Tag Archives: st james church piccadilly

Dionysus on Piccadilly

Walk from Piccadilly Circus towards Fortnum’s and The Ritz and there, on your left, poking through the railings of St James’s Church, is a vine. It arches over one of the best stalls on Piccadilly Market — De Angeli Design (Bespoke Leathercraft/Made to Measure Belts) — bathing it in a soft green light.

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Piccadilly Market London

Women in summer hats and frocks, men in t-shirts and sandals, lovers holding hands in the church gardens, tourists perspiring but happy. It’s the first day of summer

St James's Church Gardens
St James's Church Gardens

at Piccadilly Market!

After months of cold, snow, hail, a wind like the devil running round the churchyard (as if attempting, fruitlessly, to gain entry to the church) the warmth comes as a blessed relief.

The St James’s Church gardens are a secret delight. The stretch of central London from Piccadilly Circus to Green Park is a heavily built environment with little greenery. The property developers are in permanent action, knocking down buildings and building new ones, driven by some of the highest property prices in the world.

So in this dusty, car exhaust-laden, glass and concrete urban desert, the St James’s Church gardens, between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street, are important.