From Soho, with love: West End forever

Posted on February 26, 2016

Soho: that wondrous West End neighbourhood where a deli sandwich costs more than a steak and there’s a coffee bar on every corner. In daylight it’s awash with businessmen and women bustling in and out of shops, pubs and restaurants before the clock strikes ‘back to work’. By night Soho is an open-til-dawn party-goer’s paradise. From serpentine back alleys to sun-drenched (or more likely rain-sodden) open spaces. Air thick with clouds of vaping smoke and the sweet scent of market street burritos. Set up shop here, and you’ll never want to leave. Here at Rhizome, we’re mad about the place. Let me explain why we’ll never leave…

Coffee – Soho’s heart beats to a caffeine-fuelled drum. It’s how we start the day, end the day, and punctuate each and every hour. With so many independent coffee houses to visit, and such an array of blends to sample, it’s not long before you’re hooked. Shame on anyone who’s lured through the doors of a Starbucks or Costa.

Food – Almond croissants for breakfast courtesy of Maison Bertaux, braving the Savage Salad queue at lunch, and slurping up a bowl of Pho for dinner. Why slave away in the kitchen when you’ve got this on your doorstep?

Green spaces – After eating, it’s time for a walk. Even in central London, you’re never far from a park… well, a square of concrete with a wiffwaff table and a few trees.

Bars – Soho is fertile ground for post-work (or middle of the day) drinks. Whether you want a pint in the pub, a velvety Merlot at the wine bar, rum shaken-not-stirred at the tiki bar, or a shot of sake at the Japanese, you’re never short of choice. Although some say the best bar in town is at Rhizome HQ itself – our fridge is always fully stocked with the finest spirits and bubbly.

Well connected – And you need not fear if the post-work drinks run a little over. There’s a plentitude of night buses to shuttle you home at 3am, after that single glass of wine leads to an embarrassing display of twerking and table-top dancing at Zebranos.

Eclectic stores – Who doesn’t love a rummage around Pylones or playing dress-up in the many vintage stores?

Eclectic people – You can wear that new feather boa right out the door and no one will bat an eyelid! We’re a creative bunch here in the West End. 

Bump into celebs – My claim to fame will forever be almost walking into Reggie Yates on Carnaby Street (after failing to spot him with my head stuck in my phone emails!). And Pandora can’t wait to tell you about her run-in with Eddie Redmayne. Emily’s spotted Helena Bonham Carter, Danny Boyle, Michael Gambon, Dominic Cooper, Joanne Froggatt, Ben Foden and Damien Lewis.

Tourists – We may moan about them standing around in the street, walking slowly to take in the view, but secretly we love that people think our city is great too!

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