Covent Garden, a town that belonged to Westminster Abbey during the Middle Ages, has since become one of London’s biggest tourist attractions.
Pubs, bars, restaurants and retail shops overshadow what used to be Covent Garden’s thriving square and entertainment attraction, although some street entertainers still remain.
Good Entertainment and Markets
Similarly, the once famous Piazza has been replaced with yet another glossy Apple store, and cinemas and theatres replaced with a modern day ODEON.
Shane Lidgett, 24, a construction worker said: “I love Covent Garden, there is always good entertainment and markets.”
“It is a good place to go out with friends,” he continued.
People had once made a living out of selling fruits, vegetables and flowers in the Apple Market, but it has now become a place to sell British antiques, jewellery and other hand-made crafts.
One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the diversity found in dining opportunities dotted around the Covent Garden area.
With everything from Italian to the classic burger joint, the choices available cater to everyone’s personal food preferences.
But one question that is left unanswered, is whether the dining in Covent Garden is losing its traditional British roots?
American food chains, Five Guys and Shake Shack have all opened in the last year, with a Jamaican restaurant opening last March. All replacing or taking the limelight away from British restaurants such as The Ivy and Diana’s Diner.
Chef Balloon, 40, a chef in Covent Garden’s Dub Jam, a Jamaican restaurant selling jerk chicken, grilled pineapples and jerk pork belly says that he was so “excited to be part of something different in this part of London.”
Chef Balloon had accepted the job at Dub Jam, months before the opening when the owner approached him.
On why he wanted to be part of something different, he said: “Because we haven’t had something like this in London. It is fresh (the restaurant).
“It is basically like you’re on a beach and the only think that we’re missing is the sea.”
American Restaurants and An English Atmosphere
Five Guys and Shake Shack originate from the East Coast of America, specifically Virginia and New York.
The two burger joints in Covent Garden both opened in the Summer of 2013 and have been a popular place to eat amongst the public.
Abdullah Alshammari, a 26-year-old a Development Solutions Manager at Microsoft who is originally from Dubai, says: “I think it is really nice when you have American restaurants and an English atmosphere as it makes a really unique place for dinner.”
However, some may say that the introduction of multicultural foods to Covent Garden is ruining the dining experience, including Abdullah.
“I think this is true, but sometimes you need American restaurants as it is tastier. I like Shake Shack because they have my favourite burger and good cheesy chips.”
American crab shack and BBQ restaurant Big Easy is the latest instalment in Covent Garden. It opened last month.