Fitzrovia Area Guide
The grand architecture that greets you at Fitzroy Square tells a story of history and aristocracy. Typically characteristic of London’s wealthier heritage, you could be in any London dwelling film or TV show – be it a rom-com or a period drama.
With a very bohemian nature at its heart, you can imagine artists and writers residing here in the 1920s. And they did – Virginia Woolf, Charles Darwin and George Orwell – to name a few. And there are many from stage and screen who choose here as their home nowadays too.
Also, home to museums, art galleries and a host of media companies, Fitzrovia has an air of creativity and excitement. There are lots of independent shops and restaurants too, so you are bound to stumble across the unique and the cultured sides of London.
Where is Fitzrovia?
Fitzrovia is situated within both Camden and Westminster. Traditionally, the area between Oxford Street and Fitzroy Square was named ‘Fitzrovia’ by the locals, after it was initially coined as such from the Fitzroy Tavern.
It is close to many of the key places within Central London, namely Soho, Marylebone, the West End and Saint Pancras.
So, you are literally surrounded by plenty of accessible routes into the area, from Euston Square, Great Portland Street and Tottenham Court Road stations. And then there is Tottenham Court Road and Euston Road are two of the main roads into Fitzrovia for drivers.
Things to Do in Fitzrovia
Fitzrovia is a treasure trove of quirky and individual spots just waiting to be discovered. Take for example, Pollock’s Toy Museum, full of playthings from days gone by – just step inside and you will be transported inside a magical world that wouldn’t look out of place in a children’s book.
And then there’s the Grant Museum of Zoology, filled from floor to ceiling with weird and wonderful exhibits. Still used for teaching today by University College London, it is jam packed with preserved extinct creatures, skeletons overlooking the balcony, fossils and jars aplenty. Though small in stature, it is huge in content and one of the must-see things to do in Fitzrovia.
While staying in the area, a visit to the BT Tower should definitely be on your list too. The communications hub is a Grade II listed building which is lit up at night time by a 360 degree coloured lighting display.
Although it is now closed to the public, you can see it from all around London, but it is most impressive close up. And occasionally, it is opened for very special events and the revolving restaurant at the top is also for certain functions – which, if you get the opportunity, is one of the highlights of things to do around London.
Shopping in Fitzrovia
Fitzrovia is one of the best places for shopping in London. When it comes to independents, flagship stores and popular shops, it has it all, no matter what you’re looking for.
Revival Retro is one of Fitzrovia’s gems, which is highly rated by visitors as well as winning a Time Out award for being one of London’s best loved shops! Filled with quality retro pieces, they pride themselves on providing a personal touch. So, if you’re in the market for ladies’ fashion from the twenties to the fifties, come check it out.
If denim and casualwear is more your thing, then Rivet and Hide will be your bag. It’s a popular haunt with those looking for selvedge denim of the best quality. Then, you can complete the look with a purchase from Lewis Leathers, Britain’s oldest motorcycle clothing company who specialise in tailor-made leather jackets.
For the trendy and fashionable, Urban Outfitters’ flagship store on Oxford is home to the laidback and quirky. Check it out for street style and homewares with a twist and sense of attitude.
After all this shopping, you’re likely to have worked up an appetite too, so Selfridges Food Hall is the perfect place to pick up some fancy treats.
Places to Eat in Fitzrovia
In recent years, Fitzrovia restaurants have joined the ranks of London’s hottest places to eat. The area has built up a repertoire of wide ranging cuisines, with some of the most acclaimed chefs opening restaurants in the area – proving that it is now a place to enjoy some of the finest meals in the capital.
First up, however, before you eat – you need a good quality coffee to get you ready for a busy day of exploring. Kaffeine has been open for a decade in two locations in Fitzrovia, inspired by Australian and New Zealand coffee. If you’re looking for a rich, smooth coffee and a break from the chains, you must check it out and see for yourself why it’s so popular.
Then, after a spot of sightseeing around Fitzrovia, you’ll be ready for some lunch and obviously wanting to see Fitzrovia’s picks of nice restaurants in London. On Great Titchfield Street, you’ll find the perfect place, The Riding House Café. There’s something for everyone at this relaxed neighbourhood spot, so ideal for a gathering with friends, brunch or a business lunch.
For dinner, the small but perfectly conceived, Honey & Co. serves up a homely setting and a menu that has transformed the Middle Eastern food scene in London. It describes itself as always having lamb warming in the oven with cakes on the counter, and is owned by two ex-Ottolenghi chefs. So, this is most certainly a restaurant with kudos.
There are so many places to eat in Fitzrovia, from the grandest a la carte to experimental modern as well as popular chains. Charlotte Street restaurants in particular have an eclectic mix of the fancy and straight-up fast food.
However, if it’s a restaurant that offers the ‘wow’ factor that you’re looking for, then Berner’s Tavern won’t disappoint. Held up as an award-winning gastronomical gem, it is one of the most beautiful restaurants you’ll ever dine in. With a Michelin-star winning chef at the helm, high and ornate ceilings and an air of sophistication, it’s somewhere to go if you want to impress.
If it’s relaxed drinks at the most stylish clubs in London you’re looking for, then Fitzrovia has plenty to offer. Ornate cocktails, world class wines and refined whiskeys all await you at the quirkiest and most luxurious bars.
Nightlife at the bars in Fitzrovia isn’t about fighting your way through the crowds from bar to bar or the brightest lights and loudest music. A night out here is a more low key affair than neighbouring Soho, but it has its own unique charm and character.
This leads us nicely to Little Nan’s Fitzrovia Kitchen & Bar. Named after a little old lady and with décor to suit her 1980s front living room, it is a masterclass in cheeky retro atmosphere with cocktails in mugs to match and Eastenders references aplenty.
At the opposite end of the scale, then there’s Reverend JW Simpson. A cocktail on the site of a former vicarage, it doesn’t get more different to a nan’s front room. However, the cocktails are just as good. It is hugely popular for after work drinks but also holds regular events, where you will find cocktails with unusual ingredients dedicated to yesteryear.
For something ultra special, get yourself a reservation at the exclusive Punch Room at the London Edition. Located at the back of the hotel and also providing the ideal night cap after dinner at Berners Tavern, it is – as you would expect – equally as refined. With jazz and blues music and 30 specialty punches, you can round off your evening beautifully.
Hotels in Fitzrovia
Fitzrovia is home to a number of high end hotels that are also home to restaurants or cool bars in the area, or are used for trendy events by media companies. So, you really are spoilt for choice by an impressive portfolio of hotels in Fitzrovia.
Let’s start with the Grange Fitzrovia; it’s a popular choice due to its close proximity to the West End theatres and shops. However, it is also one of the most stunningly presented hotels in Fitzrovia with wood paneling, marble and a general air of sophistication in its restoration.
Continuing with the sense of grandness, we lead into the London Edition. This is the hotel that is also home to the previously noted Berners Tavern restaurant and exclusive Punch Room bar. So, all your needs are catered for if they include luxury service at every turn. This five-star hotel is jaw dropping in its elegance and style, the perfect treat for a special stay.
Also impressive in its sense of style, but slightly less traditional grandeur and more edgy sophistication, is the London Sanderson. It is just over a 5-minute walk from Goodge Street station and feels away from the hustle and bustle, even having its own Japanese garden to relax in. It is a boutique hotel that is perfect for a trendy weekend away or business trip.
However, if you’re on more of a budget, then one of the top rated places to stay in the area is WHA London Central. With its own café and bar, beauty room with hair styling equipment, plus secure key cards for both rooms and corridors, it is one of 6 hostels owned by the chain in London, but is considered to be possibly the best.
Living in Fitzrovia
Fitzrovia is a small gem at the heart of Central London. Steeped in history, as the home of numerous acclaimed writers and artists, it is a compact yet rich area. Packed full of restaurants, theatres, bars and museums, it is a truly cultural area that is between the vibrant areas of Soho and Marylebone.
Historic architecture is blended with modern design, while media companies are scattered all along its streets along with cafes and restaurants.
With Goodge Street station right in the middle of Fitzrovia, this makes it a prime location for commuters, tourists and residents heading into other parts of London.
Tottenham Court Road, Euston Square, Great Portland Street and Warren Street stations are also within the area, not to mention the new Crossrail development. It is also connected by multiple bus routes and is in walking distance from Oxford Street, Soho and Marylebone, making living in Fitzrovia a highly desirable notion.
In recent years, there have been many Fitzrovia apartments springing up thanks to new developments. Because of its relative quiet surroundings compared to some busier parts of London, plus luxury hotels and restaurants, it has a higher price bracket than some other areas.
However, there are two sides to the area, Mayfair and West End (W1) and Bloomsbury (WC1), with the latter being less expensive yet still desirable.
When it comes to schools in the area, All Souls CofE Primary has an excellent reputation. It is the only non-fee paying school in Fitzrovia, has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted and is highly regarded by local families.
Meanwhile, independent preparatory school, Portland Place School is also very much respected in the area. It is a co-educational school for 9 to 18 year olds with a modern curriculum in the heart of Marylebone.
Working in Fitzrovia
When it comes to popular industries within the area, many a Fitzrovia office is based somewhere within the fashion sector. Whether it is in creative, retail or media, there are many fashion-based businesses that have their roots here.
The area has also traditionally had a large advertising base, with lots of media companies choosing Fitzrovia for their office space in London. Charlotte Street, in particular, has played a key role in providing a creative environment for this industry, as the home of Channel 4 for years and many advertising companies, however, it is now home to a whole new industry – restaurants.
In recent years, Fitzrovia has also become a Business Improvement District (BID), thanks to The Fitzrovia Partnership. This is aimed at investing and engaging with the business community to improve the environment and make it a vibrant area with benefits to those living and working there.
So, it is a great incentive to locate yourself within this fruitful atmosphere for businesses in Fitzrovia at the moment. If you are looking for a London-based serviced office Fitzrovia is a top choice with plenty of opportunities for growth in this fertile stomping ground.
WorkPad offer a range of facilities and equipment, with beautifully presented office spaces in Fitzrovia. So, depending on what your needs are, we can help you achieve your requirements.
We hope to speak to you soon and hear about your business goals so that we can help you get them off the ground at a Fitzrovia office.