Welcome Harry, to
Diagon Alley Cecil Court.
This place is one of my favourite places in Londonia (you can tell because it’s up there in my menu bar picture). It’s a not far from my office and I have been known to take a detour on my way back from a meeting or en route to the theatre, and fall off the face of the earth for hours, lost in a world of pretty books and eccentricities.
It can be found just off St Martins Lane, just next to Freed (the dance shoe shop) or from the other side on Charing Cross Road, right by the Wyndhams and theatre alley, but you can easily miss it if you don’t know it’s there.
While away the hours downstairs in one of the many many specialist book shops, hunting for the elusive first edition (I’ve never found a first edition but to be honest I wouldn’t know one if it flew up and hit me in the face, Mirrormask style), or marvel at the crinkly old maps in Storeys, get your fortune read in the window of Watkins, or pick up a one of a kind piece of jewellery in Christopher St James – they sell CROWNS people. I mean seriously.
Whenever I look in the window of Drummonds, I find myself searching for the elusive ‘Harlequin and the Enchanted Fish’ poster which I remember once spying in the royal room of a West End theatre (I forget which one) on the wall of the queen’s loo. I fucking love that poster. They don’t make play titles like that any more!
The other slightly more un-cool and arty reason I love this place is because it’s a magical alley in London filled with random artifacts and dusty old books, which frankly makes me feel like I’m in a Harry Potter book. Shut up. I’m a nerd, whatever.
It’s a great place to come after catching a matinee in Covent Garden, though I can also recommend it at 3am on a Sunday morning, as Nicole and I have done many a time with many a stumble, pretending to hoike up our non-existent Victorian skirts and tread the cobbles* of Covent Garden’s most magical alley ways.
Check it out! And please buy me a crown.
*please note, Cecil Court does not have cobbles. I just like alliteration.