The English Roses

Hi everyone – here are my photos from a beautiful Sunday morning that I spent exploring Columbia Road market, London. Scroll down to the bottom if you want to read more about my day there…

Ahh – Columbia Road Flower Market – I seriously had so much fun on the morning that I visited – Sunday 10.10.10. Paris Fashion Week had just ended and I’d decided to head to London for a week or so to shoot street fashion. I absolutely love the street market scene in London and had decided to combine exploring some of the best markets with shooting – two birds, one stone. Of all the markets that I hit in this trip – Columbia Road, Portobello Road, Brick Lane, and Broadway Market – I had the best time at Columbia Road. Why? Well first of all – as you can see in my photos – the weather was unreal – as in, “Are you sure I’m actually still in London?” unreal. Also, it was nice to be out in the morning. London’s nightlife is also amazing of course and my days there can sometimes get off to a late start as a result. Also, Columbia Road is quite some distance from London’s tourist-friendly West End – and it’s not convenient to the Tube either – so the crowd was mostly East End locals out enjoying the great weather. Compared to the mobs that can descend on the weekend at Portobello/Brick Lane/Spitalfields, Columbia Road felt positively civilized. There’s a really special atmosphere there that is unlike any other London market. A few more thoughts:
There were lots of attractive girls…and quite a few of them were wearing floral dresses/prints. The fact that a flower market would draw lots of girls is not surprising…but I did find the floral prints thing a bit surprising…and I couldn’t help but wonder whether this was a conscious or subconscious choice when they were getting dressed that morning? In fact, I didn’t even notice just how many girls I’d shot who were wearing floral prints until I was editing the photos later. So I have proof that at least one person there that day (me) was subconsciously drawn to all things floral!
If you go, you must walk around the corner to the Ezra Street yard. While the stalls on Columbia Road proper are “flowers and plants only”, the yard on Ezra Street is home to a mini-flea market. After you have a stroll through the flowers, check here for a small but carefully curated selection of vintage clothes, records, and bric-a-brac. Worth noting – in the back corner of the yard you will see two small signs – with lines of people standing in front of each. One sign says, “Order coffee here”…the other sign says, “Order breakfast here”. You should take these at face value and do exactly as they say – these signs are commands, not suggestions. The coffee is served by a guy who is the UK barista champion…the breakfast part is breakfast sandwiches. Both are unreal. I had this massive and freshly cooked bacon, sausage, and egg sandwich…the bacon is British bacon so it’s quite similar to ham if you’re American…the sausage is this rustic country sausage that they split open on the grill and cook until the edges are crispy…the egg is fried. Market schmarket – I would literally come back here just for breakfast.
And – as if all this wasn’t enough – this was just my morning activity! Later on that day I walked from Columbia Road over to Brick Lane and shot photos there all afternoon. It was a banner day for street style, let me tell you. I’ll be posting those Brick Lane photos soon!
And lastly – a question for the old-school Cockney flower stall holders aka “the barrow boys” – Is there anything that’s not “three for a fiver”? xx Mr. Newton

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This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. love the lass in the shorts with the nude top! tres chic!

  2. beautiful ladies!

  3. those are some good lookin’ gals. there must be something in the ale.

  4. all these women have such beautiful looks! Great post



  5. I always love the light in your photos. AWESOME!

    You always pick the best girls to shoot!

  6. I get hungry just from reading this and I’m also a vegetarian! That can’t be right πŸ˜‰ That third girl is reaaaally pretty, she’s just glowing! xx

  7. Gorgeous, Mr Newton! I’ve fallen in love with 3rd girl from above! Did she say to you, when she is going to meet me? πŸ˜‰

  8. They’re all beautiful, Mr. Newton!

  9. Katie, Michelle, Amalie, Leigh, Shilpi, everyone – thank you!

    Hi Bojan – I’m glad you like the photos! I’ll email the 3rd girl and ask her when she is free to meet you.

    Hi Anne – haha…well I’m glad that my description succeeded in making you hungry…because that’s pretty much what I was aiming for…but I’m sorry to barge in on your vegetarianism that way!

  10. your photos are amazing! πŸ™‚
    kisses from australia!

  11. This made me feel like I was at the market. Thanks for the beautiful style and light captured in the photos and for so effectively capturing time and place with your words.

  12. Love picture no.6- the houses fading away with the beautiful lamppost just edging in and the sunlight that’s making everyone’s hair glow.
    Such a lovely day for plant-perusing…
    girl number 3-x

  13. the natural sunlight is beautiful. and also all those long-stemmed flowers & sunny smiles πŸ™‚

  14. What great shots and beautiful scenarios you have photographed your models.
    Every single one of them are very stylish…
    Well done
    Lee x

  15. Spectacular photos, as usual. It’s always inspiring to look at your web page for the style (the outfits) and your photographic style.

  16. I love the sweater and shorts combos, especially the suede shorts!

  17. Ahhh, I love these girl’s sense of style! This is so inspiring!

    Your blog is superb.


    La Copine


  18. I have long been a fan of the street style when I visit London. But you have captured some absolute gems. Both in the fashion sense displayed…and in the loveliness of the subjects…and in the glorious sunlit radiance of each scene (you must have had your own lighting rig–London is almost never THAT sunny). The redhead in the cable knit maxi skirt makes me want to cry for the effortless beauty she embodies. Well done!

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