel truffles and even chocolate ingredients for keen cooks – be aware it isn’t cheap (the brownie was £3.75), but then you don’t get voted ‘best brownie’ for nothing.


Find something in Harrods for under a fiver

18 Jan

I remember when I was younger, if someone went to London they always brought back something from Harrods – whether it was a pencil or much coveted teddy bear. It’s a tourist trap with its elevators, opulent food halls and smartly suited staff.

And I suppose for all of the above, it’s worth a visit and I usually make an annual trip, usually at Christmas to check out the grotto and buy a ‘Harrods Christmas pudding’. But I didn’t get there last year and decided to pop in during the January sales to see if among all the bling I could find a bargain (the price limit being a fiver).

It would help if they had a guide telling us what was on each floor and after wandering through the £500+ (on sale!) women’s clothing I made it to the food hall, thinking there’d be something there cheaper.  And after much price inspection, I did complete the challenge – even though it was only a box of herbal tea, but from Harrods no less.