Covent garden launches family friendly February half term festival
From 16th February Covent Garden will launch its very first Family Food Festival. The festival will see an exciting selection of innovative food pop ups, family friendly activities and exclusive food and drink offerings at restaurants across the estate throughout Half Term and into March, and a huge selection of pancakes for Pancake Day.
For fans of the much-loved book and film series and Covent Garden’s Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition, a spellbinding Harry Potter Butterbeer bar will pop up and spark joy across the Piazza from 17th February, serving bottled Butterbeer and Harry Potter themed cupcakes to visitors, in a magical installation. Free souvenir tankards will be offered to anyone who purchases a bottle of Butterbeer from the pop up and then goes onto buy a ticket to the Exhibition.
To celebrate the launch of the Family Food Festival, Covent Garden will install a brand new al fresco community dining area on the Piazza, designed by London-based artist Coco Lom. The al fresco area will be transformed with ‘Blissful Benches’ - bespoke hand painted picnic tables in Lom’s signature bold shapes and bright coloured prints and patterns, emblazoned with uplifting messages including ‘Euphoria’, ‘Togetherness’, ‘Laughter’ and ‘Celebration’. There are eight separate designs to discover and the benches will be in situ from 17th February.
The hottest street food offers from Feast It will also be popping up across the Piazza from 16th February - 1st March with offerings that cater for families to office workers seeking a new lunch spot and beyond. Food and drink offers will span coffees and pastries from Copper Penny, family friendly lunches from Pabellon, The Duck Shed and Crepe Masters, sweet treats by Jesseco, Prosecco & Pancakes, and evening cocktails by Free Wheelin and Honest Folk to finish off the day in style, with all available to eat on the new al fresco dining area.
For families looking for pancakes ahead of pancake day, Covent Garden offers one of London’s largest and most innovative selections, including American style pancakes and crepes at restaurants across the estate. Highlights include Macha pancakes from AVOBAR, Hot Buttermilk Pancakes courtesy of The Ivy Market Grill and Balthazar will serve their much loved New York style banana and blueberry buttermilk pancakes. Other favourites include Crème de la Crêpe’s delicious sweet & savoury Crêpes and Ave Mario’s Chantilly cream and banana buttermilk pancakes.
The Family Food Festival will spotlight Covent Garden’s wide range of family dining options and children’s menus at all budgets. Sticks‘n’Sushi offers a fantastic value for money kids menu and in-restaurant activities to keep young visitors entertained as well as a contest where they can receive chocolates for their entire class at school, while Pitaya offers a bespoke children’s menu of hero ‘Little Pitaya’ dishes including chicken or vegetable main, a fruit drink and apple dessert . There are also family friendly menus at Covent Garden favourites Balthazar, Shake Shack, Frenchie, The Ivy Market Grill, Avobar, Lilly’s and The Gentlemen Baristas.
Sitting alongside Covent Garden’s food offering, the neighbourhood will play host to a range of family friendly activities providing children with fun and educational ways to stay entertained this half term. Visitors can explore The London Transport Museum and its new exhibition, Legacies: London Transport’s Caribbean Workforce, which opens on 11 February and celebrates the generations of Caribbean people that have shaped London’s transport history and culture. The museum will also offer activities including a Flag Exhibit, storytelling sessions and creative poster making throughout the week, with local resident discounts and kids go free offers available.
Other options for a Half Term day out include tech workshops at Apple, the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition, ear piercing at The Alkemistry, a variety of shows at Covent Garden’s theatres, and Family Sundays at The Royal Opera House. A cultural corner of London, theatregoers and art enthusiasts are spoilt for choice with the National Gallery, British Museum and Somerset House only a short walk away.
Half Term will also see the return of the successful Pollock's gift bags, which will provide young visitors the opportunity to select their own toys from the old-fashioned counter. The retailer has also teamed up with broadcaster and author Zeb Soanes and will be stocking signed copies of his latest book 'Gaspard's Foxtrot'.
Coco Lom, Artist: “I was thrilled to work with Covent Garden on this new commission for a public art initiative, creating ‘Blissful Benches’ for all visitors to enjoy. Colour has the power to affect our body and behaviour. It influences our happiness, changes our mood and triggers different emotions. Colour and pattern can bring a fresh wave of joy and spark new energy that ripples throughout whole communities. They have the ability to make positive change in people’s lives, which is incredibly powerful. I hope to encourage people to share and celebrate joyful moments together in Covent Garden.”
For further information on drinking, dining and shopping, offers and things to do in the area please visit www.coventgarden.london or visit @CoventGardenLDN