Who doesn’t like a bit of festive cheer and some lights to brighten up these dark evenings?

For those who like to get swept up in the romance of Christmas, Covent Garden turns the festive charm dial up to 10.

The West End neighbourhood had its big switch on this week, which saw the piazza overflow with people on Tuesday, November 7 to mark the start of Covent Garden’s all-things-festive campaign to brighten up winter – from here on in, the festive train runs nonstop.

The Resident: Carol singers sang classic traditional songsCarol singers sang classic traditional songs (Image: Zita Whalley)

I paid the area a visit last night, Thursday, November 10, which was a particularly rainy and dreary evening.

I was hoping to get caught up in a snowstorm but alas, I didn’t (I either timed it poorly, or there isn’t any snow flurries this year, I’m not sure). However, in a well-timed accident, I stumbled into a Festive Thursday – Covent Garden’s weekly late filled with shopping, happy hours and surprises that run until the end of December.

The Resident: The neighbourhood's 60-foot Christmas tree lights up the eveningThe neighbourhood's 60-foot Christmas tree lights up the evening (Image: Zita Whalley)

As I walked down James Street right near the Tube station trying my best to avoid umbrella spokes, I was greeted by a crowd gathered round carol singers who were injecting traditional carols with a bit of gospel pep. Such a pleasant surprise.

Taking a stroll around the square and getting caught up in the crowd with no real purpose was lovely, as there is so much going on and to be distracted by. The rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits as there were plenty of people eating and drinking and wandering around looking at the festive pop up stalls and just generally soaking the atmosphere up.

The Resident: People were out eating and drinking under the bellsPeople were out eating and drinking under the bells (Image: Zita Whalley)

The Christmas tree is huge – some 60-feet tall and elaborately covered in pink lights - and has long been a festive draw card for the neighbourhood, however it was the new Christmas installation in the Market Building that really wowed.

The bells are just as maximalist as the tree, perhaps even more so, and in an area so densely populated with things that sparkle and shine, the enormous bells stood out.

There’s 40 of them, each wearing a bow and snuggled up with 12 giant baubles and eight spinning mirror balls. The effect is dazzling and given the amount of people papping themselves with their loved ones, I suspect I wasn’t the only person who thought so.

The Resident: Sushi Samba's winter terrace is a little hideaway right in the thick of the actionSushi Samba's winter terrace is a little hideaway right in the thick of the action (Image: Zita Whalley)

I ended the night with a couple of drinks at Sushi Samba’s recently opened winter terrace. Enshrouded by frosted foliage, it is somewhat private, however as it juts out onto the piazza you’re still in the thick of things. It’s also covered, and heated and comes with a bar – a trifecta of winter joy.

For more information on Christmas at Covent Garden visit coventgarden.london