When I started planning this issue back in balmy September, the thought of winter approaching left me feeling a tad grey. Fortunately I found the remedy – a ‘Feel Good’ edition.
Our cover artist, Royal Academician David Mach, immediately warmed to the idea. After several rounds of brainstorming and strong tea, our cover started to take surreal shape. ‘Have a banana’, in David’s own words, “demonstrates the dangers of banana juggling.“ I laughed out loud when I saw the final design – it utterly captures the feeling I was going for.
Why bananas you might ask? Well, they are bright and peculiar and they make me laugh. Over the next three months I do hope these 30 pages give you that same feel-good factor. Bananas and Covent Garden go way back: the trusty costermonger donkeys would cart them around the fruit and veg market, the Donmar was once a banana warehouse, and who can forget the Victorian music hall song ‘Let’s all go down the Strand’, whose famous refrain adorns our cover. As a friendly challenge, let me know how many banana mentions there are throughout the magazine. I warn you – there are some sneaky ones!
In addition to our prestigious cover artist, the highlight of this issue has to be bringing a slice of Covent Garden to China. Along with my dear friend Louise Heard, owner of the beloved Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop, we travelled to historic Foshan in the Guangdong Province. I can tell you, dear reader, that we represented our home with pride (though my Cantonese needs a little work!)
Nothing beats away the wintry blues like a good meal, and in this issue we visit Bloomsbury. So make sure you sample the burgers at The Coral Room and sip coffee at Redemption Roasters before capping it off with high tea at The Montague Hotel. Elsewhere Charlotte Couldrey contributes a thoughtful piece on how you can volunteer to help the homeless this Winter.
We have £1000 worth of competitions and giveaways in the magazine and on Instagram @thecoventgardener, and we are very excited to introduce the ‘I’m a friend of The Covent Gardener’ badge. Keep your eyes peeled on Instagram for more, or if you see me out and about in Covent Garden, don’t be shy!
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