The halls are well and truly decked in Covent Garden this year and the super-sized Christmas tree on the Piazza is surpassed only by the topiary reindeer towering over the crowds behind the Royal Opera House and humongous baubles suspended in the covered market. Bigger is clearly better in this part of town.
There are more than 150,000 pea lights illuminating Covent Garden
On Saturday just passed, Covent Garden hosted a real reindeer encounter on the Piazza – or at least so my folks tell me as the keepers were busy sweeping up the little “gifts” the reindeer had left behind by the time we had arrived and the animals were already tucked up inside their horse box… er, I mean, Santa’s sleigh, of course?! We headed into the market and followed the spicy scents from within.
Mulled wine signs have popped up around all the cafes and bars that spill out onto the streets, but do walk around to get a good deal as some places were charging double the price of others! The slightly over-enthusiastic roasted chestnut stall tagged on to a hat stand seemed unaware his charred goods were making all his headgear smell like bonfire, but still it’s a sensory wonderland in Covent Garden and well worth a visit for some festive fun if the hordes on Oxford Street aren’t your thang.
Further along Long Acre we took in some of the window displays and found this enchanting series of glowing halos crowned with frosted twigs and twinkling lights along Slingsby Place. Some of the windows were less than spectacular (Hobbs, what is that you’re doing this year?) but I’ll round up my Christmas window Saints & Sinners another time…