Open House Festival

Fruit to Fashion: how a kitchen garden became a world famous piazza



20 Southampton Street, WC2E 7QH

This year marks the 50th anniversary when the wholesale market ceased trading and moved to Battersea/Vauxhall area .The tour charts the evolution of Covent Garden-incorporating the piazza, the wholesale produce market, social residential areas and supporting neighbourhoods - highlighting the social and commercial highs, lows and challenges.

Getting there


Leicester Square, Temple, Covent Garden


Charing Cross

Additional travel info

End point is Centre Point , Tottenham Court Road - by the tube station


What you can expect

There are pubs/ hotels en route for any toilet stops.


About the tour and guide

This year marks 50 years since the market closed and moved to Battersea/Vauxhall area . Covent Garden has become a much visited neighbourhood by people from all over the globe. We explore how the area evolved from a kitchen garden to a giant wholesale produce market and was supplying clients throughout the UK. We look at one locality which supplied a variety of peripheral services to the market, as well the residential areas in latter years. At the same time highlighting the struggle to keep the area intact on the departure of the wholesale market and the impact on the local inhabitants and businesses as well as the area.

Guide: Tony Ganio , born in Central London , has been constantly fascinated by the evolving face of London over the years. He has always had an interest in design and architecture and loves the extraordinary mix that we have in our city.

The Golden Key Academy

This tour is led by an alumnus of Open City’s Golden Key Academy – a course training up insightful and engaging guides dedicated to explaining London and bringing its many stories to life.

Further info on the Golden Key Academy can be found here

Tour meeting point:

Meet in front of the bronze Covent Garden Market Plaque
20 Southampton Street


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