With regular events, alfresco dining and a thoroughly atmospheric market, Christmas at Covent Garden is a wonderful way to experience the best festive hubbub in the capital. Here’s what’s on for Christmas 2022.
If Christmas had a commercial, culinary, and intoxicating home in London it would be Covent Garden. As the capital’s hot spot for festive cheer, a Covent Garden Christmas is an experience packed with uplifting attractions in the historic core of central London.
As the first public square in the country, Covent Garden was originally devoted to selling fresh fruit and vegetables. Today, the 180-year-old central market is one of the best speciality shopping locations in London and a great place to hang out at Christmas.
Enjoy retail pop-ups, over-the-top decorations, charming Christmas markets, quality dining experiences and boozy stalls serving festive cocktails that would make Rudolf blush.
With regular events, workshops and live entertainment, soak up the atmosphere of the most notable piazza in the city with a Covent Garden Christmas.
For more ideas, read our guide to Christmas in London.
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DOLCE & GABBANA POP-UP STORE
The brightest addition to Covent Garden Christmas calendar this year is the Dolce & Gabbana Holiday Market. Taking up a prime location on the piazza in front of the Opera House, the D&B Holiday Market is branded in their iconic Sicilian pattern and one of the most photographic locations in London this Christmas.
Inside, find gift ideas for the home, fashion collections, and a unique print that you can only find at the pop-up store. For a cool present idea, browse the selection of Italian treats including wines, Fiasconaro sweets and Pastificio di Martino pasta.
The Covent Garden Christmas markets are set up under the portico of the Market Building in the middle of the piazza. It’s one of the best Christmas Markets in London for quality crafts, jewellery, and collectables. In true Covent Garden style, you can also find several London-inspired souvenirs to take home as gifts.
There’s no better way to enjoy the market than by grabbing a mulled wine and wandering around the small collection of very festive pop-ups.
You’re never far from a top restaurant in this part of London but this year, the heated alfresco dining in the piazza offers a festive way to experience Christmas in Covent Garden.
Several restaurants and bars have outdoor terraces which fill the piazza with both an entertaining winter vibe, and Christmas-inspired cocktails. Dirty Martini has a small outdoor bar behind a white picket fence which serves their regular cocktails with a Christmas twist, which are best enjoyed with one of their burgers or hot dogs.
COVENT GARDEN CHRISTMAS SLEIGH
Grab a quick photo opportunity with the kids on the Christmas Sleigh. The lush red sleigh is a reconditioned 1884 carriage which has been beautifully restored and hand-painted back to its former glory. Unfortunately, there will be no Santa or reindeer this year, so you’ll have to make your own fun.
The sleigh is available for Instagram moments from 9am to 9pm.
COVENT GARDEN CHRISTMAS TREE
The Christmas tree at Covent Garden is one of the most spectacular in London. Set in the historic piazza beside the South Market, the tree is a whopping 60-foot display, handpicked and grown in Britain. With over 30,000 lights it’s a dazzling display for your Christmas photos.
For more dazzling displays, read our guide to the best Christmas Lights in London.
The Jubilee Market is the perfect place to snap up a quirky Christmas gift in Covent Garden. The historic market was built in 1904 and has been housing market stalls in the Grade 2 listed building ever since.
- Antiques & Collectables (Mon 5am to 5pm) – Shop for Edwardian, Art Deco and Georgian peices including fine art, sterling silver and used books.
- General Market (Thu to Fri 10:30am to 6pm) – With everything from fashion to handmade pens, art and puppets, the general market is perfect for unusual Christmas gifts.
- Arts & Craft Market (Sat & Sun 10am to 6pm) – Pick up handcrafted items including jewellery, candles, paintings and clothing.
HENRIETTA STREET RESTAURANTS
Take a break from the Covent Garden Christmas activities by trying the restaurants on Henrietta Street.
Ivy Market Grill // Overlooking the piazza, Ivy Market Grill serves British classics in an elegant space with contemporary and classic cocktails.
Din Tai Fung // An excellent Taiwanese/Chinese restaurant in a refurbished building with oriental stylings and traditional character. Don’t leave without trying their famous Xiao Long Bao – the delicious, steamed bun.
Pivot Bar & Bistro // A modern British restaurant over two floors of 3 Henrietta Street with an innovative seasonal menu from Scottish chef Mark Greenaway.
El Ta’Koy // A cool subterranean bar serving Hawaiian/Asian fusion dishes. Their cocktail bar is one of the hottest spots in Covent Garden – happy hour is from 5pm to 7pm Monday to Thursday.
LONDON FILM MUSEUM
The London Film Museum in Covent Garden is a tribute to the British film featuring items from several famous film franchises.
Currently, the museum is housing the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition, which takes fans behind some of the key moments in the production of the films. It’s a great family Christmas activity in Covent Garden.
Climb onto a broomstick and fly over London thanks to green screen technology or try a Butterbeer which you can either enjoy in the atmospheric cabins or take home as a gift.
Book tickets online.
PETERSHAM NURSERIES CAFÉ
Located in a beautiful corner of Covent Garden, Petersham Nurseries Café is a tasty break from your Covent Garden Christmas experience.
Over several beautifully decorated spaces enjoy delicious Italian food, tempting cocktails and workshops from the masters of artisanal produce.
The Petersham serves lunch, dinner and afternoon tea using Italian flavours and seasonal produce. La Goccia is a cosy wood-fired space with botanical-enriched cocktails and The Deli serves organic coffee and freshly baked pastries.
If you’re feeling particularly festive, try a wreath-making workshop, a pasta masterclass or a wine-tasting event. All details are on petershamnurseries.com.
CHRISTMAS SHOWS NEAR COVENT GARDEN
Located in London’s West End, there’s no better way to finish a day exploring Christmas at Covent Garden than by catching a festive production. Here are some great shows taking place for Christmas 2022.
- The Snow Queen is showing at the Lyric Theatre for a limited time from 25 November to 31 December 2022 – book tickets.
- A Musical Theatre Christmas at St Paul’s Church Covent Garden brings together an all-star cast performing the best of the musical theatre Christmas songs – book tickets.
- The Snowman returns to the Peacock Theatre for the 25th year, cementing its place as an unmissable Covent Garden Christmas activity for families – book tickets.
- The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe brings the magical world of Nania to life on stage until 8 January 2023 – book tickets.
- Ruination is a witty and irreverent take on the Greek myth of Medea playing at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden from 1 December to 31 December 2022 – book tickets.
As London-based travel bloggers, we’re often exploring exotic destinations far from home, but there’s a wealth of great experiences to be had within the UK. Here are some of our favourite guides to our home country.
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