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Insight & Opinion

Fitzrovia is a hidden hotspot for 2015

Author: Luke

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Fitzrovia combines the edgy energy of Soho with the grandeur of Bloomsbury. A peaceful and stunning area, this part of town is scattered with small media organisations, pubs and restaurants, with many decent hotels too. There are cafes found nestled in between the wide streets, and the variety of architectural styles vary from the eighteenth century to the modern era. LDG an estate agents in the West End covering Fitzrovia mentioned there’s a real buzz to this area, the vibrancy and general atmosphere make it attract tourists, out-of-towners and Londoners alike.

The major shopping street is Tottenham Court Road and this is one of the most popular streets when it comes to looking for home furnishings and electronic goods. Around Oxford Street there are high street shops with pubs and bars and of course there’s a fantastic nightlife in Soho, with upmarket bars and clubs catering for ever kind of music taste.

Fitzrovia covers the area from Euston Road to north Oxford Street to the south. Tottenham Court Road is to the East and Great Portland Street to the west. One of the most positive things about FItzrovia is its location, as it’s positioned well for central London access and a glamorous West End lifestyle, although it does have an authentic ‘village’ feel too.

History

The original name came from its landowner Henry Fitzroy, who was an illegitimate son of Charles II and the Duchess of Cleveland; and his grandson, Charles Fitzroy, who developed the area in the 18th century. Prior to this, the area had been part of the ancient parish of St Pancras and known as the manor of Tottenhall.

In the first half of the 20th century, this bohemian district was well known for its Victorian pub – the Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte Street – as well as for the artistic community, which included famous names such as writer George Orwell and poet Dylan Thomas who were regulars in the 1920s and 30s. Over a period of time, the surrounding area became named as it is today.

Fitzrovia has been home to many artists over the years, such as the poets, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the poet and artist William Blake and the novelist Virigina Woolf; as well as the playwright George Bernard Shaw, who wrote Pygmalipn. Woolf and Shaw even lived in the same house on Fitzroy Square (but not at the same time).

Things to do

Wining and dining is one of the most popular pastimes for those frequenting the streets of Fitzrovia. Popular restaurants include Annex 3, Oscar at the Charlotte Street Hotel, Suka at the Sanderson and Navarro’s. The good thing is that the area tends to be pretty relaxed at the weekends, so it’s not a big shopping district. However, there are lots of options close by for shopaholics, such as Oxford Street which is in walking distance and has big department stores such as Selfridges and John Lewis available. There’s also an impression collection of art galleries, such as Westbrook Gallery, The New Academy Gallery and The Rebecca Hossack Galleries. There are also a bunch of fashion boutiques in the West End, such as Almost Famous and Black Truffle.

Transport

Fitzrovia attracts a large proportion of young, ambitious media and advertising types so tends to be idea for young professionals. It’s not such a family-orientated area, so schools and green spaces are a little on the short side. The transport system is very convenient, with eight underground stations which access seven different tube lines and there are regular buses. There are also lots of parking spaces, which makes things very easy for those wanting to spend time in the area.
Properties

Fitzrovia has a charming mix of stucco-fronted mansions, period townhouses and newly developed apartments, so there’s something for everybody depending on what you’re looking for.

Image credit: flickr.com

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