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The Floral Hall in Pieces

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Floral Hall - Royal Opera House

Floral Hall - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 

Next time you’re in Covent Garden take a walk down Bow Street and have a closer look at the Royal Opera House complex.  Looking at the facade you will notice that it’s made up of two adjacent buildings. On the right hand side is an elegant cream coloured stucco building with a magnificent portico and on the left hand side a glass and iron structure which is known as the Floral Hall. It emulates the design of the Crystal Palace at Great Exhibition. Both buildings were designed by E.M. Barry in the mid 1800s. 

Floral Hall - Royal Opera House

 Floral Hall - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden  

Originally the Floral Hall opened as a flower market and it must have been a wonderful sight to see it full of beautiful flowers.  Later it became a foreign fruit market and then for many years it was used as storage space by the opera house. However, in the late 1990s as part of a multi million pound make over the Floral Hall was made an integral part of the opera house complex.

Floral Hall - Royal Opera House

Interior of Floral Hall - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 

The inside of the Floral Hall looks impressive as light floods in from its large round arched windows and glass vaulted roof. Today it houses a champagne bar, one of the longest bars in London, and at the gallery level there’s a restaurant.

However the Floral Hall is not all it appears as it was previously larger than it is today. In the 1990s the hall’s southern portico was dismantled during the redevelopment of the opera house and put into storage. Today to give the impression about how the Floral Hall originally looked one can gaze at the reflection in the mirror.

Floral Hall - Borough Market

  Floral Hall - Borough Market 

Thankfully the Floral Hall’s missing frontage was re-erected at Borough Market and can be seen today at Roast.  The missing piece is two storeys high and consists as it originally did as an open arcade, while at the first floor level there are round headed windows.

Floral Hall - Borough Market

 Floral Hall - Borough Market 

For more information about the Floral Hall at the Royal Opera House see their website

For more information about the Floral Hall at Roast see their website

The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.