This is Covent Garden. The central meeting ground for anyone in London and probably one of the most entertaining places in London. The area is relatively easy to get to. There are a ton of tube stations and several bus routes that go through the area.
The list of things to do in the area are plentiful. The main attraction for tourists is the market itself. Although, to call it a market does it great injustice. It’s a lot more than a simple market. Inside the ‘market’ there are a bunch of restaurants. You can get everything from good old American food, burgers and fries, to something more traditional like beef pie and jelly eel. I think the most attractive food directly inside the market is definitely the desserts and treats. There’s a Ben’s cookies which is a totally different kind of cookie, when compared to cookie places like Ms. Fields and Mr. Norton & Monsieur Felix. There’s a really good chocolatier and another patisserie shop that makes great macaroons.
Aside from the restaurants inside the market, the area is home to a bunch of other really great restaurants and pubs. I’ll list a few I visited. A great pizza place I tried out was Fire & Stone. They make these fusion-like pizzas. I had this butter chicken pizza that was absolutely delicious. They even had this Peking Duck pizza on the menu that seemed really interesting. London is actually known for its lack of authenticity of ethnic foods, but that’a discussion for another post. I did try a couple Indian restaurants that was recommended to me by some amazing people I met in London. The first one was Dishoom. I mainly went here for an afternoon snack and mostly tried the the appetizers. The most interesting thing was when my bill came. They asked me to roll a dice. Hit a six and the meal is free. Guess what? I rolled a 6! I should have order a lot more! Another great restaurant was Masala Zone. This one was quite good too. Probably some of the better Indian food I tried in London.
Food is not the only thing to do in this market. Around the market there are plenty of live performances. They generally go on all day long, as long as the weather isn’t too bad. Each act lasts about an hour, and it’s totally free! At the end of each act, you can choose to donate a few pounds to the performers. Quite honestly, you could come here 3 days in a row and you will see quite a few different performers. There’s definitely no shortage of entertainment in Covent Garden. Not too far from the market, there’s also a small park where they have a stage where they do live stage acts like Shakespeare. It’s inside of Victoria Embankment Gardens, next to Embankment Station.
The most interesting thing I did in Covent Garden? I went to a Canadian Expat meet up using meetup.com. If it wasn’t for these guys I would have never done a lot of the stuff I got to see and experience in London! For any Canadian (or even non-Canadian) in London, this is probably by far the best group of people I met in London. Far better than any tour group. Every month they have a meet up at the Maple Leaf, a Canadian pub in London. If you can make it, it’s definitely worth going to! If it wasn’t for this group I would have never known about the night market, and that was probably one of my favourite food journeys in London.
I posted a few photos of Covent Garden in my older post, “London Report 1”. Here are some more additional photos!