Without superstores or out-of-town shopping centres, where in Covent Garden does one buy groceries, a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread or something special to entertain at home?
With the recent opening of Marks & Spencer and a Sainsbury store (Tottenham Court Road, corner Hanway Street) and a Sainsbury store in Kingsway (opposite Holborn Tube Station) next year, Covent Garden will soon be spoilt for choice.
The following is a list of food and drink outlets in Covent Garden and brief details about each shop:
Kipps, 9 Endell Street, tel 0171- 836 4199
Opening times: 07:30 - 21:00 every day
Small convenience shop with newspapers, confectionery, lottery tickets and limited range of groceries. Last time we checked, it appeared this is still one of the few remaining outlets that sells strong beer and cider to street drinkers.
Londis, 70 Drury Lane, tel 0171-836 7263
Opening times: Mon-Fri 08:00 - 18:45, Sat-Sun 09:00 - 13:00
Franchise of national chain of independent mini-markets; owner lives locally. Tiny shop, but useful for odds & ends. Last time we checked, it appeared this is still one of the few remaining outlets that sells strong beer and cider to street drinkers.
Marks & Spencer, 107-115 Long Acre (opposite the Tube Station), tel 0171-240 9549
Opening times (Food Hall): Mon-Sat 08:00 - 22:00, Sun 08:00 - 18:00
Mini version of modern M&S store with emphasis on sandwiches, ready meals and convenience foods; also flowers, fresh produce, wines and ladies fashion.
Miranas, 28-30 Endell Street, tel 0171-240 1624
Opening times: 24 hours each day
Convenience shop with limited range of most 'essential' items, good selection of newspapers, magazines and snacks. Does NOT stock strong beers and ciders.
Shepherd Foods, 24 Drury Lane, tel 0171-836 6494
Opening times: Mon-Fri 08:30 – 22:00, Sat 09:00 – 22:00, Sun 10:00 – 22:00
Well-established, part of a small range of supermarkets across central London, which also includes "Partridges" of Sloane Street. Offers 10% discount to senior citizens. Does NOT sell strong drink to street drinkers. Very good range of groceries.
Tesco Metro, 25 Bedford Street, tel 0171-853 7500
Opening times: Mon-Fri 08:00 - 22:00, Sat 07:30 - 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 18:00
A mini version of the national supermarket, but with some quirky characteristics: don't expect to be able to buy everything you need! Appears to cater for the lunch-time snack trade and local restaurants, seeming to forget there are more than 6,000 residents who live in Covent Garden. Local restaurants often buy the entire stock of some items.
Please use this form to tell us which products you would like to buy in Tesco Metro Covent Garden - either items they don't stock or no longer stock and which you believe a Tesco metro should stock - we will pass your comments to the manager and ask him to remember to serve the whole of the local community.
Drury Lane Greengrocer's (a.k.a. Mr Wong's), 190 Drury Lane (near junction with High Holborn), tel 0171-405 4122
Opening times: Mon-Fri 08:00 - 18:30
Small but well-stocked, independent greengrocer store. Supplies many of the local restaurants. Service with a smile!
Portwine, 24 Earlham Street, tel 0171-836 2353
Opening times: Mon & Sat 07:30 - 14:00, Tue-Thu 07:30 - 17:00, Fri 7:30 - 17:30
High-quality, traditional, old-fashioned, sawdust-on-the-floor butcher shop. Third generation family business. All beef is guaranteed BSE free. Also sells organic meat, free-range chicken and eggs. Often knows the exact source of his produce. Famous sausages and dry-cured bacon.
Carluccio's, 28a Neal Street, tel 0171-240 1487
Opening times: Mon-Thu 11:00 - 19:00, Fri 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 18:00
Delicatessen shop of Antonio Carluccio (Covent Garden's own 'foody' and restaurateur par excellence). Mainly Italian, good selection of gifts and hampers. Modest off-licence. There's more to Italy than just pasta...
Neal's Yard Dairy, 17 Short's Gardens, tel 0171-379 7646
Opening times: Mon- Sat 09:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 17:00
Specialising in cheeses from the "British Isles", preserves and some bakery items. An Aladdin's cave of mouth watering cheeses; also useful mail-order business.
Neal's Yard Bakery, 6 Neal's Yard, tel 0171-836 5199
Opening times: Mon-Sat 10:30 - 17:00
Health-food bakery, many organic items; run as a co-operative. Sells some interesting wholemeal bread varieties, some rather 'heavy'.
Neal's Yard Wholefood Warehouse, 23 Short's Gardens, tel 0171-836 5151
Opening times: Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 10:00 - 19:00, Thu 10:00 - 19:30, Sat 10:00 - 18:30, Sun 11:00 - 17:30
This used to be 'the' wholefood warehouse where one would buy healthy foods in bulk. Now part of Holland & Barrett chain of health food shops. Still a great source for nuts, grains, cereals, dried fruit and health foods.
Monmouth Coffee House, 27 Monmouth Street, tel 0171-836 5272
Opening times: Mon-Sat 09:00 - 18:30
Traditional coffee shop with good selection of coffees from across the globe. Roasts on the premises, which can be smelt many streets away. Buy in bulk for very keen prices. Small coffee room where you can taste before you buy.
The Tea House, 15a Neal Street, tel 0171-240 7539
Opening times: Mon-Wed 11:00 - 19:00, Thu-Sat 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 12:00 - 18:00
Intriguing hothouse of fragrant teas in all shapes and forms. Established in 1960's by a local resident and still in the same ownership. Good selection of gifts, teapots, mugs and glasses. Discover how tea is really meant to taste.
Drury Lane Tea and Coffee Company, 37 Drury Lane, tel 0171-836 2607
and 3 New Row, tel 0171-836 1960
Opening times: Mon- Fri 08:00 - 18:00; New Row only: Sat 11:00 - 17:00
Very successful coffee merchant, mainly sells to the catering and wholesale trade, but stocks some remarkably good coffees and coffee equipment, available to the public. Don't expect frills, just quality coffees.
Oddbins, Earlham Street (Seven Dials), tel 0171-836 6331
Opening times: Mon-Sat 10:00 - 21:00, Sun 11:00 - 17:00
Busy outlet of national chain of super-off-licences, well-located to lubricate and delight the theatre industry and residents alike. Specialist Wine Merchant of the Year for more years than anyone of us can remember. Good for special-offer bargains.
Nicolas, 8 New Row, tel 0171-379 7419
Opening times: Mon-Sat 10:00 - 20:00
Branch of international chain of well-known French wine shops. Good selection with many interesting wines you would not find on a supermarket shelf. Select range of Single malt Whiskies. Helpful and knowledgeable staff.
Covent Garden Whisky Shop, 3 Russell Street, tel 0171-379 4640
Opening times: Mon-Sat 11:00 - 18:30, Sun 12:00 - 16:30
Independent whisky merchant; specialises in rare malts and special vintage bottlings. Treasure-trove for the whisky aficionado.
Victoria Wine, 36 Wellington Street, tel 0171-379 8893
Opening times: Mon-Sat 09:30 - 20:30
Part of national chain of off-licences, stocking a full range of wines, soft drinks and spirits. Always reliable and consistent - good range of well-known wines. Last time we checked, it appeared they still sell strong beer and cider to the many street drinkers around the Piazza and beyond.
(In addition to the drinks outlets above, all the super markets and convenience stores stock wines and spirits - some more than others).