Visit London Blog » covent garden piazza Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 10 Alternative Christmas Events in London Tue, 05 Nov 2013 11:05:43 +0000 Christmas planning is officially underway. Have yourself a quirky little Christmas this year and discover some real winter gems with our list of 10 alternative festive events.

1. Bluebird Ice Rink, Chelsea (£10)

Don’t miss this glamorous pop-up ice rink in the heart of Chelsea. Away from the more mainstream rinks, this little gem is nestled in the wonderful Courtyard at Bluebird Chelsea. Take to the ice for Christmas parties, festive drinks with friends or fun dates. 11 November to 5 January

2. Belgravia Christmas Market (FREE)

Explore this classic one-day Christmas market in the prestigious London district of Belgravia. See Elizabeth Street glowing with festive lights and packed with traditional Christmas stalls before taking a stroll down to Pimlico Road where you’ll find jugglers, trumpeters and stalls selling roast chestnuts and toffee apples. 1 December

3. Fish Market’s Funfair Terrace, Liverpool Street

A real winter wonder! Based inside the city’s oldest surviving warehouse built by the East India Company, D&D’s Fish Market offers a taste of the freshest fish and shellfish sourced from the British Isles. Cosy up with a blanket and a mug of hot spiced cider in the heated terrace, complete with a wall of twinkling fairy lights and snow globes. Don’t leave without trying an alcoholic snow cone! 1 November to 24 December

4. Christmas Dollshouse Festival at Kensington Town Hall (£11)

The one-day event attracts visitors from all over the globe and is regarded as the world’s finest gathering of craftsmen who work in miniature. Many celebrities including Helena Bonham-Carter, Tim Burton and Jonathan Ross have been spotted perusing the festival. 30 November

5. Christmas Fair at Chelsea Physic Garden (£5)

This unique two-day Christmas fair is held at London’s oldest Botanic Garden. Shop exclusively selected seasonal gifts before taking a guided tour of one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world. 30 November to 1 December

6. Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park (£7)

Take a romantic stroll through the illuminated woodland, soaking up the magical atmosphere of the 18th century lake. The trail finishes at the Great Conservatory on the site of an old medieval abbey. This charming event is the perfect way to experience the striking London home of the Duke of Northumberland. 16 November to 2 December

7. Once Upon a Christmas in Covent Garden (£35)

Explore the heart and hidden charms of Covent Garden’s iconic Piazza as the area is transformed into a panto playground for adults. In this immersive theatre event, audience members are sent to the hidden corners of Covent Garden in order to save Christmas. Adults-only. 18 November to 15 December

8. Santa & His Huskies at the London Wetland Centre (£5)

One for the kids. Snuggle up with huskies and let them take you on a sleigh ride before visiting Santa in his cosy Christmas grotto in the northern pine forest. There’s plenty of mulled cider, hot chocolate and mince pies to go round. 7 to 8 December

9. Christmas Past: 400 Years of Seasonal Traditions in English Homes at the Geffrye Museum (FREE)

Rediscover the rich and vibrant traditions of Christmas gone-by at this free event at the Geffrye Museum. Authentic festive decorations transform the Geffrye Museum’s period rooms so that you can take a glimpse into how Christmas has been celebrated in English middle-class homes over the past 400 years. 26 November to 5 January

10. Prêt-à-portea- A fashionista’s Afternoon Tea at the Berkeley (£29-£55)

Style gurus will want to feast on this new Autumn/ Winter 2013 Collection. See designer items turned into cakes, mousses and biscuits. Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley Hotel sees all the classic elements of the traditional English afternoon tea except that the pastries resemble the latest catwalk designs.

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TGI Friday’s Breaks Cocktail World Record in Covent Garden Wed, 30 Mar 2011 14:00:37 +0000 TGI Friday’s is enjoying a double celebration. Not only is the restaurant chain celebrating its 25th birthday, but two days ago its bartenders broke the Guinness World Record for Most People in a Simultaneous Cocktail Flair.

To break the record, 101 of TGI Friday’s professional bartenders simultaneously performed a bar flair routine, without dropping a bottle, for more than two minutes.

Watch the Tom Cruise-esque tricks in Covent Garden’s piazza below:

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Covent Garden’s Weekend of Celebration Thu, 17 Jun 2010 15:32:32 +0000 This weekend there’s going to be a huge birthday party in Covent Garden as the area is marking a double celebration: the Market Building’s 180th anniversary and 30 years since it became one of London’s premiere shopping hot-spots.

A giant birthday cake will be unveiled at lunchtime on Friday and will be big enough to feed 2,000 hungry visitors.  Jump to the front of the queue by retweeting Covent Garden on Twitter

The life-sized Piazza party games will be going on throughout the weekend: Games like the classic market trader “basket race” and a “human fruit machine”.

There’ll also be a fantastic line-up of interactive workshops and the area’s favourite street performers will put on an evening cabaret.

It’s sure to be a wonderful weekend of celebration, so don’t miss out! 

Keep checking for more information about Covent Garden’s Anniversary celebrations in 2010 and follow Covent Garden on Twitter and Facebook.

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London Restaurant Festival Media Launch Wed, 14 Apr 2010 16:12:57 +0000 Last night, London Restaurant Festival 2010 was announced, with a media launch at the swanky Club at The Ivy near Seven Dials, Covent Garden.

The launch was attended by members of the press, chefs, restaurateurs and PRs. We spotted Observer food critic Jay Rayner, TV’s William Sitwell and Silvena Rowe, Tom Parker-Bowles, Wahaca’s Thomasina Miers, Pierre Koffmann,  John Nugent from Green & Fortune and Nick Jones, proprietor of Soho House and Shoreditch House.

Fay Maschler, festival chair and co-founder, spoke about Festival Menus, which will be at the heart of London Restaurant Festival 2010. Festival Menus give each participating restaurant the chance to show off their signature dishes at a special, fixed price.

Rosie Boycott, chair of the London Food Board, said London Restaurant Festival had the full support of both herself and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

“This is a great festival, encouraging Londoners to dine out and support their local restaurants and also maybe discover local gems which they may have right on their doorsteps. The real bonus is that there is a menu for every pocket.”

Festival director Simon Davis announced American Express as the headline sponsor for this year’s festival. He went on to outline five big festival events for 2010 so far:

  • Gourmet Odyssey: a sell-out at LRF 2009, this year it will be expanded to Soho and Shoreditch
  • London Restaurant Festival Suppliers’ Market at Covent Garden. A free-entry event
  • London Eye Restaurant Capsules: there will be ten nights to dine on the London eye at LRF 2010
  • Supersonic Masonique: the Bistrotheque boys are back with another fabulous pop-up restaurant
  • Festival Awards: this year’s event will be huge

Restaurants interested in taking part in London Restaurant Festival 2010 can sign up now. Register online before the the end of April to qualify for the £99 (+VAT) discount price at

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Covent Garden this Easter Fri, 02 Apr 2010 12:00:48 +0000 Easter weekend at Covent Garden is going to be jam packed.

Saturday sees the arrival of Covent Garden’s first creative-in-residence as part of the 180th anniversary celebrations. Award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams will be gathering the sentiments and memories of those who visit the area and transcribing them into short stories, video blogs, poems and drawings. He”ll also be on Twitter and Facebook, so you can share your Covent Garden stories remotely. 

The Covent Garden Real Food Market returns to the Piazza this Easter but it has moved to Saturdays, 10.30am to 6pm, meaning local residents, as well as the wider public, can do their weekly food shop at the market.

Visitors to the Real Food Market can buy the best ingredients and fresh produce to cook at home, from choice traders such as Mons Cheese, Sporeboys, Polish Deli and Woodwards Farm, plus food blogger favourites including Eat Like A Girl.

To celebrate the return of the Real Food Market, Covent Garden London is running Tasty Hour this 3 April, from 3pm to 4pm, during which time you can sample the delicious produce from the market for free!

Follow Covent Garden on Twitter for more updates

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Get Into The Festive Spirit at Covent Garden Thu, 19 Nov 2009 18:00:31 +0000 A Christmas choir at Covent Garden

With just five weeks to go until Christmas, Covent Garden is in full festive swing!

Don your woolly hats and winter mittens and head down to A Very Merry Christmas at Covent Garden to enjoy a host of family friendly events -  from wintery storytelling sessions for children, to festive food markets.

Head down to the Market Building this evening and warm up your vocal chords with Signature – the award-winning female vocal group from Buckinghamshire.  Signature will be wowing visitors with classic Christmas songs from 6.30pm. Not one to be missed if you’re after some festive cheer. 

If mince pies and mulled wine get you going, then make your way to the Covent Garden Real Food Market every Thursday and Friday in the run-up to Christmas between 12pm -7.30pm.  Stock up on all your festive fare from home-made mince pies, Christmas pudding and freshly baked gingerbread, as well as delicious delicacies to eat and enjoy on the Piazza from the likes of Pie Minster and Super Stews.

And if that isn’t enough to keep you out of mischief, on Saturday we’re hosting the first festive storytelling of the season to the Piazza. Bring the whole family down to enjoy professional storyteller, Olivia Armstrong, recounting festive tales of enchantment and wonder from 11 o’clock until 1pm. Magical imaginations and Christmas cheer compulsory.

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Bye Bye Bunny! Jeff Koons’ Rabbit Waves Goodbye to Covent Garden Fri, 16 Oct 2009 11:05:21 +0000 Jeff Koon's Rabbit that graced the Covent Garden Market Building earlier this week

The Covent Garden Market Building waved goodbye to American artist Jeff Koons‘ Rabbit this week.

The giant, 53-ft high, floating balloon installation had made its home in the South Hall for four days, to celebrate the opening of the Tate Modern’s exhibition Pop Life: Art in Material World, delighting and surprising everyone who came down to see him.

The first class lounge at Heathrow reported that his departure passed without incident. But apparently, he was rabbitting away to his mate Warren about how deflated he felt to be leaving the UK…

Thanks to everyone who supported his stay.

Covent Garden has really stepped into the virtual world over the last couple of weeks. You can now keep up to date with the latest news from the Piazza and surrounding areas on Twitter!

Follow @CoventGardenLDN for all the latest from CG: shopping promotions, free stuff, and further amazing installations - please follow us, and we’ll follow you! 

Bye for now!

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Vintage Tea Party on the Piazza at Covent Garden Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:35:47 +0000 Vintage Tea Party in Covent Garden

Floral frocks, feathers and fun were out in force for last night’s vintage-themed tea party, held in Covent Garden on the Piazza. A warm summer evening was the ideal backdrop for this event.

Visitors to the picket-fenced enclosure sat at delicate doily-covered tables for tea (or prosecco cocktails, served fetchingly in vintage teacups) and cake. The whole setup evoked the charm of a bygone era with retro-styled waitresses, old-fashioned crockery, traditional Victoria Sponge and a selection of delicious cupcakes, provided by Vintage Patisserie.

There was even a gypsy fortune teller who inspected my prosecco dregs and predicted I’d have a series of small windfalls in the coming months. As the the sun sank to the strains of 1920s music, I pondered my rosy future while other party-goers stood up for a brief tea dance.

This was Covent Garden’s first vintage “Tea Party on the Piazza” but I certainly hope it won’t be the last. Tea, cake, prosecco and dress-ups? How very civilised.

What’s your favourite spot in London to step back in time?

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