Mr Punch is everyone’s favourite puppet and this year Covent Garden will be celebrating his 352nd birthday. Mr Punch’s real birthday is May 9th 1662, when Samuel Pepys first recorded seeing Mr Punch in his diary but the annual May Fayre and Puppet Festival will be taking place on the second Sunday of the month on the 11th of May in St Paul’s Church Garden. Covent Garden is a great base for a day out in London and staying at our nearby Travelodge ensures a comfortable and hassle free stay.
1. The Puppet Festival
The Puppet Festival is sure to be a fun day for everyone and includes puppet workshops, a church service with Mr Punch in the pulpit, a brass band, a May Fayre procession, clowns and some good old fashioned puppet shows. The procession will end in front of the commemorative plaque on the church wall, specially placed for Mr Punch. This is a great day to mix history and education with more than a spot childish fun. St Paul’s Church is well known as the actors church in London and a great place for any aspiring theatricals to visit for inspiration. The event is also completely free so you can save up the pennies to enjoy all that the surrounding area has to offer.
2. Food and Drink
This part of London is a vibrant hub of activity and there are plenty of places to grab a varied bite to eat. Favourite spots include Jamie Oliver’s Union Jacks, a casual affair championing British Cuisine and Shake Shack, an American import serving trendy burgers and frozen shakes. Both are situated right in the middle of Covent Garden market and are great spots for eating in or taking away. French food lovers might like afternoon tea at Ladurée, which is famous for its delectable macaroons and is conveniently located right opposite the church garden. Those in need of a slightly stiffer drink might like to head to The Crusting Pipe which is a traditional Victorian style wine bar serving food and drink. The Crusting Pipe is a great place to catch some of the live music and opera that is regularly performed in Covent Garden.
Covent Garden is a shoppers’ paradise and a great place to browse market stalls and swanky shops alike. Keeping in tradition with the day, a visit to Pollocks Toy Shop is like taking a step back in time as you enter into a world of vintage toys and puppets. Tea lovers will love a trip to Whittard, a great place to sample new flavours before buying. Fashion lovers will adore the pop-up Chanel store, complete with nail bar and all your favourite classics from the well-loved brand.