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A Day in the Life: An Insider's Guide to Columbia Road

Blooms, buskers and bacon balls - there's more to Columbia Road than just the market. Those secrets are best kept by the locals but fear not; one of our team lives bang at the heart of East London’s brightest market. Here’s a day in the life guide, so you can make the most of your next Sunday session out in Hackney.

By Tom Cleeland, @tomfolio

Sure, get down to the Market early to catch the sellers setting up shop and clearing their throats, but don't part with any cash just yet... We’ll come back to that. Instead, visit The Marksman pub and get your hands on some Bacon Balls. Effectively dough stuffed with bacon and cheese, but in a far more finessed manner. Need we say more?

Did you know there’s a farm in Hackney? Now you do; it's called Hackney City Farm and it’s lovely. You can get more breakfast if the bacon balls weren’t enough, or fuel up with a coffee. Don’t forget to smash a selfie in the chicken coop. And no, that isn’t a euphemism. 

You’ve had your fill of animals. Now for some art. There’s a gallery on Shipton Street. It’s called Shipton Street Gallery… Only open on Sundays, you may well find something to hang in your hipster pad. Or at least have a lovely chat with the owner.

Head back across the market to Elwin Street. Don’t forget your phone. The beautiful Georgian terraces and occasional vintage car make this one an Instagram mission not to be missed. 

Lunchtime. Head to the Royal Oak where you'll find a roast that Queeny and the clan would happily put their name to. There’s a tasty selection of wines and craft beers to wash it all down with too. And a beer garden. So much to love.

Back to the market, and it’s time to part with some cash (liquid courage and all that). Grab a bargain as the sellers b-line for home at the end of the day. And pop behind the stalls to the new Pavilion Bakery outlet for a last minute sourdough to take back on the bus.

Wine o’clock? Nip over to The Stationer. There won't be any space inside, so grab a corner of curb and enjoy the best of the evening sun as a busker or two serenades you. Don’t forget to tip. 

Okay, decision time…are you going big or going home? We say stick around and stop by the Birdcage for pies, pints and pub vibes to see you into the evening.

Phew. We’re knackered.