London’s Covent Garden reopens with a gentle whisper.
On the fringe of the West End, bustling Covent Garden is popular with theatre-goers, tourists and locals alike. While for many hundreds of years it was a fruit and vegetable market, the redevelopment of the area into what we see today started in the early 1980s when the fruit and vegetable market moved to South London. The shops, street performers and al-fresco cafes now feel like they’ve been there forever. Normally at this time of year, the space would be packed with visitors browsing the designer boutiques in the central square or wandering through the quirky independent shops of Neal’s Yard and Seven Dials. There’s usually a craft market in the central square and street performers throughout the area.
In addition to the shops, the London Transport Museum is on one corner of the main square and the Royal Opera House takes up most of the space on the Eastern side of the square. The Theatre Royal Drury Lane is just around the corner too. Covent Garden has its own tube station but it also claims the shortest journey between two stations – it’s just 300 yards to Leicester Square tube. The area is easy to reach from busses running along the strand- get off when you see the Savoy Hotel and it’s within walking distance of Picadilly Circus, Holborn, Waterloo and The Embankment. Packed with restaurants and bars, many with an al-fresco dining space, it’s a great place to dine.
While normally Covent Garden is somewhere you don’t need a reservation, right now I’d suggest booking. Not every restaurant is open and some are only operating on specific days of the week. Here’s a guide to those we know are open now or re-opening soon. We’ve prioritised the restaurants that we’ve tried and tested, though there are plenty more places you could visit. We’ll be updating this guide regularly as we hear about re-openings so do keep popping back to check