Covent Garden, Soho, Fitzrovia
Holiday apartments in central London are some of the most sought after. Covent Garden and surroundings is a lively, fun, colourful and ever-popular part of London. It’s a delightful mix of the old and the new, where entertainment, street-life, theatre and history come together to delight and entertain the young and the old, and everyone in-between! Not forgetting your choice of shops, markets, coffee houses, bars and eateries to enjoy.
The Piazza at Covent Garden was created in the 17th century as a bold experiment in town planning and the very first public square in the country. For hundreds of years fruit, veg and flower traders sold their produce here. This pleasant open space is now a popular shopping area with a multitude of designer shops, bars and restaurants. There are numerous theatres in the area too – the Aldywich, Lyceum, Coliseum and Fortune to name a few. The famous Covent Garden Opera House adds high-brow swank and the talented street performers add character.
Traditionally the neighbourhood has been popular with small busineses and the trend continues today. Meander down the small streets and alleyways and stumble upon quaint and interesting shops. Much of the area is pedestrianised, traffic free and a pleasure to wander along. Holiday apartments in this location are gems. The London Transport Museum, which is fascinating and great fun to visit for all generations, is here.
Covent Garden’s surrounding areas are quick to get to on foot. The rest of the West End practically surrounds you here or is a short bus ride away. Leicester Square with it’s cinema complexes and Trafalgar Square with the National Gallery are close by and are easily reached by walking down Long Acre with it’s many shops, boutiques and cafe’s. China Town, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Oxford Street and Shaftesbury Avenue are all a pleasant stroll from you.
Soho is a vibrant and fascinating area in central London, bordered by Oxford street, Regent Street, Charing Cross Road and Leicester Square. There are many interesting side streets with individual shops to stumble across and peruse. Soho is attractive to a wide range of people, be it locals or tourists seeking holiday apartments. Its interesting history and present energetic atmosphere make it a must-see area. This is the place to find live entertainment, great food and a thriving nightlife. The food scene offers up everything from a quick snack bought on the hoof, excellent coffee and pastries, lunch in the local bistro, to fine dining, late. The host of pubs, bars, bistros and trattorias available here ensures there is something for every taste and budget.
The long tradition of live theatre and performance is as strong today as ever, from big production musicals to corny cabaret acts… Wander down Shaftesbury Avenue at night to see the glittering lights of Theatre-Land or head off to Leicester Square for the cinemas. This is also the heart of London’s live music and clubbing scene. Jazz was introduced to the UK via the clubs of Soho and famous ones such as Ronnie Scott’s are still going strong. That well-known side road to Charing Cross Road, Denmark Street, is home to music shops. Known as London’s Tin Pan Alley, it has housed publishers, shops, venues and studios for budding songwriters and musicians since the 1920’s. All bands and solo artists worth their salt recorded, played or bought their instruments on Denmark Street. Check out the fabulous displays of guitars in the shop windows…
In the 20th century, Soho became the centre of bohemian London, with its writers, artists and poets frequenting the many dark and cigarette-smoke filled pubs and clubs. Beatnik culture had its beginnings here, and Carnaby Street was at the centre of the swinging 60’s. This somewhat rebellious, intellectual, vibe still thrives. Charing Cross Road was known for it’s bookshops, especially antiquarian, rare and second hand. There are not nearly as many to be found now as there were in it’s heyday, but Foyles and Blackwell’s are open for business, and you can still find some second hand and specialist shops dotted around. The wonderful 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff pays tribute to a bookshop that once stood there. There is a plaque that marks the spot today.
The origin of the name Soho is still debated today. The generally accepted one is that Soho is an old English hunting cry, much like Tally-ho! King Henry VIII and other monarchs and royals of note loved to hunt in the fields and woodlands around this part of London in their day. At any rate, the name suits the area perfectly.
Fitzrovia is a special and very attractive central London neighbourhood near the West End, in the boroughs of Camden and The City. It is situated between Marylebone and Bloomsbury with Soho to the north, so it benefits greatly from all of these wonderful nearby areas, whilst retaining it’s own charm and character. This historically bohemian area was once home to such writers as Virginia Woolf, and George Bernard Shaw.
There are many pubs, restaurants, galleries and shops to enjoy in this vibrant, exciting part of central London, without the annoying hubbub you may find on Oxford Street. Here you will find agencies such as Saatchi and Saatchi sharing space with street art, food stalls and speciality shops.
The neighbourhood hosts Fitzrovia Lates on the last Thursday of each month. Galleries remain open until 9 p.m and artists and performers come to discuss and illuminate their work. Charlotte Street offers some of the best cuisine to be had in central London in some of it’s beautiful bistros, while Fitzroy Square offers quiet and calm and breath-taking architecture, with Tottenham Court Road just around the corner. Regent’s Park is a pleasant walk away and is well worth a visit. It is home to the London Zoo as well as an open-air theatre, boat-hire, many cafe’s and restaurants and huge open spaces that offer a wide range of sporting activities. Runners and dog walkers love Regent’s Park. London Zoo is the perfect fun-filled family attraction. The number and variety of exhibitions and animals to see is endless with new and exciting exhibits opening all the time.
This charming, unique area is tucked away and peaceful, whilst still remaining right in the thick of things with its wide array of commerce, community, art, pubs and restaurants…not to mention nearby Soho’s nightlife. Fitzrovia really does seem to have it all, including many lovely holiday apartments.