A Girly Sunday in East London
I get asked a lot where to go in London, whilst I haven’t lived there for a long time (coming up to 4 years now) I did know the city like the back of my hand and I still visit weekly. Whilst I may not be on top of new openings as I used to be I can definitely steer you in the right direction of some wonderful places to go if you’re a visitor to the city.
Last Sunday (yesterday) my marvellous friend & podcast co-host, Liv and I planned the perfect girly day in East London as a catch up was much over due. One of my number one things to do anytime of the year is visit Columbia Road Flower market, it’s a road in East London, that hosts a flower market every Sunday come rain or shine. The stall holders are flower traders and sell the flowers at near enough wholesale price, meaning you will come away with lots of flowers in your arms. There’s also lots of independent shops and coffee places that aren’t always open all week round. It really comes to life on a Sunday!
It does get busy, so do go early if you want to avoid the crowds. I’ve been told that you can get some flowers a bit cheaper if you go later on, but I already think they are a great price and prefer it a bit quieter. It opens at 8am, I’ve never quite been that early but 9am should see it peaceful enough. First stop for me is always Lily Vanilli. Lily has been in this spot for 8 years and believe me when I say her bakes are well worth the hype. I recommend her Friands, tarts and sausage rolls (there’s also a vegetarian one too). Not forgetting her brownies are the best I’ve tasted, they are really fudge like and delicious….I’ve just finished one whilst writing this blog post, in the name of research of course.
Other places to look out for in Columbia Road are Campania on Ezra Street, just a stones throw from Lily Vanilli. The Cake Hole is at the back of Vintage Heaven, and is well worth a visit. I also recommend Milagros, which imports lots of Mexican homewares, including hand made tiles, I’m never not inspired walking around that shop. My other favourite is just next door, Maison and Painter have the most beautiful vintage homewares and always inspire me with their displays. There’s so many other lovely shops, you really can’t go wrong. Wander in and out them all and I am sure you’ll pick up something marvellous to take home as a souvenir.
The pink and peach doors that you might have seen on my Instagram a fair few times, are located on Elwin Street. If I won the lottery I’d be buying one of these houses, I just love them - they remind me of 1960s London.
You could happily spend all day wandering through the surrounding streets, but we had a plan. A pampering plan if you will, and we’d booked in for two pedicures at Cowshed at The Ned. I would happily say that was one of the best five decisions I’ve made in this lifetime. The speedy pedicure if £55 for 50 minutes, whilst not the cheapest pedicure it definitely felt like one the most relaxing ones I have had. Sat in the big chairs, in decadent surroundings, with a heavy pillow on my lap made me relax in an instant.
Stepping inside The Ned, is like stepping back in time. The building itself used to be a bank and has 250 bedrooms and 10 restaurants. At that scale it sounds like attention to detail might be forgotten, but it is anything but. Built in the 1920s, the building is grand on every scale, and I’d happily move in if they’d have me. We ate at Zobbler’s, and had the Rueben and Lower East side, it was all delicious and we were so full we struggled to finish off our pastrami and cheese fries. They do a bottomless brunch here too, for £20 all the Mimosa’s you can drink (Perrier Jouet champagne too) but as this was a podcast planning day I thought it best to remain focused.
The Sunday Feast looked EXCELLENT. For £45 you can graze at many of the decant foods prepared and displayed like a feast at Hogwarts. The middle of Millie’s Lounge is a raised platform where singers and musicians perform music that will make you think you’ve just stepped into a scene from the Marvellous Mrs Maisel. I am told they also have Swing nights on a Sunday evening, it’s well worth signing up to their mailing list to find out about all their events. I can’t wait to go back and try their afternoon tea at Millie’s Lounge, a poke bowl at Kaia, their Asian pacific inspired restaurant and hopefully one day resting my head on one of their pillows in the rooms above. And a quick note for anyone wondering, you don't have to be a member to visit The Ned, anyone can go, there's just extra parts if you are a member of Soho House, but there's more than enough to entertain you, if like me, you're not.
All in all we had the best day, and I wanted to share it with you in case you have a date with a friend (or the romantic kind) coming up, and wanted to do something lovely, as I know the choice in London can be overwhelming sometimes. I will post some more of my favourite places in London again soon, let me know in the comments what you think or if you want to see something in particular!
And you can listen to our podcast ‘The Fringe Of It’ on all podcast apps. Season 3 will be coming very soon!