Introducing Covent Garden
Where is there such another maze of streets, courts, lanes, and alleys? So Charles Dickens wrote of Seven Dials, the northern portion of Covent Garden’s intricate layout. In Dickens’ day it was an infamous rookery – a slur of gin-houses, brothels and squats. Today all trace of the unsavoury has gone (but only as far as west as Soho, you might be glad to know).
Now well-known brands vie for retail space on Long Acre and beneath the cloisters of Inigo Jones’ Italianate piazza, and though Covent Garden still draws hordes of tourists to the theatres and shows on Drury Lane, there are signs that naff fast food spots are making way to classier, higher quality establishments.
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Best known for
You’ll find all manner and all types of urban minstrels, on the walk down from Covent Garden tube station, and then in and around the piazza itself.
The Royal Opera House
This bastion of the British arts establishment has successfully shaken off its stuffy, elitist image, and now is a thriving centre for all sorts of experimental operatic, dance and theatrical works.