Tag Archives: buskers

Step Twenty-Six: Southbank Centre Christmas market

29 Nov

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Southbank. One of my favourite parts of London. Not just for the views, the beautiful sunsets, the cultural buzz but also the Christmas market.

When I first started my blog, the aim was to do 52 Steps in 52 weeks. It’s been a year since I wrote about the market for the first time, when I was on Step Seven, and although I’m only half way through my Steps and haven’t exactly reached my target, it means I get to revisit the topic again.

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We pretty much did the same fail-proof routine.

Walk up the market, listen to the buskers, ooh and aah at St Paul’s lit up, get into the festive spirit, warm up with some Bailey’s hot chocolate, walk back down the market, touch all the soft Alpaca jumpers and not buy any because I already have five, watch the chimney cakes being made, drink the first mulled wine of the season, pick and try some cheese, take selfie photos in front of the Eye, watch the carousel swing round and finally, the main reason I go to Christmas markets, stuff my face with German food.

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The details:

Location: Queen’s Walk, Southbank. Tube: Waterloo.

Opening times: Mon-Fri, 11am-10pm, Sat-Sun, 10am-10pm.

Prices: drinks from £3, food from £4.

Open until 24th December.

Step Fourteen: where hipsters buy flowers

11 May

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Street food markets are right up my strasse, so at first I was a little skeptical about visiting a flower market – I didn’t want any flowers, so why would I go? – but hats off to the Columbia Road Flower Market. It was a great way of spending a Sunday morning.

The market does what it says on the tin. Just one road, lined with stalls and stalls of flowers. There was definite hustle and bustle, traders crying out in a typical sales banter way, tourists and hipsters jostling each other down the road carrying bouquets and potted pots, and the smell of nature cushioning you as you walk.

If you aren’t good with crowds, don’t come here. But if you can just about manage, it’s worth a visit to pick up flowers, plants, herbs or seeds for reasonable prices. Anything from tulips to roses to black lilies to cabbage. Yes, cabbage.

Regardless of whether you plan to buy or not, it’s a good place to people watch and admire the characters of East London, wander round the little boutique shops on Columbia Road, stop for a little respite in the outdoor cafés and restaurants, or just chill out and listen to the buskers.

Overall, a buzzy market, as it should be. Just mind the crowds.

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Details:

Location: Columbia Road, between Old Street and Bethnal Green tube stations

Opening times: Sunday, 8am-3pm

To see the official website, click here.

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