24 Hours in Covent Garden
Our top picks for the best things to do if you are staying in Covent Garden in London for just 24 hours including the best bars, restaurants, things to do, places to see and more
If you had twenty four hours to live because of some impending catastrophic event, like a meteorite was about to hit London, but society wasn't going to collapse instantaneously so you could go about your business as normal before the big bang what would you do? Stay at a great hotel, drinks some cocktails, visit a strip club, or a museum, see an incredible show. Well all these things are possible in Covent Garden. If you are the type of person that lives everyday as if it is their last Covent Garden is the place for you then and these are our top picks for things to do if you have 24 hours in Covent Garden.
The most likely station for your arrival in Covent Garden could of course be a train station and should of course be the nearest ones or your trip has not got off to the best start. You would be better off reading a guide for where you are near. Assuming you have passed that initial hurdle of getting to where you are supposed to be and you came by train you will either be at Charring Cross (located on The Strand), Leicester Square tube or the most obvious choice Covent Garden tube.
All are really close to Covent Garden providing you don't have a mountain of luggage with you but as this is a guide to twenty four hours in London let's just assume you have the bare essentials and are travelling light.
Famous British restaurant and travel commentator A.A. Gill once wrote, "Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life." which makes great places in Covent Garden for Breakfast a good place to start this metaphorical journey.
Of course if it is your first time in London then there is only one choice, an English breakfast complete with black pudding (slices of blood sausage). In my opinion the best places for an early breakfast in Covent Garden for pomp alone is could be The Delaunay.
Browns is a great choice too and excellent value. For vegans and vegetarians then Bill's Wellington Street (part of the Lyceum Theatre building) has a good selection. I also love it because of the cosy atmosphere and friendly staff.
Now refuelled it is time to start the great Covent Garden adventure. It's early in the morning so don't expect to find the main markets open and the streets bustling with performers. It is best to leave that until later in the day. The best thing to do at this time is to take a stroll along the river Thames. Although you will be leaving Covent Garden it is a short walk away and it is the start of a wonderful tour of this part of London.
After a walk along the Thames you will probably be so full of endorphins or so dazed by the smog of London's disgraceful air quality you will need to take a breather and there is no where better to enjoy that juxtaposition than the British Transport Museum.
It's a really interesting place and has fond memories for me as it was one of the first places Vivienne Westwood and I discussed staging her Active Resistance to Propaganda manifesto.
By now the markets should be open so it is the perfect time to explore, buy some crap you don't need, and work out where you want to have a coffee and a cake.
Probably the first lull of the day is going to hit around now so it is a great time to relax a little.
There are still many hours of excitement in Covent Garden to go so you don't want to peak too soon. The nicest way to spend some leisurely time is a matinee. Thankfully you are in the right area as Covent Garden theatres are some of the best in London.
It's quite likely after a full English breakfast; coffee and cake; lunch can be delayed and whilst you might be thinking "oh no I don't want to wait until dinner" I have two words for you, afternoon tea. Welcome to a British cash back. You can eat at any time of day and it already as a name. Whether that is elevenses, a midnight snack, brunch, or the aforementioned afternoon tea, British etiquette has your back when it comes to stuffing your face.
So you have some time to spare, if you are going to be staying the night now is the perfect time to check in to your accommodation. If you are staying at a hotel or hostel or AirBnB it will be around and about check-in time.
If you are staying at a hotel that means the possibilities of some pool time, or a relaxing massage, a shower, change of clothes and some time to prepare for the nightlife in Covent Garden. The Savoy; One Aldwych; and The Waldorf Hilton; all have their own swimming pools and each have great locations for their own reasons.
Afternoon tea is an English tradition so after the energy spent with checking in to your accommodation it is time to refuel. Covent Garden has lots of great places for afternoon tea. If you are staying at The Savoy then there is no need to leave your hotel for one of the best.
For the evening's entertainment then it has to be seeing a show to start with. Covent Garden has more than twenty theatres and with the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera it has two of the best artistic companies to be found anywhere in the world. If opera or ballet are a bit too heavy for you then there are lots of comedy and musical performances taking place too.
After the theatre it is time for some pre-dinner cocktails. Covent Garden is a lovely part of London to walk around so if the weather is nice it is really pleasant to check out a few different places and see what the vibe is.
After a few cocktails and such a busy day you will be hungry and there are many first class restaurants to satisfy your hungry. The Ivy and Rules are two of London's most historic restaurants and popular with actors performing in the Covent Garden shows.
Once you have had coffee if you still have energy there are lots of great late night places to party at. Secrets Covent Garden is one of the best gentlemen's clubs in London as is Stringfellows.
The Porterhouse is one of London's biggest bars and they have a late night basement for live music too.
If you are interested in more great ideas for things to do In London including of course Covent Garden then this is the place to be. You can check out our London blog and London guide and follow us on social media. We don't just have loads of great info about Covent Garden either. You can browse equally inane posts about Soho, Mayfair , St James's and numerous other areas of London you can't afford to visit.
24 Hours in Covent Garden Map
Last updated on 02/06/2019, 11:40
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