Covent Garden is one of London’s most vibrant cultural areas, with its glass covered market a central point for al fresco dining throughout the year. But step outside and you’ll find a startling mix of vintage shops, designer stores and late-night bars.
As your first stop, check out the central piazza for a little taste of what the area has to offer. This used to be a fruit and vegetable market until it was transformed in the 1980s and the presence of food is still important to the area.
At Ladurée you can enjoy traditional French Macarons, chocolates and pastries while at Candy Cakes you can enjoy more British treats. For something more exotic, try the Tea Palace for flavours from around the world. The New York Deli and Caribbean Cafe also give you the chance to sample foreign fare and part of the fun of visiting the Garden is to try more than one.
Head out onto the streets of Covent Garden and you’ll then be able to indulge yourself in the latest fashion trends. Regardless of budget, you are sure to find something that takes your fancy.
Designer brands like Paul Smith and Nicole Farhi can be found on Floral Street, near Covent Garden underground station. Or, for the latest trends, visit one of the area’s two All Saints stores or Jack Wills.
But you don’t have to break the bank on your visit to Covent Garden. Find a cheap hotel nearby and you can surround yourself in high street names like Zara and H&M, as well as little boutique stores.
Blackout II has been a fixture of the area for 20 years, selling vintage fashion from the 1920s right up until the 1980s. For something a little bit more specialised, head to Pop Boutique to scoop yourself some stand-out pieces from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Having spent the day enjoying the shops, it would be a shame to fly to London and not visit at least one of Covent Gardens’ famous restaurants. Moti Mahal is considered one of the best Indian eateries in the capital, while J Sheekey Oyster Bar is frequently praised for the quality of its seafood.
Alternatively, visit London’s oldest restaurant: Rules on Maiden Lane. Founded in 1798, it’s dark, intimate, and decorated like a Dickensian men’s club.
Afterward, round off the evening at one of the many bars that Covent Garden has to offer. Bedford & Strand is ideal if you want to chill out with a glass of wine, or if you fancy somewhere more lively head along to cabaret bar Cellar Door. There you’ll find drag acts and lounge singers who ensure that this is one of the most unique evening experiences in the area.
For some of the best cocktails in London visit Hawksmoor Seven Dials or Detroit.
Jamie spent his early twenties touring round the UK as a musician and actor which led him to spend time in numerous wonderful locations. He loves writing about his passions which include theatre, travel, music and food! He recommends the Norwich Playhouse for theatre, Cornwall to visit, The Vine Leaf in St Andrews for food and the Roundhouse in London for music.