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Exploring London: Seven Dials, Covent Garden’s shopping village

Seven Dials Monument in Covent Garden Seven Dials Monument in Covent Garden

Jen Riley
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
10:42 AM

Not long ago, I got to spend the day enjoying the sun and exploring a lesser-known side of one of my favourite London areas - Covent Garden.

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ScreenfaceScreenface

Instead of heading South to the market from the tube, I headed North to be shown around the area known as ‘Seven Dials’.

Starting at the Seven Dials monument, where seven streets all feed into a little roundabout...giving the area it’s name. Then heading down Monmouth Street to discover some of the retail treasures...

Ben Nye at ScreenfaceBen Nye at Screenface

Starting with Sceenface - any beauty junkie’s paradise. A whole host of amazing beauty goodies, ranging from amazing false lashes, palettes with every colour under the sun to prosthetics and fake facial hair. Plus a selection of brands that aren’t always easy to get in the UK - Embryollise skincare and Ben Nye for example.

Next, we stopped at the quirky accessories store - Tatty Devine to check out their wares. My personal favourites include the perspex earrings and ‘Gin’ pin. Gorgeous stuff - although not sure I was quite brave enough to rock the large perspex lobster necklace that I spotted in there!

Quirky accessories store Tatty DevineQuirky accessories store Tatty Devine

Next was on to Gilda’s Tryst - also known as heaven. I totally fell in love with this place - if you’re looking for unique jewellery then you really need to pay this treasure trove a visit. The jewellery and clutch bags were stunning - one pair of earrings in particular are now firmly top of my lust list (the pink and turquoise ones below) - it was love at first sight.

Next was on to Miller Harris, fragrance heaven. Miller Harris is a brand I’ve always been familiar with, but only had limited experience of. This was one of the highlights of my afternoon in Seven Dials - I met James, who really knows his stuff - he picked out a series of fragrances that I absolutely fell for on first sniff (so much so that I think they deserve a whole separate blog post). Really impressed, I now want my flat to look and smell like the inside of the Miller Harris store.

Quirky earings at Tatty DevineQuirky earings at Tatty Devine

We also made a little stop at Orion, a boutique for the brand that is also stocked in Topshop - lovely vintage inspired dresses and quirky accessories. I’m loving the leather and metal bracelets...especially the white for Summer.

Then we made a stop at Neal’s Yard Remedies - a Covent Garden institution of natural beauty and wellbeing goodies. I was treated to a lovely relaxing hand massage whilst I was talked through the history of the brand and a bit about their latest project - working to support British Bee keepers.

Gilda's Tryst - also known as heavenGilda's Tryst - also known as heaven

If you’re in the area, definitely head to Neal’s Yard, not just for this store - but just to soak up the atmosphere. It was a rainbow of colour - also, the Monty Python crew was formed in the building above the Neal’s Yard store...random fact for you.

The last retail stop on the tour was the Shu Uemura boutique - the only free standing Shu Uemura shop in the UK. I love Shu Uemura already, but it was lovely to get to spend some time with the make-up artists there who created a gorgeous day time smokey eye for me using golden browns that made my eyes really pop. I loved it. I took some FOTD shots when I got home so will include these in a separate post, but there’s a little sneak peak of the shades used below.

Miller Harris, fragrance heavenMiller Harris, fragrance heaven

Last, but by no means least we stopped at PIX for a quick cocktail and some tapas nibbles. The food was gorgeous, all on display on the counter and you just help yourself - each of the sticks are either long or small, to indicate the price. Your bill is then worked out on the number of sticks you tot up. Each plate varies from around £2-3, and the few bits I tried were delicious. Totally recommend the cod fritters.

This is just a small snippet of the things to discover in the Seven Dial’s area - it’s really worth a wander. If you’re a tourist in the area, head up here and look around rather than to the crowded market - it’s far more genuine London with more unique and interesting stores/coffee shops and bars to explore - plus a nice selection of mainstream shops too.

Fragrances at Miller HarrisFragrances at Miller Harris

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