London… the home to endless amounts of things to see, do, eat and enjoy. The home to fun, basically.
Although I’m in London a lot for various things, I always forget the true beauty of its more ‘touristy spots’. I definitely admit I take the city for granted and I shouldn’t because it has so much to offer that I am yet to discover in those areas I either forget about or don’t cherish enough.
One neighbourhood in London I grew up visiting all the time on family days out is Covent Garden. It was a place we always went back to or ended up in for out London days out. Just to say before I begin, if this post makes you want to visit Covent Garden for a day out even more (soz not soz), I suggest looking into these hotels near Covent Garden. Some right steals I tell you!
Now that I’m there or nearby most of the time, it was an area of the city that I felt I knew well and was used to. But little did I not know, how many things I hadn’t yet discovered. So you know what its time for? A post all about those spots that were left undiscovered and ones I feel I need to share if you want to visit Covent Garden and its hidden gems.
But first, I’ve got a few tips/advice for a day out in Covent Garden (if you want to miss the rush but not miss out on the good amazing bits):
Hit the main streets/Piazza and markets first thing in the AM (or as early as you can). With Covent Garden being one of the top tourist destinations in the city, it can get very crowded come early afternoon, so hit the main streets as early as possible. It’s super peaceful that way to and then you can head a bit further out and miss the crowds.
Also, if you’re there to get some pretty pictures, AM is the way to go.
Search Instagram for food inspiration. I spent ages searching the old world wide web for foodie spots in Covent Garden to discover not much more than the places I already know, that are in the main streets of Covent Garden that you can’t really miss. But, its all about those hidden foodie gems isn’t it? Those places you wouldn’t be able to find unless it was for Instagram. This is where I found our brunch spot and my, my, it didn’t disappoint.
– SHOP THE LOOK –
First up, food. A.k.a. the most important part of this post and the most important part of life. It is isn’t it, lets be honest with ourselves? Who doesn’t go for a day out and make good food the priority. I know I do…
We arrived in Covent Garden mid-morning so of course we were hangry and in need of coffee, so we headed straight for brunch (which I thank Instagram for again). Covent Garden’s Grind was the spot of choice and it was uber satisfying, let me tell you that. It catered for all of our needs and is tucked away just around the corner from the main square in Covent Garden, which I never knew was there.
It ticked all the boxes with good food, pretty interior and perfect location so Grind, you are probably (most definitely) my new favourite brunch spot in Covent Garden.
I fuelled myself with their Amber Juice (refreshing), an almond Latte (needed) and the Acai bowl (heaven). Ollie devoured his smashed avo and poached eggs with bacon and we headed off on a little something I had secretly booked for us…
Really, there is an endless list of fun things to do in Covent Garden. Anything from wandering around the markets, visiting museums, watching the street performers, going to see a show or even sit by the Piazza and soak in the city. There is so much to do, it is endless.
On my recent trip and little adventure to Covent Garden, I took Ollie to visit the London Film Museum. 1) I never knew this place existed (how did I not know?!) and 2) the entire museum is dedicated to James Bond at the minute and if that’s not cool, then what is? The Bond In Motion exhibition is full of the films history and most importantly, its props. Yep that’s right, wanna go see the Bond cars for real? They’re right here, in the centre of Covent Garden. The museum is just a 2-3 minute walk from the station and is less than £15 a ticket. Bargain, I say.
If you’re one to wander then I have a few little spots I recommend. Those that I like to call the ‘Feel Good Finds’ of Covent Garden and its surrounding area.
FEEL GOOD FINDS
I am a wanderer of the city (a flaneur is the proper term I think) and I love coming across new places I wouldn’t find otherwise if I didn’t wander with no agenda.
The thing is with being in the city quite often is that you don’t really find the time to wander. I mean, you get the odd 5 minutes but never enough time to wander and find new spots. So here are some I came across on my day out in Covent Garden that I think are my new favourite not-to-miss parts of London.
Seven Dials – after finishing up our morning of good food at Grind and film-buff fun at Bond In Motion, Seven Dials was the direction we headed in as I this is a place I’ve wandered around but never properly investigated. Seven Dials is a network of seven atmospheric streets connecting Covent Garden to Soho. Whether you like good food, clothes, music, theatre, coffee or independent retailers, this is where to head. Everyone can find something on one of Seven Dials streets to tickle their fancy. This is where I came across…
The Basics Store – situated just outside Neal’s Yard is The Basics Store, aka my idea of minimalist heaven. They sell a variety of minimalist designs from clothes, shoes, accessories, homeware and furnishings. It is a satisfying shop for us minimalist lovers to say the least, and I treated myself to a few things that I was very excited to unwrap when I got home.
If you’re looking to shop closer to the heart of Covent Garden, I suggest Rokit Vintage and then head up Neal Street (just opposite Rokit) as there are so many great retailers all in the space of a few metres.
Neal’s Yard – of course, I couldn’t walk past Neal’s Yard and not go in. if you haven’t been before, Neal’s Yard is a small area boasting the likes of Homeslice (where you can get a humongous sharing pizza for £20 might I add), health-food cafes & coffee shops and a few other value-minded retailers. It’s always a busy destination as there is so much goodness to be found there and is also so close to the heart of Covent Garden and Seven Dials, but if you do get a chance its definitely worth visiting and grabbing some food or coffee. It’s a hidden gem.
As I mentioned, we headed out of the centre of Covent Garden around midday/1pm to avoid the crowds. As we were around the Seven Dials area, we eventually made our way towards Soho (not quite in the heart of it but almost), which is when we decided it was time for an afternoon tipple. After exploring, eating, film-buffing and shopping we ended up in Mabel’s where I devoured a Pink Lady cocktail. The perfect mix of pink gin, honey, rhubarb bitters, lime and fresh strawbs – yum.
Then it was time to head back towards Covent Garden station so we hit a few more shops including COS and & Other Stories near Saint Martins Courtyard on the way back from the Soho area, before stumbling into an All Bar One on Henrietta Street (home to Flat Iron and The Ivy) situated a 2-minute walk from the station. We couldn’t leave the city and the weekend without giggling over a signature G&T could we?
And that my friends, is the perfect day in Covent Garden. Like I say, if you can get to Covent Garden in the AM I would. That way you can enjoy it in peace, before heading a little bit outwards to its just-as-beautiful-and-fun surroundings for the afternoon.
Oh and just to say, this all cost under £100 for the day, for two of us (with the purchases from the boutique shop I discovered off of Seven Dials). A steal, I know. London doesn’t have to be expensive, even if you do do all these seemingly-tasteful things.
How would you spend your day in Covent Garden?
* This post includes a paid for excursion, all opinions are 100% honest and my own *