Soho – an untidy warren of West End streets and alleys bounded by Oxford Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Regents Street and the Charing Cross Road - is today known for innovative fine dining, media-centric members bars and a run of gay pubs and bars on Old Compton Street, the closest London comes to Castro Street. And it’s pretty close.
Soho is the effective centre of the British film industry and there are still dozens of gone-digital post-production houses here. It also has a good measure of advertising and PR agencies, all of which gives Soho – despite an unnerving sense that it psychically stuck in its 1980s glory days - an undeniable glamour and a certain swagger.
And if hipster London is now way east of here, there are still a smattering of cool boutiques. Even Carnaby Street, and the newly fangled ‘Newburgh Quarter' isn’t quite the stretch of exploitative tat it once was. And if you include Liberty in the mix, Soho can claim the best department store in town.
Our hosts recommend
Best known for
Old Compton Street
It lives by night, like no other street in the city.
Neon signs advertising ‘Models'
Here’s a tip. They are not models.