London Favs: Covent Garden

Old Dec 29th, 2008, 07:40 AM
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London Favs: Covent Garden

One of my favorite places to hang in London is in and around Covent Garden - the area of many small stores occupying the frame that once hosted the Covent Garden fruit and veg market.

The area has become very much trendy with its boutiques and lovely old architecture.

There are always street buskers here - some quite rivetting so that there is always something interesting going on at Covent Garden, which is a short walk from the Leicester Square area.
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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I've only been to London once, but I will say that the day that I was in Covent Garden, I love it! So many nice shops and the street performers are always a treat. I can't wait to go back in Feb/Mar...I know it will be a different experience, and I'm excited for it!
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 10:21 AM
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It's cute - but IMHO a lot of the stuff is junk - or expensive junk. My step-daughters - 11 and 14 - loved a lot of the shops - which had mostly semi-disposable stuff for their age group.
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 10:34 AM
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I actually have no interest in what the shops have to sell (no more than I do at Faneuil Hall, or Ghirardelli Square, or similar places), but I still really enjoy the area.
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 12:15 PM
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A very famous place in Covent Garden - Neal's Yard Dairy is always worth a look and a whiff.

http://www.nealsyarddairy.co.uk/shops.html
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 08:31 PM
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The best thing about Covent Garden, IMO, is the opera house.

But on my next visit, I'll try to stop by at the London Transport Museum.
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 08:44 PM
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Yep, it can be fun to wander, but I'm with yk - the best thing about it is you go there to see a performance at the ROH. Of course, if you are REALLY lucky you'll be in town when the big screen is set up outside and you get to see the ballet or opera for free.

Happy New Year everybody.

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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 09:34 PM
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I don't find the market interesting, but we always do a Sunday stroll as follows:

Exit Piccadilly line at Covent Garden, turn right toward the market and, at the first corner, go into the White Horse Tavern, up the stairs and enjoy a pint and a chicken pie sitting at the window.

After lunch, continue to the market, turn right and walk through to Leicester Square (pick up theatre tickets at half-price) and walk on to Piccadilly Circus.

A nice walk on a sunny day.
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Neal's Yard Dairy isn't in the market . .

(it is in the opposite direction from the tube station by Seven Dials)
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 01:10 AM
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It's worth a stroll a bit away from the market piazza - down Henrietta St and Bedford Court, cut through Goodman's Court to St Martin's Lane, back up along New Row and Henrietta St to the Market, up Neal St, back down Monmouth St to Seven Dials, then Shelton St back to the market. Or in any other order you like.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 01:47 AM
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I'm not a huge fan of the market itself (and the hordes in/around it especially during the summer) but we do tend to spend a lot of time in that area - some of our favourite pubs are around there.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 07:34 AM
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The market to me is a non factor and like others i just like to stroll around the area - watching the ubiquitous street entertainers, etc.

And yes i always go into the London Transport Museum's gift shop for Tube and Transit for London souvenirs - such as the large Tube map i have on my wall.

Home | London Transport Museum
The history of the public transport system. Includes information on visiting the museum, details of permanent and special exhibitions, information for ...
www.ltmuseum.co.uk/ -
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 08:47 AM
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Covent Garden London : Online Magazine : Events, Restaurants ...
Covent Garden London: a virtual tour of Londonís most exciting district. Covent Garden has a tremendous amount to offer to you, Restaurants and Bars, ...
www.coventgarden.uk.com/
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 08:48 AM
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Covent Garden has a tremendous amount to offer to you, Restaurants and Bars, ...>>>

Almost all of which are shite on stilts and the locals won't tell you where the good stuff is.

I bloody hate Covent Garden.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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Strolling around for a bit in the Covent Garden area is fun, but I agree by far the best attraction is the Opera House. Notoriously tough to get tickets, but we were able to walk in one summer morning and get tickets for a full tour of the opera house, which we thoroughly enjoyed. So, if you have any interest in the opera, ballet, or architecture, give the tour a try.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 09:06 AM
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Claire and others - thanks for the tip about visiting the Royal Opera House - details on the official site:

http://www.roh.org.uk/
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 09:13 AM
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I enjoyed the transport museum. Over a couple visits, we enjoyed pints and one very good lunch, at the Lamb and Flag. Still not sure how we found the pub on our second visit.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 09:17 AM
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The only place I would eat at around Covent Garden, is Belgo Centraal for some moules et frites. If you go between 5-6:30pm (M-F only, I think), you can order off the "beat the clock" menu, which means that if you order at 5pm, you only pay 5 pounds for your meal.

Otherwise, there are much better and cheaper choices in Chinatown, a 5-min walk from Covent Garden.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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I second some of the comments about the area being very crowded and touristy - it's not my favourite spot in London.

But the LT museum is interesting with some great souvenirs like reproductions of old tube posters, you can hear opera sung in English for once, and Belgo is good value, especially at lunchtime. There is (or was) a shop at the back of Belgo where you could buy the various beers on sale to take away.

Shopping-wise, aside from the cheese shop in Neals Yard, there's also Space NK - store full of cult beauty brands.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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My "first time to London" adult children, LOVED Covent Garden last year. I do too. We did a lot of good pre theater dinners there. I am missing London so much this year. . I agree Pal, that they have some very good buskers there .
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