Covent Garden Market
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A London institution and tourist favourite with a penchant for handmade crafts, goods and antiques.
While Londoners might advise you to avoid the bustle of Covent Garden at all costs, this hotspot is beloved by tourists. One of the biggest draws is the market, which began life in the 1970s as a humble fruit and vegetable market. Thanks to congestion, and because there was no way to develop in the area, the fresh produce moved out and the retail opportunities moved in. The colonnaded nineteenth-century Piazza building is now home to high-profile designers and beauty outlets, such as Tom Ford, Chanel and Mulberry. There are also eateries like Shake Shack and Boho Pizza, with fine-dining options Balthazar, The Ivy Market Grill and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon nearby.
But it’s not all big-name restaurants and famous designers – from Tuesday to Sunday in Apple Market there’s a multitude of independent traders selling unique and handcrafted items. At Culpably Cute you’ll find handmade jewellery, and Painted In London offers hand-painted T-shirts sporting iconic London symbols such as red buses and black taxis. On Mondays the space transforms into an antiques and collectables market, with classic cameras, old printing blocks and vintage tins and signs. In the East Colonnade Market, traders like SM Soaps and Sweets offer various treats.
Top tip: Covent Garden Market is always heaving but early evening, especially in the summer, as it’s winding down, is rather magical. And while you’re there, pop in to nearby Jubilee Market, which hosts around 100 stalls. Alim Kheraj
RECOMMENDED: London’s best markets
Covent Garden Piazza
|Transport:||Tube: Covent Garden or Charing Cross|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat: 10am-7pm, Sun: 11am-6pm|
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