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July 2017 / Area Guides / by Sophie Hampton

Fitzrovia

Near the heart of Central London lies this trendy media-favourite. Surrounded by Euston Road to the north, Oxford Street to the south, Portland Place to the west and Tottenham Court Road to the east is Fitzrovia. It’s a thriving mix of media companies and agencies such as Saatchi and Saatchi and TBWA, and TV and post-production houses such as MTV Networks and Nickelodeon.

Architectural highlights
You’ll find a wide mix here, from large stucco-fronted houses to period townhouses and mansion blocks. New build houses with garages and apartment blocks with penthouse suites can also can be found in this diverse area.

Smartest streets
To some, Charlotte Street is Fitzrovia. Leading off from Oxford Street, it is an oasis of calm in the midst of Central London. In terms of residential properties, the large stucco-fronted houses surrounding Fitzroy Square and charming, period townhouses located in pedestrianised streets such as Colville and Middleton Place are all highly sought after.

Who’s there
Author Ian McEwan not only lives there, but writes about it in his books, and you may spot Lily Allen or TV personality Griff Rhys Jones too.

Entertainment
It’s safe to say you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do and places to go; restaurants range from modern Spanish, French and Italian to Japanese. And as for finding a bar to frequent, you won’t have any problems – we recommend trying Shochu.

Education
The area hosts All Souls C of E Primary School – a leading faith school – and St Vincent’s RC School is not too far away in Marylebone.

Travel
Nestling nicely between the West End and London’s busiest shopping streets, Fitzrovia leaves you in safe hands for transport links. Great Portland Street, Goodge Street, Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Warren Street and Regent’s Park Underground stations are all nearby.

Trivia
Fitzrovia is said to be named after the Fitzroy Tavern, a public house situated on the corner of Charlotte Street.

What the agents say
“Fitzrovia is fast becoming the missing link between Marylebone and Soho – some pundits even call it Noho… but not the locals! Apart from being an upwardly fashionable place to live – bursting with galleries, culture, tantalising bars and modern cuisine – it has the heartbeat and soul of Soho and Covent Garden without the multitudes of tourists, and has the charm, elegance and community of Marylebone but is a little less preppy. All in all it’s a wonderful place to live.” Simon Hedley, Druce

Culture:
Lazarides Gallery
– formerly a brothel and drinking den, it’s now a contemporary art gallery hosting solo shows and private viewing spaces for established and emerging talent, ranging from photographers, sculptors, painters… and even taxidermists! 11 Rathbone Place, W1 (020 7636 5443; www.lazinc.com)

Grooming:
The Studio
– A creative hub is based at the top of the Lazarides Gallery. Clients are offered a bespoke, one-on-one hair appointment just like they would get on a celebrity shoot. With one chair, one sink and one set of tools every client receives full attention to whatever hair needs they might have, from cut and colour to prescribing the latest in new products and treatments. 11 Rathbone Place (0844 412 7620; www.johnniesapong.com)

Food and drink:
The Wheatsheaf
– every self-respecting Fitzrovia fella needs a local, and this pub was once frequented by bohemians such as George Orwell and Dylan Thomas; you still get a really artistic vibe when you walk in. 25 Rathbone Place (020 7580 1585)

Lantana Café – they serve possibly the best coffee in London. Their salads are pretty good as well. 13 Charlotte Place (020 7637 3347)

Charlotte Street Hotel – no summary of the area would be complete without the Charlotte Street Hotel. It’s in a convenient location and is perfect for either tea or cocktails (the ginger and lemongrass martini is a winner). 15-17 Charlotte Street (020 7806 2000; www.firmdale.com)

Shopping:
French’s Theatre Bookshop –
 this wonderful bookshop, which specialises in plays, musicals and biographies, is at the heart of Fitzrovia. Artists, writers and poets from the Bloomsbury Group in the early 20th century influenced this area, and much of their work is available here. 52 Fitzroy Street (020 7255 4300; www.samuelfrench-london.co.uk)

Pollock’s Toy Museum – this hidden gem is based in two 18th and 19th century townhouses, and is packed from floor to ceiling with the most amazing toys. Even without the kids, it’s sure to take you back to your childhood. 25 Scala Street (020 7636 3452; www.pollockstoymuseum.com)