A TIME FOR GIVING (Christmas 2010)
Christmas, the 'season of goodwill', is no holiday. Work
harder, fit more in, take more liberties with health - it's a timeout
full of expectation. Starting with shopping. Shopping for the moment of
opening presents - the smiling faces, eyes lit up. Christmas is a
celebration of an open heart for the perfect present. And how can you
really make the thought count?
In Covent Garden you may come close to the answer. Here you have a non
seasonal collection of wonderful things to buy for friends &
relations. Items you want yourself. Things you can only 'afford' if
it's a present for somebody else. Because the area is a traditional
market where artisans have brought their best wares to sell for
Even now, despite the encroaching quick-buck shareholder owned chains,
there is a stronghold of tradition, A tradition fiercely protected by
people in the area who love quality, originality, craftsmanship,
beauty, The essence of arts & crafts is something you could
If you love the present yourself you can be pretty certain that the
person you give it to loves it as well.
Being generous is passing on something you value.
That does not mean something expensive. In Covent Garden you get cool
ideas and bargains as well as goods that have clearly cost a lot.
There are specialist shops for mundane presents like booze and
chocolates but who wants to be boring when everywhere you look fires
the imagination? A short walk from the tube station down to the Piazza,
up to Neal's Yard via St Martin's market and Church shop can be a
fulfilling series of whistle stops or (be warned) take a long time -
being spoiled for choice.
Bringing the children can speed things up. They don't like hanging
around. With the kids in tow one is forced to be very decisive in the
Neal's yard cheese shop for example. Besides you can take a break in
the museums while they are educating their little asses.
It's best to make a day & evening of it.
Covent garden quality runs through the entertainment, the refreshment
and the ambiance - most of which, let's face it has been around long
enough to call it culture.
Being in a shopping mood in Covent Garden is a tangible buzz. It's common knowledge that there is a vibrance in the air.
COMMERCE OR LOVE? (addendum)
Covent Garden 'homeless'
Bow Street Police Station