Leaving the conference a bit earlier was a great excuse to go for a walk around Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia. I was only able to experience them on the surface but it still gave me a better idea about both areas and a much needed boost of energy. As they are so close to Oxford Street I am still wondering why I haven’t explored them before.
Bloomsbury is located east of and Fitzrovia west of wide Tottenham Court Road. At the sound of this name, I can only picture tube station with the same name and an old sky-scraper that is grey and boring. But actually as you further along Tottenham Court Road (towards Euston Rd) it becomes much more enjoyable. I like its wide pavements, plenty of furniture shops and, of course Tap Coffee. There are also some other food places worth visiting – Franco Manca with its sourdough pizza, Raw Loaf and Japanese Canteen and one of my favourite chain bakeries Kamps. Tottenham Court Road links together Oxford Street and Marylebone Road/Euston Road and that’s like being a bridge between two different worlds – hustle and bustle of Oxford Street and seriousness of Euston.
|Entrance to Tap Coffee|
|Gower Street in Bloomsbury with characteristic buildings|
It’s much more eclectic than Bloomsbury and more concentrated on the business than learning. The historically bohemian area was once home to such writers as Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw and Arthur Rimbaud.
You’ll see quite a few of business buildings - old and new, and you can have sneak peek into some of them, like I did at the one below...
Mortimer Street seems to be the main one but this time I didn’t actually have a chance to explore it, but I will be back. I love the fact that you can stroll around narrow streets and feel a bit like in a labyrinth. You can be sure that no matter which way you turn you will find something if not a toy museum than a great newspaper kiosk with lots of interesting magazines you cannot get anywhere else.
Fitzrovia boasts with a lot of art galleries and food places. I tried butternut squash and sweet potato soup with amazing sourdough bread at The Black Sheep Coffee - absolutely loved the place after spending their only few minutes. Two girls that were serving me and other customers were friendly and chatty and even appreciated my new ‘friend’ who now goes with me for walks (aka my DSLR). Their coffee and menu of sandwiches, cocktails and quiches looked very tempting as well and I am a fan of the claim they put on the paper cups - "Leave the herd behind". Weather permitting you can enjoy food and coffee outside sitting by the window sills. Next door, for those in more carnivorous mood, is the Wild Game Co, once very well reviewed by Time Out.
|Entrance to Black Sheep Coffee|