Hidden Gems in Covent Garden, London

So, a mere day between arriving back from our Switzerland break to Geneva, I was back for a sleep and change of clothes before hopping on a train in the afternoon and heading up to the Big Smoke aka London.

I don’t often go up to London, as it’s never really interested me that much before. Prior to this trip, every time I went to London was far too busy with people walking into me constantly, and it was smelly and polluted.

So why the heck was I heading up to London when I was clearly less than enamoured with the place?

Well, over a year ago, on the Thai island of Koh Lipe – I met a pretty special bunch of cool ladies. One of them, Sarah, had talked a lot about how she wanted to leave her high-flying political job and pursue her dreams of acting and writing. At the time, I also dreamt of making a living as a writer.

So when I saw that Sarah had written her first play, which was being shown in a small theatre in Kennington, I knew I wanted to try my hardest to be there to see the premier.

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It was pretty special for me to support her in this, seeing as we had similar journeys yet hadn’t had the chance to catch up since our time on that little Thai island. We’d both taken leaps of faith and pursued our dreams, and were both making a living from doing what we loved.

The play was amazing and very well received. It was funny yet poignant and the actors did such a marvellous job bringing it to life, especially in such an intimate theatre space, it amazed me how they managed to convey the different scenes with so few props. It was a fantastic debut!

I had decided to stay in London for a few days to explore a little and catch up with a few old friends from school over coffee. Looking around for things to do in London which wasn’t going to involve me in the middle of a crowd and set off my social anxiety, I found a little gem in Covent Garden.

I wandered down the streets of Covent Garden, everything decorated with flowers, greenery and bunting; passing cute tea shops and other places along the way that made me linger at the window displays a little too long.

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The place I was looking for was not far from here…

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Just around the corner from the famous Crown & Anchor pub standing in all its summer glory, is a little place tucked away called Neal’s Yard.

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Neal’s is a small quirky courtyard with a cluster of brightly coloured shops and Cafés. A strange little haven from the maddening crowds on the main streets in London.

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I parked myself up in the delightful Jacob And The Angel coffee shop

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The friendly staff were nattering away with some customers in Italian, but were happy to see me straight away, asking what I would like and offering some recommendations.

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I had a wonderful and refreshing cold brew coffee and after struggling to choose from all their tasty looking sandwiches and salads, the barista recommended me their speciality, a mushroom and kimchi toastie with the salad of the day on the side.

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The toastie was pretty damn delicious but I actually liked the salad even more, which consisted off roasted curried cauliflower, red onions, and chickpeas.

They also had some delectable looking (and even some vegan-friendly) desserts, but I was too full…

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So if you’re looking for a quiet cafe, delicious coffee in Covent Garden, a nice little lunch spot, or vegan desserts in London – I would highly recommend Jacob And The Angel!

I spent the latter half of the afternoon and early evening at a place called Lost Rivers round the corner from my hostel in Elephant and Castle, sampling all the flavours of this alcoholic soda, which is actually suitable for vegans as well and perfect for people that don’t really like the taste of beer or cider!

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I sat in the sun with my kindle while the roar of football fans came from inside, and reflected that I had actually had a lovely time in London, compared to when I had been up before, and I actually felt a little sad to be heading home.

So if you’re looking for hidden gems in London, head to Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden!

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