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.
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.
10 Whitehall Pl., Covent Garden
Tastefully decorated and full of the scent of fresh-cut flowers, The Corinthia is all about understated glamour. The hotel boasts a superb spa, a speakeasy-inspired bar, and perfectly-executed, classic British cuisine at the new Kerridge's Bar & Grill. They also have a large selection of penthouses if you’re looking to indulge. It’s a great pick if you’re hoping to stay in the vicinity of Trafalgar Square and the theater district.
Strand, Covent Garden
Originally opened in 1889, the Savoy has since undergone a £100 million restoration, retaining vestiges of its Art Deco past while adding a whole lot of luxe and glamour. In addition to the meticulous rooms, a glass of champagne at the hotel's Beaufort Bar, followed by dinner at Gordon Ramsay's Savoy Grill makes for a pretty perfect stay.
23 Catherine St., Covent Garden
This place is perfect for some pre- or post-theater drinks and delicious tapas, many of which are cooked right in front of you on the open grill at the end of the long sleek bar. For a full meal, head upstairs to the dining room, which features an impressive gold-leaf ceiling.
Strand, Covent Garden
This cultural institution has some of the best shows on Fashion, Photography and Design every year, not to mention the new London Design Biennial as of 2016. Aside from the galleries, there are a couple good spots to have a snack, take in the views of the Thames and also take the kids. Every Saturday, Somerset House offers kids a range activities from painting and model-making to fashion design and animation. Each workshop is designed to encourage and inspire fresh activities to try at home. The courtyard, which is by a great concert series in the summer, is transformed into a public ice skating rink every winter.
Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop
44 The Market, Covent Garden
Benjamin Pollock's toy theater shop was revamped in the 1960's by Marguerite Fawdry (it was her idea to add a museum), and Mr. Pollock's grandson runs the shop and adjoining museum to this day. There are old-fashioned teddy bears, doll houses, zoetropes, and vintage games that kids and adults alike will find fascinating. The specialty here, however, remains the mini-theaters. The toy store still stocks them and makes for the start of a very fanciful toy collection.
Primrose Bakery (Closed)
42 Tavistock St., Covent Garden
The original Primrose Bakery was born over a decade ago (there are multiple locations), mainly because the owners wanted to make cupcakes, which were already killing it overseas, available in London. Over the years, The assortment has expanded to include classic chocolate cake (it's the moistest, richest, most perfect thing ever) and a menu of made-to-order layer cakes, which can be decorated any way you like.
Coco de Mer
23 Monmouth St., Covent Garden
Fancy, high-tech sex toys, beautiful apothecary items, lingerie, and general erotica (there's a small but mighty selection of dirty books) is all on offer at this tasteful shop. The lingerie runs the gamut from tame (Stella McCartney, Paloma Casile) to risqué (the house line of intimates is pretty heavy on the latex), and includes a good range of bridal.
The Shop at Bluebird
Carriage Hall, 29 Floral St., Covent Garden
Chelsea staple Bluebird has recently relocated to Covent Garden, into a stunningly outfitted former coach house no less. The fashion emporium is fittingly upscale for its surroundings, but, in a relaxed, casual, spend-an-entire-Sunday-here sort of way. They stock a great mix of under-the-radar brands along with all the staples like Peter Pilotto, Marni, and Ganni. Pop across to Balthazar for lunch afterwards.