Updated: Dec 25, 2022
Covent Garden is a vibrant destination for anyone who enjoys shopping, theatre, restaurants, bars, history and culture. This eat, drink and be merry Photorun explores all it has to offer.
This short 'Concierge styled' overview video is designed to give you a flavour of the area, whilst the rest of this blog is focused on providing you with guidance and a 'tasting menu'.
Eat, drink and be Merry Maps of Covent Garden
Nothing brings people together like good food, so where do you go in this part of London that will cater to your taste and pocket and provide the ambience you want?
The art of finding and recommending the perfect place to eat can be tricky as there is so much variety in London, and tastes and budgets vary widely. To try and get around this, I have provided the most common links to help you find, select and book eating venues – just add the location into the search.
Open Table London – They pride themselves in bringing together people and the restaurants they love in the moments that matter, giving you dining options, experiences, and offers.
The Fork – This is a Tripadvisor company that relies as much on its communities of users as its communities of restaurateurs. You can search on price, cuisine, rating, and special offers.
Hardens – This is probably the UK's most comprehensive independent restaurant guide, with reviews written by its members. It ranks each place by its food, services and ambience and has extensive search capabilities.
Design My Night This site is designed to help you discover and unlock secret, new and unique city experiences, from events to bars and restaurants, but it is also a site to help plan and book online. It has categories for restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, and 'what's on'.
Afternoon tea This is an Afternoon Tea guide to help you find the 'perfect venue for afternoon tea' in London and the UK. It provides descriptions, offers, booking facilities and an extensive search option.
Special Google Maps
This link has adverts.
The Nags head - 10 JamesStreet
The White Lion – 24 James Street
Punch and Judy 40 The Market
The Marquess of Anglesey – 39 Bow Street
Bow Street Tavern 37 Bow Street
Coach and Horses 42 Wellington street
Nell of Old Drury – 29 Catherine Street opposite Theatre Royal Drury Lane
The Wellington 351 Strand – at the bottom of Wellington Street
The Lyceum tavern – 354 Strand (Sam Smith pub)
The Savoy Tap – 2 Savoy Street - Shepherd Neame - Live bands and music
The Coal Hole 91-92 Strand
The Nell Gwynne Tavern – -2 Bull Inn Court - tucked away down an alley off the Stand.
The Maple Leaf - 41 Maiden Lane – Canadian-themed pub
The Porterhouse – 21-22 Maiden Lane – large Pub – many floors – craft Irish beers
The Round House 1 Garrick Street - Fullers
The Lamb and Flag - 33 Rose Street, (off Garrick Street)
The Long Acre 1 Upper St Martin's Lane
The Porcupine 48 Charing Cross Road
Roundtable – 26 St Martin's Court
The White Swan - 14 New Row
The Salisbury 90 St Martin's Lane
The Chandos -29 St Martin's lane – Sam Smith
The Harp – 47 Chandos Place – Award-winning Fullers pub
The Marquis 51 -52 Chandos Street – By the narrowest alleyway and the Police Station
The Lemon Tree. 4 Bedfordbury – Pub with Thai Cuisine
The Bear and Staff – 10-12 Bear Street
Brewmaster – 37 Cranbourn St
The Moon Under Water – 28 Leicester Square
Cache Cache 5 The Piazza, London WC2E 8RA. – Cocktails with food
The Wine Place – unit 33 the Market Building Covent Garden Piazza
Dirty Martini 1/12 Russell Street, Covent Garden,
Paul Hamlyn Hall – Royal Opera house Bow Street
Side Hustle – Set in the old police station – Nomad Hotel – Bow Street – casual dining & drinks
Be at One 24-26 Russell Street
Plume Wine bar 26 Wellington St – Charles Dickens used to live and work here.
Lobby Bar – One Aldwych (Hotel) – Posh Lobby Bar
Radio Rooftop – M Hotel – The Aldwych – All-day dining and late-night drinking
Pennethorne's Bar – New Wing Somerset House
Oche – The Strand 105 Strand – Darts Bar – and other games
The American Bar – Savoy Hotel Strand – Oldest cocktail bar
The Beaufort Bar - The Savoy Hotel
The Bar Simpson in the Strand 100 the Strand – also part of The Savoy
Gin Palace – Stand Palace Hotel
Eve Bar Covent Garden – 34 Southampton St – underneath Adam Hardings Restaurant
Mr Fogg's Society of Exploration 1a Bedford Street – just off the Strand
Stereo Covent Garden 35 The Piazza – opening Dec 22 Music and cocktails
Moto - Japanese Sake Bar, Shop & Eatery 7 Maiden Lane authentic Japanese drinking culture
Upstairs at Rules 34 Maiden Lane
Lady of the Grapes 16 Maiden Lane – Organic wine bar and restaurant - French
All Bar One - 19 Henrietta Street
The Blind Spot London – St Martin's Lane Hotel – Modern-day Speakeasy - Cocktails with a country theme
Tequila Mockingbird Covent Garden 42 William IV Street Tequila and tunes
Things to do
Museum of Freemasonry 60 Great Queen Street
Royal Opera House – Bow Street – Ballet and Opera
Bow Street Police Museum – Bow Street
The Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition - 45 Wellington Street
The Courtauld Gallery – Somerset House
Somerset House – Strand – Neoclassical Riverside palace
Jubilee Market – 1 Tavistock Street
The Apple Market 21 Market Building
Fortune Theatre – Russel Street
Theatre Royal Drury Lane Catherine Street
Gillian Lynne Theatre 166 Drury Lane
Aldwych Theatre 49 Aldwych
Novello Theatre Aldwych
Duchess Theatre 3-5 Catherine Street
Lyceum Theatre 21 Wellington street
Savoy Theatre – Savoy Court Strand
Vaudeville Theatre 404 Strand
The Adelphi Theatre Strand
London Coliseum – St Martin's Lane
Noel Coward Theatre 85-88 St Martin's Lane
Garrick Theatre 2 Charing Cross Road
Wyndham Theatre – Charing Cross Road by Leicester Square
St Mary Le Strand Church – Strand
Corpus Christi Catholic Church – 1-5 Maiden Lane
Crown Court Church – Russel Street – Church of Scotland - Presbyterian
St Martin-in-the-Fields – Trafalgar Square
London Eat Drink and Be Merry Themes
The British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal once said:
"To me, food is as much about the occasion, the location and the company as it is about the taste."
And since Photoruns is about exploring new things, you could also be adventurous and try new ways to discover menu items that are outside your comfort zone but will grow your palate.
So here are a few Photorun 'occasion' ideas that may help your 'eat, drink and be merry' London quest. Please let me know which one you like or if you have better ones.
When you do a photorun, seek out some breakfast locations and number them. Then select one at random and try it out. You can even do this with items on the breakfast menu and let chance dictate your selection - or some of them.
This is based on the victorian rhyme that symbolises luck for a bride on her wedding day, but in this version, it is to do with food and drink. You can do this for a whole meal or at a location or venue.
Something Old – have the food and drink that you know you will like.
Something New – try something that is new to you and that you want to try
Something Borrower – taste or drink something you have been recommended to try
Something Blue - Select something spontaneously - out of the blue. It's best to have a trigger for spontaneity, like a specific colour.
There are so many pubs and bars in London that you can easily create your tour based upon your favourite tipple, for example, a Negroni, Whisky or Guinness tour. The aim is to select a drink type, investigate the venues, and then have your favourite tipple in each of them. An alternative is to try out the different variations in just one venue!
Around the World in 8 Hours.
Phileas Fogg is the protagonist in the 1872 Jules Verne novel "Around the World in Eighty Days", where he visited eleven nations to complete his adventure. The aim is to map an 'around the world' route and have something to eat or drink that comes (or is connected to) each of your destinations - in the proper order. Top marks if you match Phileas Fogg's eleven places.
Letters from London
The objective is to choose a letter, word or name and visit venues with the letter(s) in the correct order. Alternatively, you can select based on your menu and drink choices.
Horses for courses
As the name suggests, this is about discovering the best place for each course for your perfect meal - which could be three courses or more if you include the drinks before, during and after.
Groundhog Food Tours
This is a take on the film Groundhog Day, but this time it is about having your favourite menu item each day at different venues, so you can compare and contrast the same dish and then rank them.