Today we set out to wander around Covent Garden. Now that I’m back at my computer, looking up some of the places we ended up, I am realizing we only saw about 1/4 of the area. We ended up spending most the day in Seven Dials (image featured above), the only village in Covent Garden!
Seven Dials is seven streets of boutiques, brands, vintage stores, grooming salons and pubs. The village was built in the 1690s with a monument at it’s center. The monument has six sundials surrounding it with the seventh being the column itself. From the monument the seven streets all branch out from it. The village was built like this to fit as many houses into it as possible for greater profit. Unfortunately for the designer the village quickly turned into a slum that was renowned for it’s gin shops. From there it transitioned into a place known for ballad printers and singers. The area then attracted so many workers because of its cheap and compact living spaces that there were up to 8 people living in one room! This mass amount of people that moved to the area influenced the development of the surrounding areas. This caused larger shops to move in and a greater balance today between the vintage boutiques and modern day brands.
The history is still present in this area as there are some very quirky shops still around and extremely interesting street performers as well. We came across this man (image left) playing his guitar and singing all while hanging upside down.
After going up and down the seven streets we walked a block over to China town. The China town here was much different then in Toronto. In the London China town it was all about the food. The streets were lined with restaurants and only a few cheap shops to buy things at.
My favourite part of today was when we went to the ever so lovely Häagen-Dazs restaurant in Leicester Square!!! Yes, an ice cream restaurant with my favourite brand of ice cream, we obviously had to go inside. The menu was packed with ice cream/baked goods/drink combinations that you just couldn’t make up your mind on. Then they had a build your own section at the back juuust in case you wanted to try something different. I had a scoop of Baileys and Dulce de Leche ice cream with a Belgian waffle covered in milk chocolate sauce! (image to the right) It was amazing! David had chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate with some raspberries on the side. It was the perfect end to our day.