London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, its allure only increasing as December comes around. During the festivities, the bright lights, winter cheer, and vibrantly decorated store windows transform the capital into a city full of joy. No place more so than Covent Garden.
Imagine this: You’ve just stepped out of Covent Garden tube station, the beloved, historic buildings of Central London are draped with bright lights. You feel the aura of Christmas around you already. The sound of a choir draws you into Covent Garden’s centre. Beside a group of carol singers stands a fifty-foot Christmas tree, sparkling and shimmering, wrapped in lights and baubles. You’re then engulfed by the sweet and spicy aroma of mulled wine, attracting you to a stall in the Apple Market, brewing a fresh batch.
After a drink or two, you head over to the indoor Jubilee Market, which on a weekend is resplendent with handcrafted goodies. You discover everything from ancient compasses to candles, lotions, and scarfs. The great thing about markets like these is that everything you buy is one of a kind and you are able to support independent business owners.
Moving out of the market and into the shops feels like stepping back in time. With centuries old stores – such as Pollock’s Toyshop which first opened its doors in 1856, you can appreciate a craftsmanship that has stood the test of time. If you are looking for something contemporary however, Covent Garden won’t disappoint. In addition to the traditional stores, you can also find the Disney Store, Mac Cosmetics, and Chanel. Whether you’re searching for a gift for a loved one or for yourself, you’ll find the perfect ‘something’ right here.
Outside, in the square, the entertainment is breathtaking. Street acts include magicians, musicians, acrobats, and actors all performing along the cobbled streets. The interactive performances allow you to become part of the show and thrust you further into the magic of it all. You become part of the Christmas wonder that is Covent Garden.
If hunger strikes you mustn’t worry, as the area is also known for its restaurants. Whether you want a familiar chain such as Wagamama’s or an independent one of a kind restaurant, Covent Garden has a plethora of choice. Personally, Chez Antoinette tops them all. The French restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Apple Market, immersed in the center of the plaza – the perfect place to take in the beautiful decorations and atmosphere of the square. Considering it’s in the heart of the capital, it is very affordable – especially for students.
If you feel the need to take a breather from our Canterbury bubble, hop on a fast train to London, three stops on the Piccadilly line and you’ve made it; Covent Garden, a breath of fresh air – tinged with mulled wine, of course.