Fitzrovia & Soho

Today once again I am doing my walk in Central London, and this time I’ll be walking around Oxford Street, mostly in Fitzrovia. So, exiting from the Oxford Circus station, I immediately take a turn to Great Portland Street and then onto Market Place.

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As you can see, there are quite a few restaurants on Market Place, and since it’s about lunchtime, it’s really busy.

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It’s always hard to take a decent picture of a building right across the road from you, and I’ve tried my best to squeeze this beautiful church into the frame. By the way, it is the All Saints, Margaret Street church, built in the 19th century in the High Victorian Gothic style (my goodness, how is it even possible to get one’s head around all those architecture styles that exist out there???)

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And then, very close to it, there is another similar building, apparently belonging to some sort of Gothic style as well, which is suddenly – surprise-surprise! – a Taiwanese Buddhist temple! You would probably agree with me that the last thing you’d imagine this building (with a crucifix!) to be is a Buddhist temple! But the mystery is solved very simply: the building used to be a former parish school and Church House previously.

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Now, as I’ve turned round the corner, I’m definitely getting a much better view of the All Saints, Margaret Street church, which would have been even better without the construction works going on right next to it.

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Fitzrovia looks nice, in my opinion, although I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly remarkable. Interestingly, it used to be considered a bohemian area, and quite a few famous people like George Orwell, Virginia Woolf or Bernard Shaw once lived here.

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Indeed, there’s a lot of life going on here – and mostly local life, since I can’t say I see a lot of tourists around.

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Here is the famous BT tower, which I’ve somehow never seen from a close distance. And it’s not even new – it’s existed since the 1960’s.

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Don’t I just love narrow little side streets like this, crammed with cosy little restaurants and bars!

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There are indeed some interesting places in the area. This cake shop, for example, sells some of their cakes and brownies right in the middle of the street and even offers samples to taste. How come I’m never hungry when I come across something like that???

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Even the good old Spaghetti House, which to me is just a boring chain (I’m really not that into spaghetti) – I mean, this is probably the most beautiful and picturesque Spaghetti House in London!

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And this branch of Byron occupies the building of the former Bloomsbury Petrol Station, opened in 1926 and closed in late 2000’s.

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Technically I’m already in Bloomsbury, even though Google Maps show this area as part of Fitzrovia as well. The street I’m on is called Store Street and this part of it is made up of a parade of little shops and restaurants, which all look very much consistent with each other.

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That majestic building over there is the Senate House Library, that is, the central library of the University of London. That’s also where the University’s biggest campus, containing some of it’s colleges like University College London (UCL) and SOAS, is located. By the way, Imperial College, where I’m studying, used to be part of the University of London as well, but left it in 2007, becoming independent.

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This is just a random pub on Tottenham Court Road – the building totally left me in awe!

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I’m now walking down Tottenham Court Road towards Soho.

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And I’ve actually already done a post about Soho, but there were some bits that I particularly wanted to see, yet didn’t have time for them the other day.

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I think I mentioned in the other post that I really like Soho, but even if I didn’t, I kind of already did here! It’s always so colourful and fun, I’d say it feels totally different from Fitzrovia, even though the two areas are adjacent.

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It’s so funny how that guy there has so many dogs of the same breed (what are they, by the way? French bulldogs?)!

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This is the little turn from Great Marlborough Street to Carnaby Street, which is exactly where I’m heading to.

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Carnaby Street is one of my favourite streets in London, and of course I was gutted the other day, when I was taking pictures around Soho and couldn’t make it here.

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It is basically a very cool pedestrianised street with lots of shops, restaurants, cafés, pubs and what not. Of course, being so close to Oxford Street, it is always super busy, but that doesn’t make it less amazing.

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There is hardly any other street anywhere in London (or maybe there is, who knows) with a ‘Welcome to *streetname*’ sign like this, which says a lot about it, really! And in winter it is always one with the best Christmas decorations, which are brilliant everywhere in London, by the way. Maybe one day I can make a winter version of this blog 🙂

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And finally, I’m back on the busy-busy Oxford street, intending to take the tube and go home.

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