As much as I have enjoyed my children’s company over the summer holidays, the moment September rears its head, I can’t deny Im not looking forward to a few child-free hours! This year to celebrate my regained freedom, I decided to head to an area of London I love, Covent Garden, for a few hours one morning. Of course, there is so much to sample, you can always look at a Covent Garden hotel for a longer stay, but my child-free hours this time only extended to a morning!

My first stop was Blow. Blow is mainly known as a mobile beauty service, but there are several beauty bars in central London, including Covent Garden, where you can book to get manicures, pedicures, make up, lashes or a blow dry done. After a summer of sunshine, sea and childcare, my shellac nails were looking pretty shabby, so it was good to find a slot to get them sorted and repainted in a new colour for the new term.

The salons are buzzy and the service is excellent – friendly staff who give a few extras like a drink as you receive your treatment. It was lovely to sit and relax and come out with newly manicured hands.

Next stop was time for a coffee; my life seems to be fuelled by coffee! Covent Garden is not short on coffee shops, and you will find all the chains. However, there are plenty of independents to explore: Within my favourites are Monmouth Coffee and Redemption,  a vegan restaurant, but also serves take out coffee – I can highly recommend the iced oat milk lattes! This morning, I chose the very instagrammable Petersham Nurseries on King Street. It needs no introduction and I’ll just leave a photo of the coffee and cake here for you to savour …

Covent Garden is busy, there is no two ways about it so finding a quiet spot to enjoy your take out coffee is seemingly hard. However, there are two lovely tranquil spots I love in Covent Garden. St Paul’s, the actors’ church, has a lovely courtyard full of benches so ideal to take five. The church and grounds are full of history and both are adorned with benches and plaques in memory to members of the acting community – a different sort of star spotting!

Another such spot, is Ching Court, near Seven Dials. Ching Court is a space that is actually privately owned, but at certain times, open to the public. This is a lovely courtyard to sit and have a few moments away from the bustle of the West End.

No trip to Covent Garden is complete for me without a trip to Stanfords, the country’s leading supplier of travel books and maps. As a travel blogger, I am in heaven! I can spend hours browsing. Dare I mention the ‘C’ word, but I accumulated a few present ideas! This place is also the perfect place to get wanderlust for the next holiday – now if I can just narrow it down from Africa, South America, Central America …

It’s always worth popping into Galeria Melissa on King Street, a shoe shop from Brazil. The shop is selling its brand upstairs and downstairs is an installation which changes with the current collection. At the moment, you will find a mirrored room celebrating  the Melissa Possession collection, ‘all ways equal’. In previous times, the space became a ball pit!

Finally, before I went home to resume Mum duties, I had to have a slice of the best pizza (in my humble opinion) in town! Home Slice is located in the picture-perfect Neal’s Yard, and there’s nothing better than sitting in the sun and enjoying a slice of their mushroom, ricotta, pumpkin seed and chilli pizza, and seeing as it was still just about summer, the aperol spritz was an excellent accompaniment.

It really was the most relaxing morning in solitude – perfect for any parent post summer holiday madness! I would love to know your top tips if you are visiting Covent Garden – do leave them in the comments!

This post has been written in collaboration, The spending money was gifted by, but all views are my own.

Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays