Soho is one of London’s long-standing entertainment districts and is one of the most central locations in the city. It borders Oxford Street, Regent Street, Leicester Square and Charing Cross. It is situated in the City of Westminster and makes up another area of the West End, along with Fitzrovia, Covent Garden, Marylebone and Mayfair.
The area is synonymous with night life venues, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and clothing.
Some of these include Dean Street Townhouse, The Red Fort, Chotto Matte, Yauatcha (Alan Yau OBE) L’Escargot, Blacklock, Social Eating House, Bocca di Lupo, Hix, Vasco and Peiros, Andrew Edmunds and Wright Brothers are just a very small selection of outstanding eateries.
Coffee shops too are a plenty with big brands as well as the more bespoke independent brands.Try Cutter and Squidge for their afternoon tea which is amazing!
The area has been a hit with London’s colourful music scene over the years and was the home of The Sex Pistols who used to be seen strolling up Carnaby Street regularly. This is now part of the Carnaby Estate championed by Shaftesbury PLC, a large property owner, along with others like Soho Estates (formally Paul Raymond’s property empire). One tailor there used to make barrel style jackets for The Who back in the day! Clothing and the rag trade still has its part to play in Soho with small brand names competing with the larger retailers in harmony.
Once upon a time, the area was inhabited by many shops of an adult theme and the famous Raymond’s Review Bar which is now the location for the famous “Box” nightclub. Although Soho was London’s red light district, there has been a huge decline in the number of adult shops due to a regeneration of the area and increased rents during the last 10 years. Therefore, Soho is no longer perceived as it used to be. In fact it is has now become an extremely popular, upmarket area with many new developments set within older style buildings or brand new developments of luxury apartments. There are hubs of creative people working and utilising all Soho has to offer, so not only is it popular for residential properties, but the commercial properties are also extremely sought after. Soho is now dominated by advertising agencies, post production companies and retail.
Soho also has a large GAY community centred around Old Compton Street and people travel from far and wide to hit these spots both during the day and late in to the night.
There are also some great hotels as you would imagine and no one better than the Ham Yard (Firmdale Group) set in a cool courtyard location just behind Piccadilly Circus.
Culture – theatre and entertainment
Due to the excellent location of Soho, you will have access to a number of theatres in the West End region all along Shaftesbury Avenue and beyond. There are a number of theatres in the surrounding vicinity, including the Prince of Wales Theatre and the Queen’s Theatre but there are so many more! Since there are a lot of theatres in the area, you can see a variety of shows from famous musicals like Les Misérables, to quirky, one off shows.
Restaurants are plentiful
There is a large variety of dining places that will suit everyone. Just like the vast culture and diversity of Soho, the restaurants and dining places on offer match that. This means that there will be a dining place that meets all of your cravings. Not only is there a wide range of eating experiences, but the restaurants on offer also cater to every budget. You may want to consume some cheap snacks, or you might decide to splash out and indulge yourself, either way there is something for everyone.
Soho is in the heart of central London. The location of Soho is unrivalled. You can take a short walk to Oxford Street to do some shopping, or you could venture to Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Chinatown. Since Soho is so central, there is something for you to do all the time. Also, if you’re one for going out at night then it won’t take you long to get home and safely tucked up in bed.
The area of Soho is served by many of the major bus routes and also the underground, including Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. Tottenham Court Road will also be the home of Crossrail from 2018. This new development will greatly reduce train journey times. For example, it will transport residents in Soho to Heathrow in under half an hour. Soho is also conveniently located near Charing Cross mainline rail station.
Value for money
The average rental price in Soho is around £628 per week, which is 1.5% below the London average. This indicates that renting a property in Soho in Soho is reasonable. It has also been found that although the average property prices have “increased by 15-20%,” they are generally “5% lower,” than the property prices in Covent Garden, however this gap is closing. It costs on average “£1,400,” per sq. ft. This makes it considerably less than the cost per sq ft in say Marylebone and slightly less than the cost in Fitzrovia.
Transformation of the area
Soho has always been a diverse and colourful area of London, but both its image and property has been transforming over the past few years, due to the investment in the area. There are a large number of new builds and properties for sale in Soho, as well as quite a few conversions from commercial to residential. One conversion project has been the Saint Martins Lofts, where the old building that belonged to Saint Martins School of Art has been transformed into new, contemporary loft apartments. Barratt Homes have developed Soho 13, where they revived a “former police tenant block into designer flats.”
The rise of these new residential properties in Soho will continue to appeal to the young urbanites.