Neal’s Yard and Seven Dial’s District, London

Neal’s Yard in London had n’t ever come under my radar despite many visits to London over the last 50 years.

However bright images of Neal’s Yard kept popping up on my ‘chosen for you’ Pininterest page. So I headed for it on my last trip to the smoke.

I arrived in London early just as the mist was beginning to  lift off the Thames and a faint flicker of Autumn sun was trying to break over St Paul’s and The Cheese Grater. From Waterloo station I crossed the river via the Hungerford Bridge and made for Wellington Street a left turning from the embankment. I

This way I could avoid Covent Garden and all it’s distractions! I like it but have done and bought the t-shirt many times, I wanted to head straight to Neal’s Yard and something new.

I called in to a branch of Benugo for a  breakfast of baguette and coffee – the freshness of the displays of rolls and baguettes were to die for they all looked so inviting. Lovely urban style decor of wooden floors, stools under a bench table from where I could watch busy workers rushing to the office etc.

Turning left into Short Gardens I admit to being distracted by a beautifully decorated fish and chip shop called The Rock and Sole Plaice  sadly too early to be open but I have made it my mission to get there one day.  You can read their story on the walls around this beautiful corner building and lick your lips in anticipation of a fish dinner. I was really sorry to be there at the wrong time.

Neals Yard’s colours beckon from the off, it really is as bright as those Pinterest photos which first attracted  me. Apparently the yard had only just opened as it closes over night. I recommend you look upward to see the lights and decorations hanging along with plenty of greenery. There is a cafe, Neal’s Yard Remedies as well as the scrumptiously called Hair by Fairy   hairdressers. Paint box colours, a seating area made out of painted oil cans and lots of plants what more can you want. There was even a little hint of gorgeous spicy smells emanating from a Moroccan restaurant with an inviting cushioned seating area.

From there I found myself in the Seven Dials area …… Oh I had heard of this area but could never actually put my finger on a map to say where it was but it links Covent Garden to Theatreland around a statue. Looking back on a map now the Seven Dials mapped area reminds me of the cheese holder disk in the board game Trivial Pursuit.

I’m always looking for somewhere new or different to explore in our capital, any suggestions in the comments below are appreciated.

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