Covent Garden is one of my favourite places in London – especially around this time of year! There’s something superbly magical about the dozens of Christmas trees and festive decorations around, and I love the comfort offered by both indoor and outdoor spaces. Usually, I’ll take a stroll through Covent Garden – especially the market hall area – by myself to enjoy the Christmas spirit, but this year I grabbed Kassandra to join me for a proper girls’ day out.
As a disclaimer, we did receive a little spending money from hotels.com to highlight Covent Garden Hotels and the area as a whole. But we set up our own itinerary for the day – to focus on food, of course – and, as with all I Love Foodies reviews, all opinions and views are my own and completely honest, authentic, and independent.
All good days out start with food, and Covent Garden is home to the second branch of Sushi Samba, one of London’s premier sushi restaurants. People have been raving about this place for ages and I had never been – so when Kassandra gently nudged me by suggesting Sushi Samba for our girls’ day, I couldn’t resist.
First off, Sushi Samba is beyond beautiful. I eat in many, many, many gorgeous restaurants all the time but even I had to take a moment to appreciate the absolute grandeur of the space. Decorated in forest and floral vibes, the space instantly transports you away from grey London, and I was only too happy to be enjoying the warmth inside while watching the rain pour down outside. I had gotten stuck in the rain only a few moments earlier, and there is a certain sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing you’ve escaped the cold for a bit and are in for a treat.
Sushi Samba combines a variety of cultures, and you’ll find this reflected on their menu. From Japanese to Brazilian to Peruvian roots, each dish is slightly tainted by the different cultures, and you’ll be greeted by flavour explosions you’re unlikely to have encountered before. While there is tons on the menu, we were here for the sushi, and sushi we would have.
But first, we got a little distracted by the Scallop Seviche, served with mandarin leche de tigre, pickled mandarin, and shiso (£14). This was followed by an assortment of Samba Rolls:
- Samba Covent Garden: Soft shell crab, hamachi, yuzu tobiko, bonito flakes, avocado, asparagus, yuzu miso (£17)
- Ezo: Soy-marinated salmon, asparagus, onion, chives, sesame, tempura flakes, soy paper, wasabi mayo (£13)
- California Maki: Snow crab, Cornish brown crab, cucumber, avocado, sesame, Japanese mayo, truffle oil (£12)
Wow. Not only is the sushi gorgeous to look at but it’s also equally divine. Our neighbouring table had ordered the Neo Tokyo, with tuna, tempura flakes, ahi panca, and spicy mayo (£16), which looked beyond divine. Definitely more picture-perfect than the dishes we had ordered but I’d say ours weren’t bad to look at either, right?
I’m a bit of a simple girl and I generally prefer plain sushi – salmon, tuna, avocado, mayo, cucumber, salmon roe … That’s kinda my vibe. And I’d possibly stick to that in future as well. But, that said, nothing quite beats the excitement of trying something as exciting as what Sushi Samba offers. One of the BEST sushi I’ve ever had was a Lobster California Roll at Nobu, so that definitely proves that I can be swayed from my salmon favourites.
Of the dishes we had, Kassandra and I both loved the seviche. It was enormously tangy and very delicate, which was beautiful. Of the sushi rolls, I was a big fan of the California Maki while Kassandra loved the Ezo (which was funny because I had chosen the latter), and we both equally enjoyed the Samba Covent Garden. I do think this is a Sushi Samba staple that I would highly recommend.
All in all, Sushi Samba was a glorious start to a girls’ day out … but there was more fun and excitement to be had!!!
Dessert Time at Covent Garden
Since we had enjoyed a delicious late lunch, it was obviously time for a little dessert. What girls’ day out would be complete without dessert? And Covent Garden is the best place for this – for me at least – because you’ll find a Godiva store at the edge of the market hall. And at said Godiva store, they sell Godiva-chocolate-covered strawberries, which I’ve been slightly obsessed with for 12 years.
I had my first Godiva-chocolate-covered strawberry back in Boston when I used to live in the US. There, one was able to buy them individually. But now you’re stuck with buying a whole cone – which costs a whopping £10 but is totally worth it. I only buy it once a year during the festive season as a little treat, and I definitely savour every strawberry. Even though I’m not always a fan of all Godiva chocolates, the chocolate-covered strawberries are an absolute hit. I have yet to try their little praline chocolates though, so perhaps those will persuade me to leave behind my strawberries …
Kassandra, however, couldn’t enjoy my chocolate-covered strawberries as she doesn’t eat dairy. But there was no need to despair coz Covent Garden is also home to LaGelatiera, which has an amazing selection of vegan gelato. Kassandra had a cone with chocolate and pistachio ice cream (£4.70), which she absolutely loved.
From sushi to chocolate to ice cream, there was only one thing missing on our girls’ day out: Beauty. Covent Garden is also home to the flagship The Ordinary store, which is one of the most amazing beauty brands you’ll find, offering great products at exceptional prices. And, for the month of November, they also had an amazing 23% off special. So we definitely got our girl vibes on and did a little beauty shopping – walking out with a bunch of products for just over £12!
Have You Been To Covent Garden?
By that time the rain had ceased and the sun had set. So we enjoyed a little bit of time outside admiring the Christmas trees. Until the rain came back again. Then we rushed up to the tube station to head home after a glorious day out!
Covent Garden really is truly beautiful. We only experienced a handful of all the magical spaces available there. But this just proves that we’ll have to go back and explore more!
Written by Benike Palfi
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Article Date: November 2019
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