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Covent Garden Area Guide

Where can you find the heart of theatreland, striking street performers and London’s oldest restaurant all within a short walk? Look no further than Covent Garden.

Situated in the West End, Covent Garden is the city’s main theatre and entertainment district. As a longstanding draw for tourists from across the globe, the area caters to a world of taste whilst still retaining its uniquely charming character, ensuring it remains a priority of the list of must-sees for tourists.

Easily accessible from Piccadilly Line’s Covent Garden Tube station, many of Covent Garden’s attractions are situated in – and around – the car-free piazza which is home to many fashion stores, craft stalls, restaurants, and bars. St. Paul’s Church on the Piazza also acts as a backdrop to the ever-popular street performers that entertain throngs of locals and tourists alike. The Piazza itself is home to a wealth of independent and high-end shops with a market to the centre. With craft stalls and street foods galore, the attractions of the market entice a steady flow of people from both near and far.

Another key destination in the area is Seven Dials, an intriguing network of seven atmospheric streets that link Covent Garden to Soho, making it an extremely attractive and popular thoroughfare for visitors. This, combined with over 90 independent restaurants, cafes, and bars ensure it is equally a destination in its own right.

Destination dining for pre-theatre groups

Covent Garden is synonymous with London theatres, and it’s because of this that it’s called London’s “Theatreland”, a title it’s held since the reign of King Charles II. The area earned this moniker by having 13 distinctive theatres all within walking distance of its boundaries. Covent Garden’s theatrical epicentres included St Paul’s Church (although not a theatre it is known as “the actor’s church”), the Royal Opera, the Theatre Royal and the Lyceum, each attracting thousands of people throughout the year.

Due to this high visitor footfall, Covent Garden has numerous restaurants that offer pre-theatre menus, which are served in time to allow diners to eat and then go straight to their shows without hassle.

Fine eateries such as Brasserie Blanc, Clos Maggiore, Christopher’s, and The Ivy can all be found in this vibrant part of London. Whether it’s breakfast or brunch, pre-theatre dining or late-night bites, Covent Garden truly is a foodie’s haven.

An interesting food fact on the area? Covent Garden is home to Rules on Maiden Lane, established in 1798, which makes it the oldest restaurant in London. Founded by Thomas Rule, it serves traditional British food with a focus on classic game dishes.  Classic cuisine is combined with infamous affairs at Rules as the restaurant has a secret room upstairs where the Prince of Wales, Edward VII, would entertain his mistress, Lillie Langtry.

International professionals 

Covent Garden is home to residents from across the globe. According to the last census of the area, 51% of Covent Garden residents are born in England. A significant population of Bangladeshi (4.90%) and North Americans (2.90%) have also made this vibrant district their home.

Popular professions of Covent Garden’s inhabitants include professionals (29%) and associate professionals and technical workers (21.9%), business, media, and public service professionals (16.7%), managers, directors, and senior officials (13.9%), business and public service associate professionals (10.1%), culture, media, and sports (9.3%), administrative and secretarial (8.4%), corporate managers and directors (8.3%), elementary (7.5%), and elementary administration and service (7.4%).

The demographics of Covent Garden (including both residents and visitors) make it a prime location for those looking to open a restaurant, bar, or café. High footfall, passing trade, affluent locals and a steady stream of tourists ensure hospitality ventures are best placed for success.