Covent Garden’s Giant Outdoor Dining Hub Is Staying Permanently

Julie Freeman Julie Freeman - Staff Writer

A Covent Garden Outdoor dining hub is opening on April 12

Covent Garden’s al fresco paradise is here to stay.

The one good thing to come from endless lockdowns and restrictions over the past year is the rise of the outdoor dining concept in London. To allow the safe reopening of restaurants, Covent Garden added 800 covers to a giant outdoor dining area spanning seven surrounding streets back in April. The neighborhood joined parts of the West End and Kensington and Chelsea in making room for businesses to serve diners and drinkers in the open air until indoor dining was permitted to resume. At least, that was the plan. However, al fresco dining proved to be such a success over the summer that some areas decided to extend their licenses and keep the fun going.

Covent Garden outdoor dining
Photo: Brenden Bell

Covent Garden’s massive outdoor dining scheme initially included more than 35 local restaurants, with extensive seating areas set up to accommodate the public with parasols, heaters, lighting, and wind blocking screens. Visitors were able to stroll through Henrietta Street, Floral Street, Maiden Lane, and Southampton Street, in addition to the already pedestrianised Piazza, King Street, and James Street. Participating Covent Garden restaurants included SUSHISAMBA, Ladurée, Mariage Freres, Avobar, Da Henrietta, and Din Tai Fung, to name only a few.

Now, Henrietta Street, Maiden Lane, parts of Southampton Street, and King Street will remain hot spots for outdoor service. Westminster City council is also in talks with other neighborhoods about extending al fresco schemes, so let’s hope we see more of them becoming permanent fixtures! And now that summer is coming to a close, we’re really glad most of the outdoor spaces are weatherproof…

Stay up to date on Covent Garden’s website.

While you’re there, make sure to check out Covent Garden’s dazzling neon art installation.

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