After leaving Sir John Soane’s House, Victoria, Marilyn and myself made our way over to Covent Garden – land of flower sellers, ladies of ill repute and some nefarious goings on. And that’s just today. Seriously, though, it would have been nice to see some of the old street sellers who once haunted this market. As usual, I found that with a little imagination, there are glimpses of the old market to still be seen today.
Before we explored any further, we decided that a spot of lunch wouldn’t go amiss and we left the Market in search of food.
We soon found ourselves in front of the Marquess of Angelsey pub. Now, this would have been a spot that spoke to Waterloo hearts if Victoria and I hadn’t known what was waiting for us just a street away.
The Blue Plaque explains that the offices of Charles Dickens’ magazine, All The Year Round, were once located in this building.
And just down at the corner . . . . . our favourite Duke of Wellington pub, not to be confused with the Duke of Wellington pub near our hotel in Kensington where we’d already eaten twice.
It was a glorious day and we opted for an outside table, where we ordered small plates and shared a meal.
Afterwards, we went back to Covent Garden so that Marilyn could see more of it.
Buskers/mimes in front of St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden
We were lucky enough to be strolling by as an opera singer was belting out Ave Maria.
The flower market now (above) and then (below).
We strolled by the ubiquitous Covent Garden pigeons. Alas, no Audrey Hepburn in sight.
The entrance to St. Paul’s Churchyard, now (above) and then (below).
Rear of St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden which opens on a small rose garden that happened to be gloriously in bloom when we visited.
Roses behind St. Paul’s Church
Leaving the churchyard, we found ourselves near Bedford Court, where we grabbed a cab and went to my favourite antique dealer in Cecil Court.
To my great delight, they had a Copeland bust of the Duke of Wellington after Comte D’Orsay, 1846.
The Duke and all his acquaintances thought that D’Orsay’s work was the best likeness of Wellington. I did, too, and so Reader, I bought it. I was smart enough to ask them to hold on to the bust until my return to London in a week’s time.
Being that Victoria and Marilyn were still in a shopping mood, we hoofed it over to Liberty’s before meeting up with Diane for dinner at Burger Lobster in Curzon Street. Diane had been meeting with her Mills and Boon editors in Richmond, so she had lots to tell us in between our accounts of a busy day. Here’s
her website and book info.
After a fabulous meal, Victoria and I took Diana and Marilyn on an impromptu walking tour of Mayfair, which included a stroll past Beau Brummell’s house in Chesterfield Street.
The Beau’s House, #4 Chesterfield Street, sports two blue plaques: one for the Beau (1778-1840), the other for former PM Anthony Eden, Lord Avon (1897-1977), in office 1955-57.
At the top of the street, we turned onto Charles Street, which is chock full of period architectural detail. Here is #22 Charles Street, once the home of
HRH Prince William, Duke of Clarence,
later King William IV who reigned from 1830-37.
We walked the Regency streets for a while longer, but by this time, we were all fairly tired and so we headed back to the hotel and called it a day. And what a day it had been. Needless to say, the four of us laid our tired heads upon our pillows and looked forward to our next adventure.
More Loose in London coming soon!