On the street: Columbia Road E2

Every Sunday, this narrow east London street bursts into bloom. Its flower stalls front a row of Victorian specialist shops, most of which open only at weekends (or by appointment)
Flower market on Columbia Road
© Graham Hussey
Every Sunday, this narrow east London street bursts into bloom. Its flower stalls front a row of Victorian specialist shops, most of which open only at weekends (or by appointment and on the web), so check before visiting at www.columbiaroad.info

1. Suck and Chew (130 Columbia Road; www.suckandchew.co.uk) is an updated old-school pocket-money sweetie shop. For a nostalgic, sticky treat, try Harrogate toffee (£3.50) or Farrah's fudge (£5.95). Scoff the contents, treasure the tin.
Love: genuine coronation/jubilee mugs. Vintage tins from Thirties to Sixties, filled with toffees, about £20.

2. The Three Letter Man (146 Columbia Road; 07912 619226; www.threeletterman.com) sits in a fox mask in an upstairs window working fine embroidery learned at his Massachusetts mother's knee. Aka Nathan Thomas Hanford, he also sells vintage rag rugs from the Atlas Mountains, from £150.
Love: portraits in fine-line black stitches, to commission from £90.

3. Idonia Van der Bijl (122 Columbia Road) has quirky gifts.
Love: Wicked Witch mugs with dog handles, £19.95 — barking mad.

4. Ryantown, 126 Columbia Road; 020 7613 1510; www.misterrob.co.uk) is a gallery for illustrator Rob Ryan's fairytale whimsy.
Love: screen-printed Astonish Me! ceramic tile, £25

5. Pot Luck (132 Columbia Road; 020 7729 2679) says it's all right as long as it's white. The place is bursting with plain white bone china, selling at about 30 per per cent less than retail.
Love: classic bone china white dinnerware, eg large dinner plates, four for £32.

6. Keeping House (144 Columbia Road; 07979 851593; www.keepinghouseretail.co.uk) is cookery nook — use or give.
Love: Falcon pie dishes with a new tough enamel, £54.

7. Bahasa (114 Columbia Road; 020 7613 1933; www.bahasa.co.uk) offers eclectic design from its own Indonesian workshops.
Love: beautiful beetles in iridescent glass — creepy-crawly chic for £14.50.

8. Flower Market (Sundays, 8am to 3pm; 020 7613 0876; www.columbiaroad.info) features some sellers who have been trading for over 35 years. The air buzzes with banter as hawkers punt banana trees, bedding plants, herbs, every flower you can think of — and many you can't.
Love: large and very glam mixed bouquets, £6 (cost about £15+ on the high street).

9. Wawa (1 Ezra Street; 020 7729 6768; www.wawa.co.uk) does distinctive upholstery by Richard Ward.
Love: sofas that individually fit London bay windows, about £2,500.

10. Supernice (106 Columbia Road; 020 7613 3890; www.supernice.co.uk) is best in town for large-scale muraltype wall stickers.
Love: fairytale castle sticker — small, £40, large, £90.

Also visit


*Columbia Pottery (132 Columbia Road; 07960 809933) for gargantuan planters, with 10 sizes of classic terracotta from £1-£24.
*Two Columbia Road (2 Columbia Road; 020 7729 9933; www.twocolumbiaroad.co. uk), vintage furniture veterans.
*Metropolis (59 Columbia Road; 020 7739 0665) for London-made classic furniture, including leather club chairs.
*Warren Evans (7a Ezra Street; www.warrenevans.com), for legendary handmade beds.


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