London: A stroll around Covent Garden and a proper tea
I have a framed reproduction of part of John Stow’s 1598 map of London. It shows the “garden of the Abbey and Convent”. Although the area was briefly settled around AD 600, it was mainly fields and was walled off by 1200 for use by Westminster Abbey as a garden and orchard. The land is called Covent Garden around 1552 when Edward VI granted it to the Earl of Bedford (whose name, by the way, was John Russell-the Russell family/Earls of Bedford owned all this land around where I’m staying). Elegant houses were built but when a market moved in, the aristocracy moved out and it became a red-light district. The Bedford Estate owned it until 1918. It is now a popular tourist and shopping area.
My brother and I walked around the area. We went to St. Paul’s Church (also known as the Actor’s Church). We also toured 150 years of London transportation history at the London Transport Museum (one of the few museums that charges for admission).
When we returned to the hotel, we had Afternoon Tea in the garden room. It’s a good thing I don’t have access to clotted cream everyday! Wow, were those scones and jam and cream good!
Beth, Reader’s Services