Interview: Elton Paza, Manager of Covent Garden's Punch & Judy

Interview: Elton Paza, Manager of Covent Garden’s Punch & Judy

Now reopened after a refurbishment, the Punch & Judy pub at the heart of Covent Garden is a London institution. We chat to General Manager Elton Paza about the pub, Covent Garden’s heritage, hidden gems, and Things To Do in London!

Punch & Judy | 40 The Market, Covent Garden

Tell us a bit about the pub, and about what’s new?

Punch and Judy, one of London’s most beloved historic pubs, established in 1787, recently underwent a six-figure refurbishment.  After a five-week closure, the pub reopened and welcomed guests back to experience its rejuvenated interior. 

The balcony bar still offers unparalleled views, now with expanded seating and new tables and chairs. The back bar has now been revamped, accompanied by upgraded toilets and vibrant flowers to enhance the ambience.

The staircase also boasts a fresh look, with new tiling and a storytelling wallpaper. Guests will also experience lots of amazing photos of the pub in its prime.

In the basement bar, a complete transformation awaits with a new state-of-the-art music system, enhanced lighting, and revamped facilities including the toilets. The seating area has been upgraded with new tables and chairs, all complemented by fresh flowers and plants.

Outside, the basement seating area now features elegant marble tables and chairs surrounded by greenery. Additionally, we’ve implemented a 5G internet system to further enhance the experience for our guests.

Interview: Elton Paza, Manager of Covent Garden's Punch & Judy 1

How important was it to retain the sense of history at the heart of the pub?

The Punch and Judy’s building is an iconic listed building that retains the original stonework and all its heritage, that despite its revamp, hasn’t altered the integrity of its main walls or exterior. The pub’s heritage is one of the pub’s main charms, from the walls, graceful archways and the timeless ceilings, the architectural history dates back to the days when Covent Garden was a bustling fruit and vegetable market.

Covent Garden has changed a lot over the years – what, for you, defines the enduring charm of the area?

Covent Garden’s main charm is its rich history, vibrant atmosphere, and cultural significance that despite evolving over the years remains the century of culture in London. Covent Garden has managed to ensure that the beautiful buildings make you feel like you’re no longer in the city. Although no longer used as a fruit and vegetable market, Covent Garden is now a shopping and entertainment hub in London’s West End. It centres on the elegant, car-free Piazza, home to fashion stores, independent shops and the Royal Opera House. In addition, the lively atmosphere with street performers and bustling cafes creates an environment that’s both captivating and welcoming.

Are there any unsung or hidden gems of the Covent Garden scene, that only ‘locals’ might know about?

Covent Garden is full of beautiful hidden places. For breakfast and light lunch Chez Antoinette is my favourite place and for lunch and dinner or special occasions Big Easy is my favourite place to visit. They have great food and play live jazz music. Blame Gloria on Bedford Street is also a great place for cocktails.

Interview: Elton Paza, Manager of Covent Garden's Punch & Judy 2

What are your favourite Things To Do elsewhere in London?

This is a hard question, because there’s so much to do in London. Me and my family love to go shopping on Oxford Street and visiting parks from St James to Green Park and Hyde Park. I also love taking boat trips up and down the river Thames.