Neal’s Yard

Hello to all my fellow color lovers and Qwirksters! Thanks for joining me on another escapade today!

For those of you planning a future trip to London, and looking for a place that you can feel at home among amazing color, I highly recommend checking out the adorable Neal’s Yard, a quiet little place in the Covent Garden neighborhood of London.

As you walk through Covent Garden, you will only see the common shopping and entertainment venues with muted neutral tones throughout. Not to worry! This will be necessary as it will act as a nice neutral backdrop to the surprise you are about to experience.

Neal’s Yard is a hidden little gem of a courtyard within the triangle between Neal Street, Monmouth Street, and Short’s Gardens. One of London’s cutest and best kept secrets. There’s an entrance on Short’s Gardens in the small alleyway between the Benefit shop and Holland & Barrett. You can also access it from the opposite end through another narrow entrance on Monmouth Street next to the Fresh shop. I personally don’t think the signs to the entrances are obvious enough and if you blink, you will probably miss them. So keep your eyes open as you are approaching the area.

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Once inside, your reality complete morphs into a cornucopia of charming little shops, cafes, benches, oil drums, and flower baskets, against a collection of brightly painted building facades, window trim, and shutters. You’ll think you died and went to Instagram heaven.

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Neal’s Yard was named after Thomas Neale, a man who received a piece of land in 1690 from William III and later created the Seven Dials area of Covent Gardens. But the actual creative genius behind the site as we know it today is none other than entrepreneur Nicholas Saunders, who in 1976 opened the first whole food shop in the then dirty and dingy backyard. The Yard developed over the years as more shops started to move in, until it is now the most colorful little atrium that you ever did see.

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I’m gonna have to say that it’s probably best to experience Neal’s Yard in the warm summer months so that you can spend some time sitting outside as you take in all the beautiful the sights, sounds, smells, and color. This would also be when the plants and flowers are in full bloom and the colorful oil drums and window baskets will be brimming and spilling over with their botanical awesomeness.

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Some of the shops that call this adorable space home are Neal’s Yard Remedies known for their heavenly skincare products, as well as Neal’s Yard Dairy, touting an abundance of delectable British farm cheeses. You can also grab a bite at the all raw Wild Food Café or Homeslice where they will serve you some of their delicious wood-fired pizza. Several other small boutiques and restaurants claim this quaint little corner of London as their home. Too many to mention, but all worth checking out if plan to make several trips back.

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If you consider yourself a true-blue color lover, all other places in London will pale in comparison next to this secret hideaway. I guarantee Neal’s Yard will definitely become one of your favorite spots in all of London!

Lady Miss Neptune here wishing you a bright, happy, and qwirky journey! We’ll catch up again very soon!

 

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