Designed by the likes of Inigo Jones as far back as 1632, Covent Garden is a not only one of London’s most famous thoroughfares but also an iconic cultural institution in its own right. Drawing a whopping 30 million tourists to its Italian style environs annually this mega shopper’s market complete with elegant boutiques, charming bars, fine restaurants and innumerable stores is also a prime London entertainment hub due to its location on the fringes of the British capital’s theater district, the West End. Lined with indomitable institutions such as the Royal Opera House, Theatre Royal, the London Transport Museum and inhabited by street artists, performers and packed theatres it is little wonder the area is ranked as London’s finest leisure and entertainment hub by locals and seasoned tourists alike.
Reminiscent of renaissance era piazza marketplaces the monumental glass façade buildings of the piazza contain the bulk of the boutiques, shops, cafes, art centres and craft stores of the venue while the piazza’s central space known as the Covent Garden Square is occupied by street performers including mimers, musicians, jugglers and other entertaining acts. Chic restaurants are also found on either side of the piazza offering diners unobstructed views of the piazza and its many performers. Landmarks that are scattered around the Covent Garden include 13 theatres while more than 60 pubs also add local flavour to this area rich in British culture.
Some of the must-buy items at the famed market include specialty baked goods, breads and artisan cheeses which are sold alongside farm fresh eggs at the Real Food Market in the East Piazza of Covent Garden. Those interested in handicrafts, objets d’art and locally made jewellery can have their pick at the Apple Market while travellers looking for knitwear, home ware and confectionaries should venture down to the East Colonnade Market at Covent Garden
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