District Guide: Covent Garden, London
seen by Jonathan Daniel Pryce, photographer
The award-winning photographer Jonathan Daniel Pryce, alias GarconJon, has built his career on a passionate idea: back in 2008, when Instagram wasn’t even a thing and “blogger” was still a rare profession, he started documenting street styles in his home town of Glasgow. Since then he’s focused on photographing men with a unique fashion sense, but opened his portfolio to collaborations with renowned brands and magazines, as well. For our guide he shows us around his new home of choice, Covent Garden in London.
“I love Covent Garden because it feels small and transports me to London’s historic past. The sense of scale with low buildings contrasts with its bustling and urban contemporary culture.”
Do you have one beautiful memory that will forever be associated with your neighborhood? In June of 2018, I did a ten year retrospective of my street style work. It was a show presented by Vogue Hommes on the London Fashion Week schedule and was a seminal moment for my career. We had the show on Floral Street near the Piazza in Covent Garden. I’ll never forget the opening night.
1. Covent Garden Piazza | Cranbourn St, London WC2H 7AR
When do you get inspired? People inspire me most. That’s why London is so perfect. There’s a constant stream of new faces coming into the city.
The best place to people watch is Seven Dials. People from all walks of life pass by.
2. Seven Dials | London WC2H 9LX
Why does your job perfectly match your city? London is a city that always looks forward. It is nostalgic with its preservation of the past but overall, it’s optimistic and futuristic. That suits photography. It’s a technical art form that, for me, is about documenting changes in the world.
How do you spend a Wednesday in Covent Garden? I usually visit the National Portrait Gallery on the border of Covent Garden during the week so it’s nice and quiet. I can get lost in there for hours.
4. My urban oasis is St-Giles-in-the-Fields church. 60 St Giles High Street, London WC2H 8LG
5. When I want to relax after work I go to a show at the Garrick Theatre. 2 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0HH
6. The best vintage books and art dealers can be found at Cecil Court. Between Charing Cross Road and St Martin‘s Lane, London WC2N
Further places to visit:
7. American Classics Store The ultimate shop for menswear, this store has all of my favorite brands. It‘s curated perfectly and specializes in workwear. 20 Endell Street, London WC2H 9BD, @americanclassicslondon
8. Monmouth Coffee It nearly always has a queue but that‘s testament to how good the coffee is. I usually have it to take away, since it’s small inside, but if you get there mid-morning there’s usually a lull and some space to sit, read a book and relax.27 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9EU
9. Neal’s Yard Dairy I‘m definitely a cheese-board-over-dessert kind of guy. This location has so many great choices, you could spend an hour in there sampling the best on offer. 17 Short‘s Gardens, London WC2H 9AT, @neals_yard_dairy
10. The Rock and Sole Plaice One of the oldest fish and chips shops in London (with one of the best names too). This is the place I love taking international friends when they’re in London. It’s a little over-priced perhaps, but the Cockney banter you get out of it is worth it. 45 – 49 Endell St, London WC2H 9AJ, @rockandsoleplaice