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June 2021 / Food & Drink / by Becky Pomfret

A Fitzrovian Day Out

Perfectly located moments away from Soho Square and the theatre district, Fitzrovia is an oasis of calm in the heart of London. Grand 18th and 19th-century buildings sit side by side to some of London’s most luxurious hotels, restaurants and sought-after independent retailers.  In the heart of Fitzrovia – parallel to Charlotte Street, sits Charlotte Place, a quaint pedestrian mews that is home to some of the city’s best brunch spots and luxurious beauty offerings.

Having worked in the area years ago, I decide to take a trip back down memory lane while London is relatively quiet, and plan a day of treats with a friend. First up is a visit to boutique beauty salon, Radiance London. Renowned for its Instagrammable interiors and star-studded guests, Radiance London has been a hotspot for luxury treatments in Fitzrovia for over 12 years. While there is an impressive selection of treatments available, including glow-enhancing facials, CND shellac manicures and Decléor aromatherapy massages, I’m after some sort of anti-ageing magic and the friendly and knowledgeable staff recommend a Guinot ‘Lift Summon’ facial. It’s the first facial I’ve had since before the pandemic so it’s even more special. I’m cleansed, massaged and enjoy the kind of face mask that improves my skin rather than the more usual one that covers it up! I l leave shiny-faced but definitely looking fresher.

Just opposite Radiance London sits Saco Hair and while I’m in my anti-ageing chamber my friend is having her hair cut by the owner, Richard, who puts her at ease straight away. So much so that when she gets home her mum takes one look at her new cut and books herself in for the following week! She looks so good I am completely upstaged when we get together for lunch at the Australian café  Lantana. Since opening its doors in 2008 at the Fitzrovia flagship – and being awarded Time Out’s Best New Café in London, Lantana has prided itself on serving exceptional food, with great service in a relaxed and atmospheric setting. We tuck into pork belly croquettes and halloumi fries to start whilst supping on cocktails (it’s our first time eating indoors in, well forever, so there’s an excuse if you need one) and our enormous mains of corn fritters and chicken schnitzel, both packed with a lovely rainbow array of salad, almost defeat us. Not so much that we can’t try the home-made lemon and carrot cakes for pudding though. There’s always room.

Charlotte Place is such a hidden gem and we have both vowed to come back. I’ll be booking in for another facial and will definitely put Lantana on my hit-list as a place to re-fuel and re-charge after an Oxford Street shopping trip, while my friend will no doubt be arranging hair appointments for the rest of her family…