A must on many people’s lists during their trip to London is a visit to Covent Garden. Positioned in the heart of London, this area is a lively amalgamation of high-end stores, ritzy restaurants and skilled street performers.
History of Covent Garden
The rich heritage of Covent Garden dates back to when it was simply an orchard garden belonging to Westminster Abbey. The land was later acquired by Henry VIII during the sixteen century and gifted to John Russell, the 1st Earl of Bedford.
The land remained pasture for many years until the 4th Earl decided to start building the framework of the Piazza which remains in Covent Garden to this day. This work brought a lot of development to the area. The Piazza held many itinerant shows by travellers and the central square became an established market place with traders selling fruit and vegetables.
In 1966, the central Piazza and surrounding areas started to develop into a mixture of restaurants, cafes and stalls as the area became a popular tourist destination.
Attractions in Covent Garden
Covent Garden is packed full of popular attractions and is one of the key theatre districts of London. The Piazza is a great attraction to visit in Covent Garden, you can make your way through the cobbled streets of the Apple Market which are filled with a wide range of market stalls, or view unique street performances out on the West Piazza.
Along with the Piazza being one of the main attractions in Covent Garden, The London Transport Museum is another popular destination. This museum highlights the evolution of London’s public transport network, from tubes, to train, to buses, this is the perfect place to explore the last 200 years of public transport in London.
There is also a selection of theatres that you could visit on your trip to Covent Garden including The Royal Opera House, Lyceum Theatre or the Novello Theatre.
Restaurants in Covent Garden
Dotted with an array of eateries, the restaurants in Covent Garden are perfect for those keen on refined dining.
Nestled on the corner just off of the West Piazza visitors will find The Ivy Market Grill, a luxurious all-day dining establishment popular with London locals and visitors of Covent Garden alike. This restaurant has a relaxed yet sophisticated feel that can be enjoyed any day of the week. The Ivy Market Grill’s extensive menu is designed with classical British comfort food and exotic international dishes in mind. The Ivy Grill Market is just one of the many brilliant restaurants in Covent Garden, another is Hawksmoor Seven Dials. If you are a lover of steak, you can’t get much better than this. This charming steakhouse can be found in the old Watney-Combe brewery, located down a quiet street just a few minutes from the buzz of Covent Garden.
Shopping in Covent Garden
There are few better pastimes than a spot of shopping in Covent Garden. The district is one of the most talked about luxurious shopping destinations in London. From designer stores to exclusive boutiques; there is something for every type of shopaholic to revel in. James Street and King Street provide visitors of Covent Garden with an array of high-end stores including Chanel, Mulberry and Burberry.
London is one of the most high-end shopping capitals in the world. Check out our Ultimate Luxury London Shopping Guide, here.
Bars and Pubs in Covent Garden
As one of London’s most refined tourist-hotspots, Covent Garden is home to an abundance of bars and pubs. Elegant, friendly and welcoming, these places are ideal for a quiet catch-up or a romantic rendezvous.
The Punch and Judy is one of the most well-known pubs in Covent Garden, this traditional pub was built in 1787 and still remains in the original elegant brick and stone building. Punch and Judy has a large balcony overlooking the West Piazza, visitors have the best view of the amazing street performers and the buzz of Covent Garden. Serving a wide range of drinks, there is something for everyone at the Punch and Judy.
Another popular bar in Covent Garden is Mr Foggs’s Gin Parlour. This distinctive establishment has a unique vintage décor and looks like it’s straight from the Victorian era, however, don’t let this fool you, with a host of modern cocktails available, this is a must visit on your trip to Covent Garden. Mr Fogg’s houses an extensive collection of over 150 gins from popular classics to rare beauties.
Where to Stay in Covent Garden
Planning a trip to London in the near future? Our luxury serviced apartments in Covent Garden offer the ideal place to stay in a city brimming with things to see and do.