If a Londoner thinks of a shopping destination, I think it is fair to say that over the past few years, Covent Garden Market & its surrounding streets have not been a first choice. Too many High Street chain stores and chintzy boutiques selling tat in the Market. Covent Garden was most definitely for the tourists and out-of-towners.
Then something happened, and we started to sit up, like meerkats, sniffing the retail air. Yes, Covent Garden has undergone somewhat of a renaissance. It’s not just that there’s the UK’s largest Apple store anchoring one corner of the Piazza, and a Laduree tea room for macaron snarfling opposite, or that New York’s Balthazar is about to open, or that Opening Ceremony are popping up, or that the glamorous Delauney has brought back foot traffic to a dismal corner of the Aldwych, or that there’s the Wahaca flagship, or that one of Russell Norman’s Polpo restaurants is on Maiden Lane, or that there’s a pop up Melissa shoe store this summer, or that the new ME hotel is nearing completion, it’s that there is a feeling that Covent Garden is relevant again, with a wide span of interesting shops and an understanding that you could easily accomplish all your shopping & eating requirements in this one area.
And there’s nothing like a Chanel popup beauty store to make that feeling into hard reality. Opening tomorrow (Tuesday), after a very successful opening party this evening,where we got to check it out properly, it will stock all of Chanel’s delicious signature scents, highly effective skincare and brilliant colour cosmetics — including all the limited edition and cult products for which Chanel is known.
Downstairs is the first ever UK Chanel nail bar, where for £20 redeemable against purchase, anyone can have a shape and polish. Upstairs there will be makeover stations from expert Chanel artists and, if you need an instant fix of mascara or eyeshadow, there will be make-up vending machines arriving in-store in the autumn.
The Chanel Beauty Covent Garden popup shop will be open for the next six months.