London Guide: Ten Things To Do In Soho London W1. If you’re looking for the best Soho restaurants or places to visit in West End London, you’ll love my Ten Things To Do In Soho London W1 guide. The whole area is currently celebrating Pride In London on Saturday 6 July 2019 which is 50 years old so you’ll see plenty of rainbow flags everywhere.
Soho Area Map
Ten Things To Do In Soho London W1
10 Things To Do In Soho London W1
1. View thought provoking images at the Photographers’ Gallery
2. Buy luxurious goods at the historic Liberty London Department Store
3. Shop at the flagship fashion, sports clothing and footwear stores along Carnaby Street
4. Eat amazing Asian cuisine and unusual desserts in Chinatown
5. Book a table at one of the many Soho Restaurants
6. Mooch around the interesting Soho Streets
7. Chill out in the tranquil Soho Square
8. Treat yourself to a spectacular show at the West End Theatres
9. Listen to world class jazz at Ronnie Scott’s
10. Get your caffeine fix at the famous Bar Italia
Ten Things To Do In Soho London Details
1. Photographers’ Gallery: Set up in 1971 in Covent Garden, this was the first UK gallery to showcase photography as an art medium. In 2012 they moved to a former textiles warehouse in Soho. You can view the work of critically acclaimed photographers and new talent at this gallery. The space includes exhibitions, learning facilities, a shop selling books and prints plus a café.
Photographers’ Gallery: 16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW
2. Liberty London: This iconic department store is steeped in history. The distinctive black and white mock Tudor frontage is stunning. Step inside and you will find a wonderful array of Liberty floral printed products, beauty must haves, designer fashion, glorious gifts and so much more.
Liberty London: Regent Street, London W1B 5AH
3. Carnaby Street: This famous pedestrian street was certainly swinging in the sixties. Today you will find flagship fashion, sports clothing and footwear stores. It is worth visiting to take pictures of the iconic signage. The immediate area is now called Carnaby which comprises of 14 Streets. Newburg Quarter and Kingly Court have some cute independent shops, cafes, eateries and pubs which you should investigate.
Carnaby Street: Soho, London W1
4. Chinatown: If you love Asian food, you can sample Traditional Chinese dishes, Sichuan Hot Pots, Dim Sum, Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Korean BBQ and Japanese Ramen. Restaurants include affordable places like Wong Kei through to high end establishments. You will find plenty of ultra-cool dessert parlours springing up serving Taiyaki (fish shaped cake or waffle cone), Bubble Wrap Desserts, Filipino Ice Cream and Matcha Desserts. Gerrard Street is the main Chinatown drag, but you will find Asian restaurants, cafes and supermarkets dotted around. Look out for the ornate Chinatown Gate with Qing Dynasty motifs on Wardour Street. Chinese New Year is a great time to explore this area.
Chinatown: Gerrard Street and Surrounding Areas, London W1
5. Soho Restaurants: Try one of the establishments such as L’ Escargot for French cuisine, Quo Vadis or Dean Street Townhouse for Modern British and Kettner’s for American and European inspired classics. Or perhaps you’ll prefer one of the modern restaurants like Kricket who serve Indian Tapas and Lina Stores for pasta. There are a few quirky restaurants left like St Moritz which is a Swiss Style fondue specialist. Govindas Hare Krishna Vegetarian Restaurant serves karma-free food cooked with love which was established in 1979. Or you can dine at one of the alfresco restaurants in Kingly Court which includes The Good Egg, The Detox Kitchen, Pizza Pilgrims and Shoryu Ramen.
Kingly Court: Off Carnaby Street, London W1B 5PW
6. Soho Streets: Old Compton Street is famous for LGBT+ Community bars, clubs, restaurants and shops which include G-A-Y, Ku Bar and She Soho. Greek Street, Fifth Street, Dean Street and Wardour Street have some beautiful buildings and heaps of cafes and eateries to hang out at. There are alleyways which run through these streets with cute shops. Berwick Street hosts a fruit and veg market with street food stalls during the week. Check out Carnaby Street and nearby areas of kingly Court and Newburg Quarter for fashion shops. Ham Yard Village is a charming little enclave of shops and restaurants near Piccadilly Circus. Try Chinatown for Asian restaurants and supermarkets. Denmark Street is the place to pick up musical instruments. A few interesting Soho shops to visit include Foyles Book Shop, Milroys Whisky Specialist, Japanese Knife Company and House of MinaLima which is the design studio behind the graphic props of Harry Potter, they sell artwork and artefacts.
Soho Streets: Old Compton Street, London W1
7. Soho Square: You won’t find much greenery in this area but at least there is Soho Square. This little patch of grass is surrounded by media company offices. It gets very busy at lunch times when the sun is shining. There is a small timber framed tool shed in the middle which is listed. Golden Square is another spot to relax which is just off Regent Street.
Soho Square: London W1D 3QE
8. West End Theatres: You can take your pick of the best West End shows in Soho and the surrounding area. Theatres include the London Palladium, Gielgud Theatre, Soho Theatre, Palace Theatre, Queen’s Theatre, Princes of Wells Theatre and the Dominion Theatre.
West End Theatres: Les Miserables
9. Ronnie Scott’s: Jazz and blues fans will want to visit this influential jazz club which opened in 1959. All the greats have played there including Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan. You can eat Sunday lunch at Ronnie Scott’s while you tap your toes to the sweet sounds.
Ronnie Scott’s: 47 Frith Street, London W1D 4HT
10. Bar Italia: This Italian coffee bar was established in 1946 by Lou and Caterina Polledri. Historically, Soho was an Italian area, so Bar Italia became extremely popular. The Gaggia coffee machine and retro style interiors makes this place special, as does the vibe. Sit outside and sip your cappuccino so you can people watch. They are open from 7am until 5am every day except Sunday when they close at midnight.
Bar Italia: 22 Frith Street, London W1D 4RF
Ten Things To Do In Soho London Information
You can reach Soho by travelling to Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road or Piccadilly Circus and walk from one of those underground stations. Soho is bordered by Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road and Regent Street. Inside this zone you will find lovely streets to explore. Once a notorious and seedy part of town, there are hardly any harsh neon lights left and the Raymond Revue Bar has closed.
There’s a lot of building work underway as new office blocks and apartments are being built. I used to have an office in Soho when I owned a PR company so I’m very familiar with the area. In my heyday it was independent record shops selling vinyl and peep shows. Things have changed but there is still a lot going on in. It’s a great place to mooch around the back streets on a sunny day and hang out at a coffee shop watching the world go by. See my photographs on my Love Soho London Pinterest Board.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Disclosure: This feature includes the following affiliate partners – Liberty London (if you click through from my website and purchase items from the affiliates, I will earn a small commission).
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