On the cobbled streets of London’s world-famous Covent Garden neighbourhood, you find a market, high-end fashion outlets, and a host of boutique stores all in one convenient location. If luxury cosmetics, opulent patisseries, and handmade fashion accessories are your thing, then explore some of these gems amongst the coveted Covent Garden shops. These are some of the best places to stop along the way.
Seven Dials is the heart of boutique shopping, so after topping up your caffeine levels in Monmouth Coffee, you pass high-end gentlemen’s barber shops and apothecary-style cosmetics stores to find the unique outpost of The Cambridge Satchel Company. You step inside for a quick look at the rich burgundy-, emerald-, and tan-coloured satchels. As you walk around the shop, you can’t help but notice the luxurious setting. The dark wood décor and individually lit pictures on the wall are as impressive as the bags on sale here. From tote bags to purses, and from traveller bags to backpacks, you can find any type of satchel here, and in any colour you can imagine.
St Martin’s Courtyard
As you approach Long Acre, you stumble across St Martin’s Courtyard, a hub of luxurious Covent Garden shops and restaurants. Beautiful floral displays from The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers spill out into a quaint courtyard of al fresco diners, and you spot the premium shoe shop Pretty Ballerinas. You step inside and see the ballet-pump-style footwear with pearlescent beading and sparkling diamanté crystals displayed on the glass shelves. You feel like adding a bit of personality to your wardrobe, so you try on the animal print pumps. They’re the perfect fit! You hand them to the shop assistant who carefully wraps them and tucks them into the perfect pink boutique bag for you.
As you weave in and out of the shoppers of Neal Street, an old-fashioned shop front with vibrant teapot displays catches your eye. It’s The Tea House, a famous tea merchant that’s been here since 1982. You enter this Aladdin’s cave of teas, and a friendly assistant tells you about their green and white teas from China and Japan. She then guides you through the various flowering, fruity, and herbal infusions. Before you leave, you peruse the beautifully ornate tea sets. An Eastern-style teapot with a bamboo handle and four small cups has won your heart, and you’ll be taking it home today. You feel exhilarated after finding this gem amongst the more mainstream Covent Garden shops.
Covent Garden Piazza
You emerge from Floral Street to the bustling James Street, where costumed street performers and fire-eating stuntmen set a vibrant scene. You find yourselves at the famous cobbled Piazza, which surrounds the Covent Garden Market, an incredible open air 19th century market hall.
For Old World splendour, you visit Segar & Snuff, a charming tobacconist and snuff parlour. You admire the craftsmanship of some of the 200 wooden pipes that fill this tiny space and overhear the shopkeeper waxing lyrical about their premium cigars. You say goodbye and make a beeline for the market stalls. Amongst jewellery stalls, artwork, and antiques, you find the temporary pop-up for Adrienne Henry Millinery, a boutique designer who designs hats and headpieces for almost any occasion. They hold up the mirror while you pose in bold, vintage-style cloche hats and elaborate percher-style headwear.
Once you’ve scoured the treasures of Covent Garden’s great market you’re in need of some retail respite so Ladurée, a chic French-style patisserie seems like the perfect pit stop. You take a seat in this chandelier-lit tea salon and marvel at the menu of irresistible macarons. Your sweet treats arrive with a pot of Earl Grey tea, and as you take a well-earned break, you delve into your bags to remind yourself what you’ve bought. You both agree, this has been a great day so far, and there’s still more Covent Garden shops to behold.