On day four, Diane and I met our pal author Jo Manning in Covent Garden and went along on a London Walk of the area. I adore London Walks, the company has engaging guides and enough walks on a variety of topics so wide ranging that absolutely everyone who visits London can find a walk that will not only interest, but also delight. Because the Covent Garden area will feature on a few upcoming Number One London Tours, I wanted to make sure that my knowledge of the area was up to snuff.
Covent Garden has a fascinating history, spanning centuries, and there is so much to see, if one knows where to look, point in fact the surviving herbalist’s sign below. From flower markets a la My Fair Lady to Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies, the mind boggles at all who have trod here.
If you’re in the area, do make time to explore the garden behind St. Paul’s Church,
also known as The Actor’s Church
The tour included areas outside of Covent Garden, including the Strand, where we saw the Coal Hole. I was first introduced to the Coal Hole decades ago by Dr. David Parker, then curator of the Dicken’s House Museum. Tip – don’t visit right at five o’clock as the place is packed then with City types wanting their well earned cocktail at the end of the day. The place is packed with atmosphere, like something right out of a Dicken’s novel, so it really is worth a visit.
We also passed The Savoy Hotel, which has been on my “to do” list for the past five or six trips to London, but which I still haven’t found the time to visit. I’m dying to suss out the place and to have at least one cocktail at their bar.
The tour also included a stop into Simpson’s in the Strand, the venerable restaurant venue which has figured large in both London and Royal history. But more on that later . . . . .
The tour did provide me with a new shortcut from the Strand through to Covent Garden,
so that’s alright. If only I remember where it is.
We took in the Oscar Wilde memorial beside St. Martin’s in the Field on our walk. The statue is entitled A Conversation With Oscar Wilde. You can read about it here.
When the walking tour ended, Jo, Diane and I went for lunch to the Duke of Wellington Pub in the Strand. You may recall that Victoria and I had lunch there during the Duke of Wellington Tour with Marilyn, Diane’s sister. And I’ve posted about my meal there with with Hubby – delicious lamb shanks. I realize that it all sounds rather incestuous, but the important bit is that the food is wonderful.
A grand time was had by all!