Fitzrovia is one of London’s most desirable quarters. Not only are you within walking distance of just about anywhere in central London, it’s a lovely area for eating, drinking and relaxing. A walk down Fitzrovia’s Mortimer Street will lead you straight to the heart of London’s famous shopping district: Regent Street, and on the way you’ll pass countless boutiques and coffee shops.
Nutshell history: The northern part of Fitzrovia was developed by Charles Fitzroy in the 1900s. He built Fitzroy Square surrounded by Georgian architecture – typical of the area. Around this time the area became known for its bohemian and artistic scene: English writer Virginia Woolf lived at 29 Fitzroy Square from 1907 to 1911. One of the main turning points for the area, however, occurred this century with a sudden surge in modern residential development projects. On the site of the old Middlesex Hospital there will be 20,000 square meters of offices, 237 private homes and 2,000 square meters of shops and restaurants to be completed in 2014.
Reference point: Central London, W1. East of Marylebone, west of Bloomsbury and north of Oxford Street (see map).
Transport: Nearest Tube station is Goodge Street on the Northern line or Totenham Court Road on the central and northern lines. For further information: tfl.gov.uk
WHAT THE ESTATE AGENTS SAY…
Architecture? “Fitzrovia Square has the most distinguished architecture in the district. You will also find beautiful Georgian Buildings on streets such as Cleveland Street, Conway Street and Charlotte Street. Victorian Mansion blocks located on Wells Street, Great Titchfield Street and Gosfield Street. Modern buildings in Clipstone Street, Fitzroy Street and Mortimer Street.” - David Caldeira, Manager at Robert Irving Burns.
Who’s buying in the area? “There are many universities in the area and Fitzrovia is a popular choice for parents investing their money in a property for their children. This especially applies to far-eastern buyers investing in the new-build market. On the whole, buyers in the area range from the media crowd to city workers and European and international buyers.” - Tim Fairweather, Director at Sandfords.
Best residential roads and blocks?“Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, Colville Place, Middleton Place. Popular portered blocks are York House on Berners Street and West One House on Wells Street.” - Simon Bray, Sales Director at Hudsons.
Property prices? “Studios start at £275,000, one beds at £350,000, two beds at £500,000, three beds at £800,000 and prices go up to around £3m for resale properties. The new developments are commanding figures in excess of this. The mews houses on Crabtree Place are achieving circa £1,450 per square ft, the landmark development ‘Fitzroy Place’ has asking prices of £1,600 to £2,000 per sq ft.” - Bray, Hudsons.
Bargain hunting? “Nearby King’s Cross and Bloomsbury. Bloomsbury has already started to catch on but in King’s Cross you’ll still find properties at a significantly lesser value.” - Fairweather, Sandfords.
Final word: “Fitzrovia has come a long way in recent years. Once considered a poor relation to Marylebone and known for the rag trade and fashion industry, today adverting agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA and a number of television production companies including the BBC, Nickelodeon, Canadian Broad casting Centre have moved into this part of town. It is a centre of social and economic activity with a balanced community that suits all kinds of lifestyles.” - Caldeira, Robert Irving Burns.
EATING, DRINKING AND GENERAL MERRY-MAKING…
For breakfast: The Riding House Cafe has become one of London’s most popular brunch-time spots with its trendy decor and good food. Tuck into some buttermilk pancakes with a helping of vanilla clotted cream, berries and maple syrup – a personal favourite!
For Lunch: The list of lunchtime options in Fitzrovia are endless. Charlotte Street caters for any taste from mouth watering burritos at Benito’s Hat to fresh and good value pizzas at Icco or some mind blowing sushi at Roka.
For Dinner: Tucked away on Hanway Place is Michelin starred modern Chinese restaurant Hakassan. The sophisticated decor, unbeatable atmosphere and superb food and cocktails make it the obvious choice for a special night out. There’s now also new late night bar Ling Ling with high profile DJs adding extra flair and flavour to the venue and pulling in the crowds till the early hours. Finally, as any Hakassan regular will tell you, the chilli prawns and Hakka cocktail are an absolute must – enjoy!
More to explore: Fitzroy Square Gardens opens its gates to the public during the summer where it hosts an open air opera.
Did you know… Quentin Crisp, Dylan Thomas, George Melly and others were all regulars at the Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte Street, where (the legend goes) the term Fitzrovia was first coined in the 1930s and 40s.