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As a neighbourhood that combines rich culture and history with fantastic shopping, Covent Garden is home to all sorts of usual stories and characters. In our quarterly guide to Covent Garden Jeannine Saba, founder of The Covent Gardener magazine speaks about some of her highlights as a resident and our neighbour.
As Editor of The Covent Gardener and a long-term resident of the area, I have the enviable duty of unearthing the most intriguing, delightful and bizarre stories about the history of Covent Garden for my readers.
I wanted to share one of my favourite stories with you about a character called JA BUTLER and what he sold in The Piazza in the 19th century… When you visit The Piazza during your stay at The Savoy, stand with your back to St Paul’s Church and look towards the market. You’ll see a square building on the very right of the pavilion on the corner, and it’s from here that JA Butler used to sell hedgehogs. Mr Butler’s name is still there in tarnished lettering, but little else of his unusual trade remains. So why on earth would he sell hedgehogs? Well, Mr Butler discovered that hedgehogs have a questionable diet, a staple of which is cockroaches.
The fruit and vegetable market at that time attracted cockroaches and other insects by the thousands who came to feast on the discarded morsels left on the ground, and it drove the traders to despair. Enter the spiky army…
I adore these unusual tidbits of Covent Garden’s quirky history. The whole story (if you’re brave enough to read it) can be found in the summer issue of The Covent Gardener in your room.
Just for guests of The Savoy, we have limited amount of Friends of The Covent Gardener badges. Please ask at the concierge desk, where your badge will be waiting.
On to a sweeter and less crunchy subject is the most charming children’s afternoon tea I have ever experienced at The Savoy (of course). The hotel are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the late Judith Kerr’s much-loved book with a magical children’s afternoon tea, complete with tiger-themed crockery and playful cakes. Little guests will get special tiger ears, a cuddly toy and their own book to take home. I cannot recommend this highly enough, and I took my ears home with me.
More about Covent Garden and the characters who lived here in the complimentary copy of The Covent Gardener in your room.