I love Covent Garden at Christmas. There’s always a lively atmosphere, the buildings are decorated with festive garlands and baubles, there’s a huge Christmas tree and of course the usual excellent street entertainers; it’s the perfect place to pick up some unusual and interesting Christmas presents.
Knowing that the Christmas decorations were already up, I popped over last Sunday to have a mooch around.
In Godiva’s they are busy dipping fresh strawberries in chocolate. The smell as I entered the shop was exquisite. There’s lots of tasty stocking fillers here (although the strawberries you’ll have to eat now!).
Nearby, on Central Avenue, Il Papiro has some lovely stationary and gift ideas, decorated by hand using techniques from Tuscany. The glass pen with ink shown below is £21.50.
Jubilee Craft Market
Covent Garden is actually made up of a number of different markets and as well as some lovely shops there are also many stalls. There is always something new to see as which stalls are there depends on which day of the week you visit. Many of the stalls sell unique hand-crafted items and if you are lucky you may see some of them being made.
The Bathrobe Company‘s stunning robes really caught my eye. Costing £195 they really are very beautiful while the towels, which are equally lovely, are £35. You’ll find them at the market every day except Mondays.
The lovely characters below are unique limited edition Art Dolls created by Gill and Scott Harris of Hobo Designs Ltd and you’ll find them with a collection of their little friends at the market every weekend (10am to 6pm). They have been trading at Covent Garden since 1982 when on their first day at the market they sold out of stock by lunchtime! Their creations are now much sought after by collectors around the world.
Alex from Igma Artsian combines re-cycled materials with modern, environmentally sound print techniques to create beautiful artworks and homeware like those shown below. Prices from just £1 for some lovely little Christmas decorations. You’ll find Alex at the market every weekend from 10am to 6pm.
Paul McFarlane creates beautiful handmade, made-to-measure shirts from £95 and you’ll find him at the market every weekend. He’s been trading there for over 20 years now and has many loyal customers who frequently return to acquire something new for that upcoming special event.
These natural stone platters are made by Kate of Kensington. Hand made in England, prices start from £10.99 for a pair of coasters. You’ll find them every Tuesday and Wednesday in the Apple market, and every Saturday and Sunday in the Jubilee Craft Market.
Something for the children
There’s something for all ages here and these handmade puppets made by Peter and Denny from The Puppet Art are great fun and I’m sure there’s a few adults out there who would love them too!
There is also a Disney shop and a Build-a Bear Workshop in the North Piazza, Covent Garden, both of which are always popular with younger children. I’ll confess that I have a bear from the latter but lets keep that between you and me.
Underground: Covent Garden’s tube station is on the Piccadilly Line but you may find nearby stations such as Leicester Square and Charing Cross a little less busy. For more information visit London Transport/Tube.
Bicycle: There are a number of bike racks in the area. For more information visit London Transport/Bicycle.
Boat: The nearest jetty with regular boats docking is at Embankment. For more information visit London Transport/River.
Bus: For up to date information visit London Transport/Buses.
Taxi: Flag down a London Black Cab and ask for Covent Garden Market. For more information visit The official Black Cab site.
Car: I wouldn’t!
Hotels: If you don’t live within easy travelling distance to central London there are certainly plenty of wonderful hotels to choose from including the Grange White Hall.
Brought to you in association with Grange Hotels.