Today, London’s media and film industry is centred around Soho Square; few areas, though, have such an interesting history. Forty years ago Soho was filled with risque shops and seedy bars; today trendy boutiques and some of the best restaurants in the city pack the newly-revitalized area. Yet its rich and cosmopolitan past is never far away. The early Huguenot church remains; there’s Gerrard Street, heart of London’s Chinatown, where even the street names are written in Cantonese, while around Old Compton Street is the centre of the gay and lesbian scene in London.
West Soho, behind Regent Street, is one of the trendiest areas for clothes shopping. Carnaby Street’s recent revival makes it an excellent place to buy street and clubwear and trendy trainers.
Everywhere the streets are filled with taxis and rickshaws, bringing young people in for a night on the town. For dining out, choose from noodle bars where you can eat all you want for £5, or internationally-famous restaurants, complete with champagne and celebrities. In between, there are literally hundreds of restaurants lining the streets, offering cuisine from around the world. Nearby, there are dozens of theatres (there are plenty of pre and post theatre menus on offer) and some of London’s most famous cinemas.