Watch Out for Red Carpet Premieres
Something I’ve learnt working close to Leicester Square is that you never know when you might wander through and spot a celebrity. With Odeon, Vue and Cineworld located on the square there are regular red carpet film premieres throughout the year.
In the past I’ve spotted Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth attending the last Hunger Games premiere, as well as well as Matt Damon attending the Martian premiere. Check online for upcoming dates, and in order to spot the celebs walking the red carpet you’ll probably want to be there between 5-7.
Alternatively, if there’s no premiere on, then head inside to see a film yourself!
Buy Last Minute Theatre Tickets from TXTS
Located in the centre of Leicester Square, TXTS is a great place to pick up last minute theatre tickets for a bargain price. I know there are many stalls around the West End selling discounted tickets, however this one is the official ticket booth run by the Society of London Theatre. TXTs only sell tickets at the booth itself (no online or over the phone purchases) and only sell seats 2 days in advance, but the wide variety of shows on offer and the bargain prices you can pick up definitely make the trip worth it!
The booth is also ideally located in the centre of the West End, so if you’re picking up tickets for the same day it’ll be an easy walk to most of the theatres.
Be Entertained by the Street Performers
There are always talented performers entertaining the crowds on Leicester Square. Make sure to stop and watch for a while, with anything from singing and dancing, to bike tricks and many other strange and wonderful talents, you never know what you might see.
On the northern side of Leicester Square you will find the collection of streets known as Chinatown. Here you can admire the rows of red lanterns whilst sipping on bubble tea, pop into an all you can eat buffet, pick up exotic produce from the traditional supermarkets or even stop for a spot of karaoke.
Make sure you go to Chinatown Bakery on Newport Place and try their delicious mini cream filled cakes in the shape of fish (sounds strange but extremely delicious!) made fresh in front on you.
Make Some Money (Hopefully!) in the Casinos
With both the Empire Casino directly on the square, and the Hippodrome Casino close to the station, Leicester Square is the perfect place for a spot of gambling. There’s no need to dress like Bond or have thousands of pounds to play with, the West End casinos offer a casual but fun environment where you can also enjoy dinner at one of their several restaurants, a few cocktails at the bar and regular live music.
Remember to check out the Balcony Bar in the Empire which has beautiful views across the square.
Indulge your Sweet Tooth at M&M World
Pig out on pick’n’mix from the worlds biggest candy wall at M&M World, where you can create your own bag of whichever flavours and colours you want. There is even the option to have personalised messages printed onto your M&M’s.
As well as the sweets you can pretty much pick up M&M branded anything, such as kitchenware, clothing, towels and stationary, and see the M&M characters recreating famous London scenes.
Go Sightseeing in the Lego Store
The relatively new Lego megastore is a fun place to visit whether you have the intention of buying anything or not. You can sit in a lego tube carriage next to a Royal Guard and Shakespeare, check out the interactive underground map or marvel at the 2 story high lego Elisabeth Tower. The work and talent which has gone into creating the lego models in this shop is truly amazing!
Grab Lunch at Berwick Street Market or Street Food Union
These two connecting street food markets are my favourite work day lunch spot in London and located just a short walk away from Leicester Square. If you’re walking out of Leicester Square and towards Piccadilly Circus past M&M World, take the second right onto Rupert Street and continue straight on into Soho. First you will come across Street Food Union, open Wednesday to Saturday 11-3.30, then through a small alleyway called Walkers Court you will find Berwick Street, with stalls from Monday to Saturday 9-6. Both markets have a wide variety of high quality street food which makes deciding which dish to try extremely difficult, however my favourites have to be the falafel wrap from Jerusalem Falafel and the Chicken Po’Boy from Dixie Union.
Check out my extended post on the markets here.
Stop for a Pint in a Proper English Pub
End your trip to Leicester Square in proper English fashion by stopping in the pub for a pint or two. Try ‘The Moon Under Water’ which is located on the square with a heated outdoor seating area perfect for people watching. Being a Wetherspoons you can also guarantee much cheaper drinks than many of the other bars around the area.