Covent Garden is so much more than you think. Architecturally stunning, the square’s original design by Inigo Jones was modelled on the Place des Vosges in Paris. Originally a red light district, it is now the hub of street performers, theatreland, opera & market shopping, with surrounding areas full of high end & independent shops, restaurants, galleries and beautiful museums.
That said, there is so much more to do and see in the surrounding areas, which makes it a perfect day out.
Take the tube to Leicester Square, and walk up to Neal’s Yard in Seven Dials to 26Grains, and soak in a little oasis of charm, check out Kit & Ace for beautiful clothing. Then wander through the surrounding area, heading towards Covent Garden Market itself. There you have a choice of culture (see below).
Pick somewhere for lunch, my choice would Spring at Somerset House, but otherwise a delicious pizza at Franca Manca would tick the box for larger groups, then head to Somerset House for some culture or take a walk along the embankment, past the church of St Clements (think oranges & lemons) towards Temple, the seat of law. That’s a whole other blog post, but it makes for a beautiful walk with history and architecture rolled into one.
You can always adapt this walk & do it in reverse. Look beyond the commercial market and you have an abundance of history at your fingertips. We can arrange private walk tours of Covent Garden & Fleet Street, just get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Covent Garden GRIND – I love this brand. They are cool, they have great art work on the walls, delicious coffee, and some even have a fab bar service for drinks anytime!! A brilliant all rounder.
26 Grains in Seven Dials – my favourite drop in for the BEST porridge and all day eating in the prettiest of settings outside. There is no better start on a sunny day.
Timberyard – Seven Dials or Monmouth Coffee Store on Monmouth Street.
Spring – Skye Gyngell’s beautiful eatery will always be my No.1 choice, for not only the delicious food, but probably the prettiest restaurant in London, situated next to Somerset House, so perfect for a little culture too.
Pizza: Homeslice in Seven Dials or Franco Manca in Covent Garden. Both delicious.
The Barbary in Seven Dials. Delicious tapas. Be prepared to queue if you don’t arrive when they open, but so worth it.
Tea: Petersham Nurseries is soon to open, this would be a lovely option. Until then Primrose Bakery for a cupcake & a cuppa.
Sundowners: ME hotel rooftop, with stunning views of London, or Nags Head in Covent Garden, Covent Garden Hotel in Monmouth St for people watching kerbside.
Eating out (outside space): The Ivy, Tom’s Kitchen at Somerset House on the Terrace.
Eating in: Frenchies in Henrietta Street. Lima for Peruvian tapas. Balthazar for a Sunday brunch. Clos Magiore for ‘the most romantic’ restaurant in London. Rules, one of London’s oldest restaurants.
Other bits: Sushi Samba is soon to open their second London branch.
Shopping : Ladauree for macaroons, Market Square for all sorts of antiques & knick knacks depending on the day. Neal’s Yard is a must, and all the surrounding streets for little bits of fashion, beauty, cheese and organic beauty. Long Acre for Stanford’s Maps (an amazing shop of maps & books for any intrepid traveller).
Culture Vulture: Somerset House, London Transport Museum, Royal Opera House, James Bond exhibition.
Fresh Air : Covent Garden Market square, or the quiet hidden garden behind St Paul’s Church, Temple Gardens.
She said: “My favourite little pocket is 7 Dials. The little restaurants, the little shops – I love it all, that topped with a visit to Somerset House.”
He said: “Love the James Bond exhibition, that and brunch at Balthazar”
Teens said: Totally divided: Girls “Love the shopping & Neal Street.” Boys “Like the vibe on the festival days, and street acts and just hanging out”