Covent Garden

It was drizzling a bit earlier this morning so we didn’t venture out until about noon. We walked down to Selfridge’s to see what their Christmas store looked like. Unfortunately, it wasn’t anything special, occupying one smallish corner of the 4th floor. Selfridge’s is really a “store of stores” in that most all of the brands you see are brands leasing space inside Selfridge’s; each has their own salespeople and display area. The food hall is on the lower ground level and was quite nice, though in comparison to others we’ve visited, not unusual or even as large as some (La Grande Epicerie in Paris or Harrods food hall or Alois Dallmayr in Munich). Still, worth the visit if you’ve never been to such an exhibit.

You rarely see artists performing in the Tube any more, but this fellow had his speakers set up and his guitar case opened up for donations.

From Selfridge’s, we took the Tube over to Covent Garden. It’s Saturday and the weather had cleared up a lot, though it was a bit cool. We expected it to be crowded and we weren’t disappointed.

Covent Garden

Walking down to the central building, we see a throng of people gathered around watching a street performer, this one a magician. As is typical, he plucks a child out of the group to be part of his act. On the other side of the square there’s another street performer who’s picked someone out of the crowd to assist as he gets bound up in chains. We’ve seen mimes, jugglers, magicians and musicians here, attracted by what’s certain to have good crowds.

Street performance

The structure of Covent Garden is a series of shops housed under a large roof with several hallways. In the center of the building there’s an area with a subterranean dining area, but the ground level is all small shops. The central hall , Apple Market, has artists selling handmade articles and a restaurant.

Apple Market
Shops on each side with a central subterranean dining area.

In the surrounding area of Covent are still more shops, pubs and restaurants. On the weekend, it’s a magnet for locals and tourists like us. As we walked back towards the Covent Garden Tube station, the magician who was there when we arrived had been replaced by another performer who was just getting setup.

We’ve come to Covent Garden almost every time we come to London. It’s always changing and entertaining. The Tube station was insanely crowded with a backlog of people waiting to go down the lifts to the platforms; then the carriages themselves were packed. You just hope enough people would get off so you could get in/on, but there have been times we had to wait for another train. Fortunately, we were able to squeeze in and we’re only going one stop to change to another line.

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