This post is produced in collaboration with Hotels.com. The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
I’m spending a lot of time in London at the moment, as I’m currently working with a client on a contract basis, seeing them through some big launches. And it means I’m getting a chance to rediscover Covent Garden in all of its’ packed, tourist-centric glory. I was recently asked to share my favourite hidden gems, Covent Garden hotels and must-visits in the Covent Garden area, I couldn’t wait to hit up all of the spots that Sarah and I frequent on our weekly lunch breaks.
Here’s my guide to a perfect 24 hours in Covent Garden, London…
A Morning in Covent Garden
Starting your day in the beautiful Henrietta Hotel is, of course, an utter dream. Plush interiors, a cosy restaurant, laid-back old school vibes and a prime, central location make this hotel a mainstay in any twenty-something’s address book. And even if you’re not staying overnight – or haven’t woken up there – it’s a delightful place to start your day with a coffee. Perch in the window and watch bustling Covent Garden wake up from one of the most picturesque spots around.
Coffee and breakfast ticked off the list, you couldn’t not explore Covent Garden’s Apple & East Colonnade Markets. Although the original world-famous fruit and vegetable market (a.k.a. my dream!) closed doors for the last time in 1974, these new markets are a delight to peruse. You’ll find handmade wares (jewellery, watercolour paintings, tin artwork…!), flowers and even entertainers and I still remember so clearly the first time I ever visited! There’s a Moomin store, L’aduree, Molton Brown, kikki.K and Aesop all within the vicinity.
Head towards the Tube station… but don’t go in. Cross the road and discover the new Boots store which is my haven on busy days in the office. There’s so much to explore in the store, including a YouTube creator space, premium makeup and skincare brands, a sustainable refill hub and a mix-your-own hair dye station. Quite literally the stuff of dreams. I always make a ritual out of following up a Boots visit with a Stanford’s trip.
Stanford’s is a London bookstore that stocks an incredible selection of travel books and maps. It’s a nomad and collector’s dream and I just adore wandering through the floors and dreaming of my next trip. Plus if you’re visiting from abroad, it’d be a great place to pick up a London keepsake!
A spot of Neal’s Yard shopping and wandering
Slip through to Neal’s Yard (where there are endless shops to peruse – Brandy Melville, Astrid & Miyu included) for a spot of vegan lunch at Redemption. I absolutely LOVE it here. I always go for the build your own Buddha bowl because I’m oh so predictable, but the menu is vast and their desserts and sweet treats are a delight. Pick up a slice of banana bread to go.
Afterwards, slip through the Conduit Street light-up tunnel through to Floral Court, a new shopping destination for 2019. You’ll find The Shop at Bluebird here, which is a treasure trove of emerging and contemporary designers. Whenever I visit, I marvel at the buyers’ exquisite taste because absolutely every single piece is meticulously chosen and always hits the mark. Right beside it: Free People! I’ve a newfound adoration for this sustainable fashion brand and am dreaming of the day my wardrobe emulates their entire aesthetic…
Covent Garden by evening
By now, I’m sure you’re exhausted! Take your Redemption banana bread to the St. Paul’s Church courtyard back in the heart of Covent Garden. This is my favourite nearby spot to eat lunch and read a book. It’s surprisingly peaceful and great to people watch. If you have time and adore books as much as I do, head for Cecil Court – an alley paved with specialist booksellers.
Round off your evening with a delicious dinner at my all-time favourite Sticks ‘n’ Sushi. It was my favourite before I was plant-based and it continues to be now. Let their knowledgeable team select you a variety of dishes and always, always stay for dessert and a cocktail.
Where are your favourite spots in Covent Garden? I’d love to know!