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June 09 [Sat], 2012, 12:25
Covent Garden's name has its origins in the mists of time - dating back to the reign of King John in the 13th century.karen millen bodycon marble print dress It was a 40 acre site and formed the large kitchen garden for the Convent or Abbey of St Peter at Westminster.

For the benefit of visitors, the land is bordered by St Martin's Lane in the west, Drury Lane in the east, Long Acre to the north and Maiden Lane to the south. The monks' 'convent garden' became a major source of fruit and vegetables in London and, for the next 700 years, Covent Garden became inexorably linked with fresh fruits and vegetables.

The houses built here in the 1630s by one of London's most famous architects, Inigo Jones, were designed for "Gentlemen and men of ability". Before they were destroyed by the Great Fire of London, Covent Garden was regarded as the most fashionable place to live in London.

Today, Covent Garden is still a very vibrant and fashionable place to shop and dine. It attracts a variety of people including tourists, opera and theatre-goers and shoppers.

Covent Garden Shops

There are several young fashion designer shops in Neal Street including Diesel and Miss Sixty, Urban Outfitters and Bench in Shelton Street, Karen Millen and Hugo Boss in James Street and Hobbs and Zara in Long Acre.

For traditional British arts and crafts and antiques, head for the Apple Market and the Jubilee Market. It is claimed that the Apple Market will be the only market in London that sells unique hand-made craft products which are only produced within the UK.

The Apple Market supports the arts and crafts industry of Great Britain by creating an environment that genuinely nurtures art and crafts. In the long-term, the aim is to build on Covent Garden's famous arts and crafts heritage by building a creative hub that showcases the best in unique hand-made goods.

The Piazza

The Piazza is an open-air market selling traditional British food and exotic delights every Thursday. Experience the hustle and bustle of the stallholders, the cries of the area's famous street entertainers and the amazing aromas coming from the bubbling pots and freshly cooked goods on offer.

Eating out in the Piazza is a sheer delight. With such a vast array of food on offer together with live music to keep you entertained, your main problem is deciding on what to eat.

There are lots of interesting things to see and keep you entertained here, including:

London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum has more than 80 road and rail vehicles in its collection representing public transport in the city and its suburban and country areas over the last two centuries. There are only 20 vehicles on display at the Covent Garden location and the rest are kept at the London Transport Museum depot in Acton.

The Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House in Bow Street, is home to the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. The original theatre on this site was built in 1732 and the current majestic building is the third, following disastrous fires in 1808 and 1857. The first ballet was presented in 1734. Handel's first season of operas began in 1735.

Bow Street

Established in 1829, located opposite the Opera House at 25 and 27 Bow Street, was the site of the first police station in London. Beside it stood Bow Street Magistrates Court, where famous people like Oscar Wilde, Dr Crippen, the Kray Twins and Jeffery Archer were tried.

Russell Street was in the heart of London's clubland for about 100 years until around 1815. The whole of London Society used to come here to exchange news and gossip at three coffee houses - Tom's, Button's and Will's.

London Theatres

The Theatre Royal, in Drury Lane, is the oldest theatre in London. It has been on this site since 1663, although the present building dates from 1811. All previous buildings were destroyed by The Great Fire of London in 1666. St Paul's Church at 31 Bedford Street, also known as the actors' church, is the only remaining building from the original Covent Garden. The walls in the church are covered with memorials to actors and in 2005 the "Avenue of Stars" was opened in the grounds of the church.

Rules Restaurant, started by Thomas Rule in 1798 and located at 35 Maiden Lane on the south of Covent Garden, is the oldest restaurant in London. Originally it was an oyster bar and then later diversified into making game pies. It was later developed into a restaurant which has changed owners three times over 200 years.

Many famous people including Charles Dickens, HG Wells, Charlie Chaplin, and Laurence Olivier have dined there. It is claimed that to the right of the main entrance is a side door built for Edward VII so that he could entertain his lady friends in private.

Also the pub at number 13 Maiden Lane has been there since 1692.

Covent Garden is the place to explore next time you visit London. There are lots of theatres, restaurants, pubs, cafes and shops for you to enjoy.

Chow Siew is the webmaster of http: //www. my-london-breaks. com.karen millen block stripe knit dress black and red This site provides event news and activities in London including hotel accommodation, theatre and concert tickets and London Passes.
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