We adore the quaint mish-mash of independent shops of Columbia Road. We only wish they were open more often. Step in Christmas Wednesdays, a series of late night shopping evenings, with lashings of festivity thrown in.
For four Wednesdays in November and December, the east London street's shops stay open late, and the thoroughfare is closed to traffic. Wander in and out of the shops, chat to the owners and make progress on your Christmas shopping in quirky gift shops and boutiques. Sure, lots of the stores are plant-centric, what with being located on the famous flower market. However, the street is also home to jewellery, art, homeware, antique, kitchenware, toy and art shops.
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It couldn't be much further from the corporate madness of mainstream high streets and shopping centres at this time of year, and almost feels like going back in time to a far more traditional Christmas. Carol singers serenade the crowds, pubs and cafes sell mulled wine, the scent spilling out on the pavements, and everyone has a jolly good time of it, all while supporting independent stores.
Still not convinced — are you some sort of Scrooge? Here's a look at the festive fun on offer:
Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays 2019 take place on 27 November, 4, 11 and 18 December, 5pm-9pm. It's free to attend, no need for a ticket.