Today I want to share my guide to St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden with you. This secret corner of the UK capital is a great place to discover fun shops, restaurants, cafes, and spas in London.

St Martin's Courtyard

St Martin’s Courtyard

Tucked away off Long Acre and Upper St Martin’s Lane, St Martin’s Courtyard sits at the end of Slingsby Place in Covent Garden. Full of great shops and restaurants, it’s an exciting place to explore.

St Martin’s Courtyard Spas

And I like to explore the spas best. JoJo is a miracle worker. She really knows how to get the knots out of my perennially stressed shoulders. As she massages my upper back, she doesn’t cut corners.

JoJo singles out every knot and wages a gentle war until it surrenders. It’s exactly what I hope for in every massage I get. No wonder she works at a day spa called Relax in the heart of Covent Garden’s St Martin’s Courtyard.

And it doesn’t stop there. When the massage is over, she tells me that she detected some tightness in my lower back right in the area where I’ve had chronic pain for years.

I would suspect her of stalking my medical records, but I can tell she’s just that good at her work.

I make a mental note to see her again (and follow her around the world if she ever leaves London—I’m not above stalking when it comes to someone who can literally feel my pain).

Relax in St Martin's Courtyard, London

St Martin’s Courtyard Restaurants

To celebrate finding the best massage therapist in London, I walk across St Martin’s Courtyard to Dalla Terra restaurant.

I’m having lunch with the PR for the area who invited me to spend the afternoon here experiencing some of the highlights, including the massage.

The restaurant has a menu that mostly focuses on Italian cicchetti, or small plates.

Cake at Dalla Terra in St Martin's Courtyard, London

We share a beautiful salumi board and bask in the bright ambiance. The restaurant is fronted by floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking St Martin’s Courtyard and lined by walls of wine.

As we enjoy our status as ladies who lunch, she tells me about how St Martin’s Courtyard came to be. When she gets to the part about it being a parking lot years ago, I balk.

But it’s true. Not long ago, this secret little spot in the heart of one of central London’s busiest areas was an ugly car park.

St Martin's Courtyard, London

But thanks to some visionaries, the layers of concrete were torn down and replaced by a feminine haven tucked away down a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it alley right by busy Covent Garden station and around the corner from Seven Dials.

In addition to Relax and Dalla Terra is Bill’s, a lively restaurant from a group that’s taking over the UK. It’s a fun place for brunch and casual meals.

Slingsby Place, Covent Garden

Blow Ltd

Another place in St Martin’s Courtyard is Blow Ltd, a beauty concept shop that promises a blow dry, manicure, and make-up job in under an hour.

I’m offered the opportunity to undergo this phenomenon in addition to the massage and lunch, and I know I have to experience it to believe it.

Roses in St Martin's Courtyard, London

The ladies at Blow Ltd are all business. I walk in, choose my hairstyle from a board on the wall, get my long locks shampooed, and sit down as two women approach my head with blow dryers.

When they’re done, one starts styling my hair while a manicurist pulls up and puts a file and polish to my nails.

Blow Ltd in St Martin's Courtyard, London

They finish around the same time, and I’m whisked off to a window seat where the manicurist morphs into a makeup artist. I choose from one of three looks—day, evening, or glam—and she starts in on my face.

I choose ‘day’, what with it being afternoon and me not wanting to walk through Covent Garden looking like I’m ready to star in a West End show at 2pm.

At the end of the hour, my locks are blown out, my nails are polished, and my makeup done. My initial thoughts are mixed when I look at myself in the mirror. My hair looks good, but it’s a bit frizzy and not as luscious as I thought it would look.

My make-up looks fine, but very subtle, even for a day look. Two of my nails smudge as I put my coat on even though the manicurist assured me they were dry. She kindly offers to re-do them, which is a nice gesture.

Bill's in St Martin's Courtyard, Covent Garden

St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden

As I leave, I’m feeling relaxed after my massage, satiated after my lunch, and more confident after my beauty treatment, so it only makes sense that I leave this secret place feeling good all over.

If the feeling fades, I can always come back to St Martin’s Courtyard for a second round.

Which I’ll probably do as soon as I get too lazy to remove the nail polish, too hungry to eat my own cooking, and too busy to keep the knots out of my shoulders.

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St Martin's Courtyard

15 Comments on Lady’s Guide to St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden

  1. Ah….this post is EXACTLY what I needed this morning – London, massages, croissants, flowers and manicures. My back has been killing me lately – any chance JoJo could open up a North American location in Washington, DC?

  2. I love the whole Covent garden area and always visit weekly for a tea and chat. Now I know where I can get a massage as well 🙂

  3. Where’s the blow-dryed, manicured selfie?? 🙂 and you can’t be too hard on the make-up artist – what’s she to do with a face like yours that doesn’t actually need any makeup? remind me to show you a picture of my mom and I when we got our makeup done together at sephora… definitely not subtle, despite my pleading for a “day look”!

  4. Hi! Ah thankyou soooo much! What lovely things to say, I love my job, im so happy you found benefits from it. Im lucky to have such great clients who know what they want and put up with the painful bits! Im in thailand now completing my thai mastership, its amazing, I hope to use it on your problem areas soon, bless you, good heart and health to you x x

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