Today’s post is a walk from Russell Square, down through Holborn into Covent Garden, through Chinatown and ending at Piccadilly Circus.
Just outside Russell Square Underground station there are people in the morning and evening rush hour handing out free papers. They are very light on material and are primarily a vehicle for advertising but hey, it’s free so one can’t really complain. The Londonpaper below is owned by News Corp, and it was announced a few weeks ago that production of it will cease shortly.
Walking all the way down Southampton Row from Russell Square brings one to Covent Garden.
Covent Garden is one of my favourite parts of London. Most of the West End theatre is located here and as far as high street brands are concerned, all the big brands have stores here, many of them flagship stores. The Covent Garden market isn’t really a market as such and is more of a tourist trap these days – always busy and probably my least favourite part of Covent Garden.
Out of Covent Garden and down Shaftesbury Avenue and to the left is London’s Chinatown. The original Chinatown was further out of the centre but was bombed to oblivion during World War II. After the war, Chinatown was relocated here. Being in the middle of the West End, it is obviously going to attract a lot of tourists and as such it can feel quite unauthentic at times. The best area to shop for Chinese food provisions in central London is around Edgware Road, which is North West and about 10 underground stops from this area. Like anywhere though, there are good things in the official Chinatown for those who are willing to do a little research. Tokyo Diner has good value western style Japanese food and HK Diner does some good authentic Chinese food, although the authentic menu is in Chinese and if you don’t know specifically what you want or can’t read Cantonese you’ll be stuck with the Westernised menu. I always go for the boneless chicken or duck with rice. Simple and tasty!
Back onto Shaftesbury Avenue and a minute’s walk down to Piccadilly Circus, one of the most recognised landmarks in London. Whenever I’m in Piccadilly Circus I never cease to be amazed and always take a moment to appreciate just where I am. This area is non-stop busy and is even more amazing by night.