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The Village Feel

We have had no printable articles submitted since the one on 'giving' with santa on it. You know kindly readers that anyone can write an article for this page. Independent viewpoints, a visit annotated, If authors want to includea picture of themselves - digital photos are good.

Covent Garden has a small community feel to it. a few thousand people live here and many more come in to work. In this terribly global thing that's happening to most towns, chains and franchises come to roost for some of the pickings. Nonetheless Covent Garden keeps the momentum from the ancient past of a place for specialist and small traders to bring their wares. The 3 markets here have a craft slant. Indeed you can't get a lease at the Jubilee unless your stuff is hand crafted.

As you wander around the Covent Garden streets you will find a great deal that indicates the tight knit community that lives and works there. Neals Yard dairy is very villagie as is the Yard itself, despite the violent pink sign for nail care (sorry). The franchises and chains all want to be here and they are. It started with Tesco Metro which proved to be a star Branch. They had adapted their store front and feel to the area. This is more that can be said of some of the others who wade in and dump their mogul chain looks right where some decent architecture used to be. Luckily there are enough of the smaller personally presented shops and boutiques to keep the place sanely down to earth There are less of them because the rents are really high due to exhorbitant 'rates' from the local authorities. A shop has to be popular and profitable to stay around. (it's not even as if the LA put the money back into the Garden....90%+ gets filtered to subsidise places like Penge).

The place is large enough to be able to surprise you with an amazing shop all by itself in the back streets. Small enough to be a real village community. It helps to find your way around with a map. You can get an up to date Scape map (edition 8) in Marks and Spencer in a coin machine. (We will send you edition 7 free with the Scape map of London. It hasn't changed all that much).

editor@covent-garden.co.uk

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