Travel

Covent Garden

Establishment neighborhood
Margot
45 Great Queen St., Covent Garden
Margot brings a ritzy, glitzy (expensive) Italian dining experience to the heart of Covent Garden. And the kitchen delivers. Despite the formality of the space, this is still Italian cooking: Plates are meant to be shared. Nothing dispels stuffiness faster than four people helping themselves to an antipasto board of bread, prosciutto, artichokes, and more. Then comes the pasta—thick ropes of tagliolini twirled around prawns and sweet tomatoes, pappardelle with wild boar ragu, you get the idea. For dessert, order the tortino de riso, rice infused with vanilla and Marsala, topped with silky almond cream. You won’t be sorry.
ESPA Life at Corinthia
10 Whitehall Pl., Covent Garden
The Corinthia in Covent Garden is one of those places that generally lives up to all the hype. As soon as you enter the space you immediately understand why: the interiors are dark, it's covered in Italian marble, and the vibe is moody but polished. The ESPA is one of the city's largest with twenty-nine treatment rooms and even a stainless steel swimming pool. Along with a robust roster of treatments—signature facials and massages—there's also a selection of customized treatments that focus on detox, sleep, pregnancy, and weight loss. The best part? Their day spa offerings include access to everything from the gym and thermal floor to the sauna and steam rooms and relaxation areas.
The Barbary
16 Neal's Yard, Seven Dials, Covent Garden
From the team behind Palomar, a major hit for its take on Israeli food, comes this spot which delves deep into the food of the Barbary coast in North Africa, which greatly influenced Levantine cuisine. At the Palomar, everyone knows the best seats in the house are at the bar, so now at The Barbary, the only seats in the house are at the 24-seat bar where much of the food is prepared. The vibe is as electric as at its counterpart and the food is as spectacular if not more. Order a wide selection of dishes to share, and don't miss the roasted aubergine, the chicken msachen and the lusciously crumbly, buttery, knafeh for dessert.
Bronte
The Grand Building, 1–3 Strand, Covent Garden
Located a few steps from Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, and the National Gallery, Bronte makes a wonderful haven right on the well-beaten tourist path. In an enormous space with great views of the Strand nearby, Tom Dixon and his Research Design Studio have truly spread their wings and created a gorgeous and memorable space. There's the enormous pink marble bar at the entrance, the luscious green leather banquettes in the dining room, the lighting fixtures, of course, and Tom Dixon's classic fan chair dotted throughout the terrace overlooking Trafalgar square. In all truth, this spot is more about the atmosphere than the food, but there are some good, and affordable, snacks to be had, especially when you stick to standards like burgers and a classic English breakfast.
Chick ‘n’ Sours
1a Earlham St., Covent Garden
What started as a no-frills fried chicken spot in Haggerston with kitschy mismatched China and picnic tables for large groups outside, now has its upscale counterpart in Covent Garden's Seven Dials. It makes sense, too: Their phenomenal fried chicken just couldn't be contained to one small spot in Haggerston. Not only is their chicken incredibly succulent and their crust perfectly crunchy, but the flavors of their sauces are pretty otherworldly. Don't miss the intensely spicy chicken wings, or the K-Pop bun which comes with gochujang sauce, or their General Tso Fried Chicken. In fact, come with a group so you can order the whole menu and sample it all. While the concept of fried chicken and sour drinks is enticing, stick with their sangria, beer, or wine.
Frenchie
16 Henrietta St., Covent Garden
For the last six years it’s been near impossible to land a table at Greg and Marie Marchand’s much-loved Paris restaurant Frenchie and its Bar a Vins offshoot across the street. Lucky for London, the Marchands have landed across the channel, opening the doors to a glistening new space, complete with an open kitchen downstairs as a nod to the original. Here, Marchand’s masterful, tapas-style menu incorporates his tastes from working in New York, Paris, and London’s best kitchens. In fact, Frenchie is a return to London for Greg, having earned his stripes at places like Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, where he also earned his nickname: Frenchie. From his elegant takes on the likes of Cornish Cod and Yorkshire Chicken, you can tell he’s having fun reigniting his friendships with the best London producers, all the while showing his French roots with an ever-changing sampling of French cheeses and worldly wines.
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