Soho: Where London Comes to Life

London is one of the most vibrant cities in the world and the heart of the city lies in Soho, a place known for its rich history and quirkiness. There is so much to see and do; from the theatre to galleries to an eclectic mix of shops to suit anyone’s tastes, Soho has been deemed by some as the pulse of London. This guide will take you on a tour around Soho, giving you tips and insights on where to go and what to see while you’re in the city.

Explore the Shops

soho street

London hotels special offers include shopping getaways which give the perfect excuse to stay around Soho as it is a stone’s throw away from both Regent Street and Oxford Street. Oxford Street is a shopper’s dream with a mile and a half strip packed full of shops; from New Look to a four-storey Topshop and, of course, the world famous Selfridges. Regent Street leads on to Piccadilly Circus and is home to a whole host of designer shops including J.Crew, Burberry, Penhaligon’s and Hamleys, the oldest toy store in the world; it opened its doors in the 18th century and has been delighting children ever since. A few minutes walk from Regent Street will lead you to Liberty, a breathtaking Tudor structure that is filled to the brim with luxury items, and, from there, you can head back to the Swingin’ Sixties when you explore Carnaby Street. The mix of shops and boutiques in Carnaby Street guarantees a unique selection of spoils and, if you can’t get enough of boutique shopping, check out Berwick Street.

Sample the Bar Scene

No trip to London is complete without exploring the clubs and bars and, the most pumping place in London to go for a night out is Soho. It is well known for its LGBT scene with places like The Admiral Duncan and Freedom Bar regularly packed full of partygoers; Soho is also a stone’s throw away from G.A.Y, one of the most famous LBGT bars in the UK and one that has regularly hosted incredible line ups such as Kylie Minogue and Lady Gaga. Soho also has an incredible selection of bars such as Ronnie Scott’s which is well known for its live jazz and ambience or, if you prefer to be transported to Paris for an evening, head to The French House where you can engage in philosophical debates, talk about art and literature and enjoy a wide selection of music just like Francis Bacon, Dylan Thomas and Lucien Freud where known to do here.

Take a Trip to Chinatown


At the southern end of Soho, just 10 minutes from the Park Grand Paddington Court Hotel, lies Chinatown, a three street suburb comprising of food stores, gift shops, massage parlours, takeouts and delicious restaurants. There is something to suit all purse sizes; a fantastic deep tissue massage can be bought for £30 for 30 minutes while a delicious mixture of Chinese delicacies can range for a few pounds to a few hundred pounds. Don’t forget to check out the Chinese tea shop on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue where they have a whole range of delicious teas, quaint of tea pots and delicate cups as well as there being an in-house Chinese medicine counter to naturally cure ailments.

Time for the Theatre

London is famous for its West End theatre scene and Soho is right in the heart of it. Prince Edward, Queens, Lyric and The Gielgud theatres can all be found in this vicinity and have hosted a whole host of award-winning shows such as ‘Stomp!’ to dramatic theatre pieces such as ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.’ A trip to London isn’t complete without a trip to the theatre and, with a fine selection of authentic theatre ticket sellers in the area selling all manner of tickets at discounted prices, there really is no excuse not to take in a show.

Experience the Soho Giggles

If musical or dramatic theatre isn’t your thing, then why not head to the Amused Moose or The Soho Comedy Club for a few hearty laughs on a Friday or Saturday nights or, if you are looking for mid-week entertainment, The 99 Club just outside of Leicester Square provides laughs 7 days a week.

Feeling Peckish?

How would you like to travel the world without ever leaving London? Some may say that it is impossible, but with the range of restaurants and eateries in Soho, it is a reality. You can travel to China by eating at Cha Cha Moon or head to Spain by tucking into the delicious seafood served at Barrafina; there can be a dash to the Mediterranean in 10 Greek Street before heading to the Orient and dining in Michelin-starred style at Yauatcha. Whatever you fancy to tickle your tastebuds, there will be something for you within Soho.

Fancy Something Sweet?

After your trip sampling Soho’s culinary delights, you may be after something sweet and Soho will not disappoint. Chocolate is the dessert of choice in Soho with a Choccywoccydoodah shop stocking an astounding amount of the mouth-watering treat; choose from white, dark milk, marbled…there is so much to choose from and, if the decision gets too much, take a seat in their cafe and sample their fine selections. If you would prefer to walk and taste, the Chocolate Ecstasy tour is perfect for you where a guide escorts you around Soho and Mayfair, taking you into several chocolatiers to sample their wares. It is an absolute must for any chocolate lover.

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