Soho is London’s beautifully busy and bustling neighbourhood. People flock here for shopping, drinking, eating, or to catch a show. As the spiritual – and geographical – centre of LGBTQIA+ London, Soho is steeped in history and wears its rainbow flag proudly. But it’s not just the queer community conjugating in this square mile of the city. Head to Soho for a taste of modern London life — you won’t leave disappointed.
Flat White | 10am
Start your Soho adventure in one of the central London neighbourhood’s quaintest cafes, Flat White. Located on Berwick Street, the coffee spot has been serving up caffeinated beverages since 2005 — long before ‘flat white’ was widely available in the UK. Hence why they are proudly home to ‘London’s OG flat white.’ Grab yourself a seat (if you’re lucky enough), and order something yummy to eat for breakfast off the blackboard menu: they have everything from scrambled eggs on sourdough to yoghurt and granola.
Berwick Street | 12pm
Once you’ve finished eating — and have grabbed yourself a second coffee to-go — wander out onto the road, and you’ll find the infamous Berwick Street Market to your left. Fun fact: it’s one of London’s oldest markets, dating back to 1778. Naturally, the stalls have changed, but the community vibe is still evident (as is the fresh smell of street food emanating from the different cuisines). From Jerusalem Falafel to Freebird Burritos, there’s something for every palette. But it’s not just about food in this part of the ‘hood. This delectable destination is where you can witness the fusion between the Old Soho of street traders, fabric stores and vinyl shops and the New Soho of creative industries, media and fashion.
Talking about record stores, Berwick Street actually has a trio that deserves attention — Sister Ray, Reckless Records and Selectadisc — just up from the market. In fact, this Soho street was dubbed the ‘golden mile’ of vinyl back in the day. So, if you like to spend your time hunting for that elusive track, this is the street to check first.
Liberty London (and then some) | 3pm
Once you finish walking around the gallery, exit and head right on Ramillies Street towards Great Marlborough Street. A few minutes walk in the right direction, you’ll come across the grand Tudor-esque department store, Liberty London. Pop in for an elevated browse of the latest fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.
If you exit out the back, you’ll find yourself on Carnaby Street, where some of the best high street brands have outposts such as North Face, Monki and Size. But if you turn down Broadwick Street, you’ll find intriguing independents and streetwear staples such as END’s flagship location, Axel Arigato and the cult sneaker reseller, StockX in Appear Here’s Brewer Street location.
Head south down Lexington Street and you’ll stumble across Alex Eagle Studio — the luxe destination for high-end and cult fashion, art, design, homeware and beauty — as well as Wood Wood on Brewer Street, and Daily Paper on Great Pulteney St.
Rita’s | 7.30pm
So, you’ve taken in some art, culture and fashion, and it’s time for dinner. Established in Hackney back in 2012, Rita’s offering fuses modern American dining with seasonal British produce. The kitchen is led by chef Gabriel Pryce, while the front-of-house and the drinks menu is guided by Missy Flynn.
If you’re vegan, head next door to Mildreds for a ‘100% plant-based menu all day, everyday’. Or, if you’re craving something from the Asian persuasion, we highly recommend Paradise, the contemporary Sri Lankan spot that takes inspiration from family recipes and Portuguese, Malay, South Indian and Dutch cuisine.
Soma | 10pm
Finish your Soho exploration with an elegant nightcap at the super-suave basement bar, Soma. From the team behind neighbouring Kricket, its speakeasy vibe is complemented by a creative offering of re-imagined cocktail classics — for example, their take on an Old Fashioned is made with jaggery and coconut.
Although, if you prefer something a little more low-key, Night Jar is just the place. It’s a jazzy hidden gem, full of old-school glamour and imaginative mixology. Or if you prefer your bars overtly queer, try The Village on Wardour Street (it’s one of the oldest gay bars in Soho), while The Yard's Victorian courtyard on Rupert Street mixes a banging cocktail. There’s also SHE — the first, and only, sapphic space on Old Compton Street. Also the only bar left in the whole of London that’s by and for female-identifying and non-binary people.
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