London, Laura Style: Hackney City Farm and Columbia Road Flower Market

Graffiti outside coffee shop

One sunny Sunday Laura, Dan, Eric and I tramped out of the house to explore Hackney -Laura Style. She was kind enough to take us around to some her favorite local spots, which we just loved. We started out by having breakfast at the scrumptious  {this word is not meant to be whimsical here. just pure fact.} Violet Cakes. We all picked our favorite treats and ate and sipped our coffees in the fresh air.

Violet Cakes

After our nosh we made our way through Hackney along Regents Canal. I had no idea that there were these pretty canals interwoven through outer London- it was a lovely surprise.

Laura then brought us to the Hackney City Farm. Open to the public, this spot is a fully functioning farm in the middle of the suburban city.

Hackney City Farm

It’s an educational project to teach kids and the surrounding community about farming. They have small animals like rabbits and gerbils, chickens and roosters as well as bigger fauna like pigs and donkeys! We did the petting zoo thing saying hello to them all.

This is at the entrance to the farm. Some of the birds are just mozying around.

Roosters and Chickens

I loved these taupe colored ducks and bossy geese

Just about died when I saw these pigs all loved up and basking in the sun.

King Goose.

We made our way towards the outer, larger field where they had some more wandering animals. I was embarrassingly excited to see their sheep because they were the kind of sheep from the storybooks of my childhood! I never see sheep that have the white wool and black noses and feet! So cool! {like I said, embarrassingly excited}

Baa Baa {kinda} black sheep.

Lone Donkey who seemed to preside over all.

After much squealing {on my part} and petting we left the Farm to wind our way towards the Columbia Road Flower Market. I absolutely loved this bit. This street market that centers around the Flower Sellers, it seems to have blossomed out into a food vendors bazaare-little nooks and crannies teeming with bakeries and cheese shops squeezed into little storefronts. There lots of people milling in and out of the retail shops, listening to the bands playing en plein aire and sampling the tasty delights dotted throughout the market.

Columbia Road Flower Market

Musicians at Columbia Road Flower Market

Laura and I darted into shops to explore and daydream about their wares, Dan and Eric wandered in {some of the time} and put up with our object-lust. We made our way down the main thoroughfare of the market. The flower sellers were calling back and forth to each other, loud and proud about their flowers. I felt like I was in Pygmalion for a minute.

Hanging Peppers

bunches of blossoms

We ended the day seeing all there was to see, admiring all the flowers, shops, musicians and food. I was so grateful to see this bit of the neighborhood that I probably would have never known about on my own. As always, Laura and Dan were so generous with their time and we felt even more like {almost} Londoners-having been introduced to this bit of the city. One of our favorite days in London by far!

<3 Chelsea


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