Columbia Road Flower Market….And Donuts!

5N8A7575 2With American Mothers' Day approaching quickly (it's on Sunday May 11th, if you're in the dark), I wanted to write a post with my dear mother in mind and perhaps offer the perfect day out for all of you American moms over on this side of the pond. Nothing reminds me of my mother like flowers! I'm only sad that we never made it here when she visited last time.  She'd be able to name every variety on sale and would swoon at the scale. A street full of cut flowers for those without a green thumb (me) and tubs of shrubs, herbs, and flowers ready to be transplanted into gardens all over London, Columbia Road Flower Market in East London is a life-affirming Sunday outing.   On Mothering Sunday here in the UK, about a month ago, my dear husband and I went to visit - perhaps not the ideal Sunday to visit as the weather was stunning and it seemed everyone in London had the same idea. By the time we arrived at what we thought was the early hour of 9:30, the street was already jammed with hawkers and families.  I adore the sound of the flower sellers calling out their offers in their coarse East London accents - like something from a bygone era.We had arrived early so we could take photos for a blog post I was working on for Travel & Leisure about 1235 Donuts.  College sweethearts from Ole Miss, Molly and Brad McDonald's beignet style donuts have quickly become the talk of London, and after eating at their Southern American style restaurant, The Lockhart, in Marylebone, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about myself. I'm declaring that donuts are the new cupcakes.  Please see exhibit A: the crab donuts at the Chiltern Firehouse are legendary after just 2 months. Exhibit B: The reknowned St. John restaurant is also offering them. Anyway, we took some snaps of this adorable family and their gorgeous donuts (Chef Brad makes the donuts at his restaurant each Saturday night, storing them down the road and filling them just before serving, literally out of their front door).  Having left behind a successful Brooklyn restaurant that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, this couple offers a warmth and Southern charm that London could use a lot more of.  The donuts (gluttons that we are we tried all three flavors of the day: chocolate, coffee, and vanilla) are delicious and alone are worth the trip East.