Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Spring fever on Columbia Road

                                                                 

The Met Office says spring doesn't officially start until march 21st. The Met Office was obviously squirrelled away in a bunker this weekend, making inaccurate predictions about BBQ summers, because spring has unofficially sprung my friends, and not a moment too soon. Bring on the Easter eggs and gamboling lambs.

Is there a nicer way to welcome in the new season than stocking up on spring blooms and fairy cakes at Columbia Road Market? Unfortunately, D and I weren't the only ones attempting to frolick our way down this teensy strip of blooms and independent shops - it seemed like le tout East London was snagging some mother's day florals. The result? Cheery pandemonium.

                                              

We fortified ourselves for the scrum with flat whites from Gwilym Davies. The 2009 World Barista Champion is the pied piper of caffeine, attracting devoted followers wherever he takes his roving coffee cart. On Sunday's you can find him tucked away in a yard on Ezra Street just off Columbia Road, turn right by the vintage cake stands but if you reach the sausage baps you've gone too far. Just follow the queue of sparkly-eyed caff-angelists waiting patiently for London's smoothest, creamiest, toffee-noted cappucinos, lattes and flat whites. Ironically, given that punters follow him wherever he roams, Gwilyn is also the man behind the genius coffee disloyalty card.



With coffee, so follows cake. But it wasn't to be. A plague of carb-craving locusts had decended on English cake shop Treacle, leaving the shop Mother Hubbard-bare...



The crowds were so dense, Barney decided he needed to be carried by his entourage...




Deprived of the holy trinity: fat, sugar, sprinkles, we contented ourselves instead with a rumage at Vintage Heaven and Cakehole. This glorious trove of china, rare books, fabrics and kitchenalia is full of retro treats...



                                                    
tableware in exclusive Pinch of Salt colourway


Brilliant - Marguerite Pattern's Food from Abroad

By lunchtime the market had gone from this...



To this...



So it was time to make like this dude's tree...



and leave...


...Back to D's in Stoke Newington for turkish bread and the tabloids, fizz, seven-hour lamb shoulder and a rhubarb parfait. Get the bunting out, it's spring - and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


                      

                                                   

1 comment:

Lickedspoon said...

What a lovely account Salty, such great pics. I wish I'd picked up that Marguerite Patten, decision making dulled by the hoardes no doubt. Perhaps today will be more frolicsome, less crowded... D

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