As a district in the heart of London between Drury Lane and St. Martin's Lane, Covent garden reminds me of one of the many European piazzas, the town square that is bustling with never-ending activities and splendor. And true enough, the place never fails these expectations - especially so on a sunny summer day.
Walking along the cobbled streets near the Apple market, you'll catch glimpses of the Covent garden market's former glory days, with the snapshots of old times being frozen onto brass plates nailed into the walls of the various wings. Since 1835, the market became the cultural landmark and heart of the city, especially so for the fruit and vegetable section in the Central square. Now, these have been revamped and modernized into popular shopping belts and iconic luxury boutiques in the North, with open spaces dedicated to street performers in the South. Since 1907, the Covent Garden tube station on the Piccadilly line has been faithfully serving the markets.
Nearby buildings are occupied by landmarks such as the Royal Opera House, the London transport museum and St. Paul's church. These are all worth checking out (especially the majestic St. Paul's church!), and the Covent garden square and market. The Apple market holds many handmade treats, such as the likes of independent label phone covers and jewelry. Even if you're no luxury shopper like myself, it's quite an experience to just walk around and busk in the merry spirit of the district - in summer, many of the Brits were perched on the sideways enjoying the sunshine.
There's almost a street entertainer at every corner pulling in the crowds, and even if you can't see them you'll still be drawn in by the crowd cheers! I've read somewhere they perform at scheduled time slots at designated areas such as the South hall courtyard, North Hall and the West Piazza. They're quite a joy to watch and many of them are really talented, with their respective skills and injection of British humour into their interactive performances. At the end of which, they'll usually pass around a hat for tips, giving a pound will be nice.
St. Paul's covent garden (or fondly known as Actors' Church) encompasses an intimate interior that houses only about 300 visitors, a small number compared to the main churches in Europe. It is tightly linked to the theatrical community of London, and many memorial plaques are hung around to pay tribute to many respected members of the community. Strolling into the blossoming courtyard, I stumbled upon a wind orchestra performance and was delighted to have sat in for a walk-in afternoon concert. (St. Martin in the fields at Trafalgar square also has such concerts, would be great to check them out)
The Apple market is a Neo-classical building from the 1800s and now sells handmade artsy goods.
Sunny days in London are quite a sight, even in summer - love how it busks everything in gold, such a contrast with the blue winter days! Ciao ♥