Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Trendy Covent Garden- London

Remembering one of the most stylish shopping arcades and centres during the times of confinement is not only soothing but therapeutic too! The feel-good factor is raised several notches on visiting a place like Covent Garden in London’s Westend. The biggest grosser in Hollywood in 1964, ‘My Fair Lady’ starring Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Dolittle was set in Covent Garden where she meets the English professor Higgins (Rex Harrison) who teaches her English to the exacting Edwardian society standards of the era. I had seen the movie in my early childhood and little did I realize that several years later I would visit the place one day.

A Christmas Tree outside the Covent Garden
Located at London’s Westend, it is very close to the Royal Opera House. It is a very popular shopping area and a huge tourist attraction. The use of the name Covent- the term for religious community equivalent to a monastery or a convent was coined around 1515 AD. By the 18th century the place had become a well-known red-light district. Once a vegetable and fruit market the character of the place went through rapid transformation in the 1980s.

A Statue of Michael Faraday the scientist at Savoy Place in neighbourhood
Covent Garden is dotted with some best-known sights like the London Transport Museum, a string of theatres and places of entertainment, the Royal Theatre and St Paul’s Church in the vicinity. There are 13 theatres and over 60 bars and pubs in the complex. There are trendy retail outlets that are a huge draw for the young clientele. The street performers can be found and impromptu acts can be witnessed. There is a wide range of restaurants in the central area and around the piazza.  A wide range of cuisine ranging from traditional fish n chips, a variety of sandwiches, international cuisines and fine dining options are available. Some of the best and trendy coffee shops, heavenly tea salons, patisserie pit-shops and bakeries are also located here. Covent Garden is home to more treats than one can imagine for connoisseurs of chocolates, cookies and gelatos and much more

The lovely interiors of Covent Garden
Covent Gardens has a deep-rooted cultural connection way back to Charles Dickens time when he wrote ‘’Pickwick Papers’ where a central character spends a couple of nights at Covent Gardens. The movie ‘My Fair Lady’ was based on George Bernard Shaw’s play ‘ Pygmalion’ which was mentioned in the earlier paragraph. The movie ‘ Frenzy’ created by Alfred Hitchcock where a fruit seller of Covent Garden turns out to be a serial sex killer.

The fine dining options at Covent Garden
Covent Garden is well connected with public transport and has a tube station served by Piccadilly Line. There are more than 30 routes of London Buses that have stops around the periphery of Covent Garden. For centuries the culture vultures have swooped in here in search of the area’s eclectic ever-changing mix of operas, theatres and drama. So the next time you plan a visit to London do include Covent Garden on your itinerary.

PS All Pics are mine