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Best Family Vacation Spot—Covent Gardens

Explore the Edge of London’s West End, between St. Martin’s Lane and Drury Lane

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Ryan; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.


Interior of Covent Garden, London; photo courtesy Diliff

What began as a garden for Westminster Abbey, Covent Gardens is now home to the historic Wyndham’s Theatre, as well as other cultural centers, restaurants, and shops.

Built by Charles Wyndham, an actor considered to be the best of his time, the theatre has been host to famous directors and actors such as Noël Coward, Greer Garson, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jeremy Irons.

Enjoy a Variety of Ethnic Meals

Perfect for dining either before or after a performance at Wyndham’s Theatre, is the J. Sheekey Restaurant and the newer J. Sheekey Oyster Bar. Widely considered one of London’s finest dining establishments, it is ranked in the top 100 of over 10,000 restaurants reviewed on Trip Advisor.

The original restaurant, built in 1894, specializes in seafood, but offers an extensive menu including vegetarian options.

Enjoy an exotic meal with its roots in the heart of Mexican tradition, at Cantina Laredo, in the center of Covent Gardens. Top Shelf Guacamole is the signature dish, prepared right at your table, as you sip one of their many margarita selections.

For a one of a kind experience, book a tequila dinner for your group, and enjoy a specially designed multiple course meal, accompanied by unique tequila cocktails.

Vegetarian Diners Need Not Feel Left Out

The exterior of Covent Gardens, London; photo courtesy Michelle Ryan For the finest in vegetarian dining in the theatre district, the quirky style of Food For Thought offers up tasty entrees and desserts that are never processed or boring.

With a menu that changes daily, the restaurant gives a nod to current trends by creating food based on various cultural influences.

With an eclectic menu, the Masala Zone specializes in Indian food originating from street vendors and home cooked to the cuisine of royalty. The casual style and unique Indian decor makes the Masala Zone at Covent Gardens the perfect place to enjoy the taste and spice of India.

Located just a short walk from the Covent Garden theatres near Drury Lane, La Deuxieme is the ideal spot for dining before or after the show.

An extensive wine list and dishes based on old world style, with a modern European influence, make La Deuxieme an elegant dining option for theatre-goers.

The Rich History of Covent Gardens

While a garden for Westminster Abbey, it went by the name of “the garden of the Abbey and Convent”. Later, Henry VIII annexed it and granted it to the Earls of Bedford.

The 4th Earl, Inigo Jones, commissioned some fine houses to built to attract wealthy tenants. It was Jones who designed the Italianate arcaded square along with the church of St Paul’s.

This had a strong influence on the growth of developing London. A small open-air fruit and vegetable market had developed but the area began slipping into decline until an Act of Parliament was enacted to restore it and guide it into the landmark it is today.

From its ancient past as a Roman market, to providing vegetables and herbs for Westminster Abbey, Convent Gardens has a rich culinary history that continues today. Whether enjoying ballet at the Royal Opera House or an on-stage performance at Wyndham’s Theatre, you will find dining options to satisfy any palate.

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