Seven Dials is the Pillar with Six Sundials and Also Refers to the Surrounding Neighbourhood:
In the upper corner of Covent Garden is a junction where seven streets converge. Seven Dials, a pillar with six sundials, marks the crossroads with the central spike supposedly representing the seventh dial.
Seven Dials also informally refers to the immediate surrounding neighbourhood which is a shopping precinct. It describes itself as London’s hidden shopping village which we stumbled upon when we were walking around Covent Garden.
Sandwiched between Covent Garden and Soho, Seven Dials has a nice community and village feel about it. Whether you plan on shopping or not, it’s nice to walk around the streets in this corner of Covent Garden to see the diversity of interesting shops here – the antique clothing, beauty emporiums and independent boutiques that make up the Seven Dials shops are quite different from the mainstream shops along Oxford Street.
Thomas Neal’s at Earlham Street is an upmarket shopping complex that’s full of designer clothes, jewelry, fashion accessories, cosmetics and cafes.
People in the know, including celebrities, come to Monmouth Street for a spot of shopping and alfresco dining.
Neal’s Yard in Neal Street is another interesting area. This traffic-free area is full of colourful buildings housing shops, salad bars, art galleries and restaurants. And if you like cheese, you’ll go crazy at Neal’s Yard Dairy in Shorts Gardens, one of London’s best cheese shops and certainly one of my favourite shops.
And when you tire of looking at the shops, there are lots of creative-looking cafes and sandwich bars in the Seven Dials area where you can have a relaxing cup of coffee and enjoy this interesting corner of Covent Garden.
Seven Dials is open seven days a week.