When the weekend finally rolls around again after a long week’s grind, it’s hard to think of anything other than that first drink come 5pm on a Friday. But wait, the weekend isn’t all about drinking your bodyweight in wine and devouring endless amounts of incredible Vietnamese food - there are other things to do you know.
Yes, there’s nothing wrong with a boozy lunch on Saturday, followed by a boozier dinner in the evening, but sometimes it’s quite nice to give the pub a miss and discover the non-indulgent treats that east London has to offer. At the very least, your liver will thank you for it come Sunday.
Have a little detox this weekend and see what’s going on outside the beer gardens around you.
Columbia Road flower market
Image a whole street, transformed into a wonderful collage of colour, plants and verdant foliage. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well every Sunday you can experience this sensual treat down at the Columbia Road flower market between 8am and 3pm.
Here, you’ll find everything from huge azaleas to potted plants to banana trees - basically whatever you’re after in the plant department. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for something to brighten up the kitchen or an entirely new theme for your summer garden, Columbia Road is the place to find the plant you want.
Aside from the green-thumbed treats, the street itself is lined with over 50 independent little stores selling art, vintage clothing, delicious deli treats and more - it’s ideal for a Sunday jaunt sans hangover.
V&A Museum of Childhood
There’s nothing like a spot of culture on the weekend, and the V&A Museum of Childhood is the perfect place to get your fix and re-live your childhood at the same time. This popular branch of the well-known V&A Museum is located right on your doorstep in Bethnal Green and has stood firm, in one form or another, since 1872.
Today, the museum focuses on the joys of childhood and has the largest collection of childhood objects in the UK. Toys, art, photography, costumes and more are on show for all to interact with, from the very young to adults looking to avert their wine-cravings with a trip to the museum.
At the moment, you will find the intriguing Hidden Identities Unfinished on show which reveals the lives of children living in difficult conditions in Bosnia and Romania. Other displays include Small Stories: At Home in a Dolls' House, a look back into the history if this much-loved toy as well as at some of the most popular dolls’ houses in the UK.
Spitalfields City Farm
A farm in the heart of London? That’s right. Spitalfields is a real working farmyard complete with plots, chickens and a donkey. The main attraction is probably the fantastic green spaces and gardens that are set up around the farm. Highlights include the Grass Road, Wildlife Garden, Plant Nursery and the Volunteer's Vegetable Garden - just watch out for the wandering geese!
As well as the beautifully quirky gardens, you can also buy flowers and herbs on the weekends.
The farm has been going since 1978 when it was set up by a group of locals and it’s so popular that there’s actually a waiting list for those who want to get involved and help out. While you wait for a space, there’s nothing stopping you from going down to see the animals and enjoy the gardens.