Planning a day trip in London Soho
To celebrate Clarendon’s new properties in Berwick Street and Old Compton Street how does a day out in Soho sound? From dawn until dusk this is the corner of London with something exciting up its sleeve at any hour of the day. If you’re staying at one of our extended stay apartments in Soho then this is what you should do on your day off.
Morning – breakfast in Café Soho
It’s the most important meal of the day so start the day right with breakfast in Café Soho. Choose homemade porridge topped with either sugar or cinnamon or perhaps you want something a bit more substantial like a full English. It’s grilled so it’s healthier than the traditional fried breakfast. There are a wide range of pastries for those with a sweet tooth and plenty of vegetarian options. Try Café Soho’s personal blend of coffee for a great kick-start to the day.
Mid-morning – National Portrait Gallery
Once sated, travel by foot to the National Portrait Gallery. One of the jewels in the UK’s art and culture crown the gallery is home to portraits from the most important and significant historical figures dating back to medieval times. This isn’t like a contemporary art gallery where art is picked for its merit alone, instead it is about reflecting the status of the sitter. This means that you’ve got Henry VIII, JK Rowling, Sir Paul McCartney and Richard Branson under one roof, which suggests a great party if nothing else. The gallery has themed floors so you feel as though you get a taste and feel for British history as you travel around it. The collection totals 250,000 works so you have plenty of choice to find your favourite.
Lunch – Hakkasan
By now you’ll be feeling peckish so it’s time for lunch. Hakkasan is a Michelin starred restaurant serving Cantonese food. Why not try a little Jasmine Rice or Hakka noodles with spicy prawns or Grilled Seabass with Honey and Dim Sum Platter, or Peking Duck. You can also choose from a range of soups for a lighter bite. Expect traditional Hakkasan styling with wooden screens and latticing made of dark English oak with a matching 16 metre bar.
Afternoon – head to Carnaby Street
London’s famous fashion district that made a name for itself in the swinging 60s. Even now there’s a range of independent shops for women, men and children. You can choose from accessory stores, places to buy health products, beauty goods as well as gadgets and technology. There are plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants to keep you refreshed. The name Carnaby Street comes from Karnaby House which was built in 1683 and you’ll see it to the east of the street. Once you’re done with shopping look out for the famous places where rock stars from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones were snapped.
Evening – dinner at Balan’s
Balan’s Soho in Old Compton Street is one of the capital’s most popular restaurants. It’s open seven days a week and open virtually 24 hours. There’s a wide and varied international menu with a buzzing crowd and ambience. The house speciality is the Balan’s burger, 10oz burger with cheddar cheese, streaky bacon with a house baked sesame seed bun with salad or hand cut chips. Or alternatively try a steak or fresh seafood. Make a note to come for breakfast where you can choose from Eggs Benedict, blueberry pancakes or a fry-up to start the day. There’s a great cocktail menu as well, we’d recommend the frozen daiquiri.
Evening entertainment – a night at the Soho theatre
The Soho Theatre has been on Dead Street since 2000 but already it’s part and parcel of the district’s entertainment. Expect a young and hipper crowd to file in under its blue neon lights, either for a night at the theatre or to grab a drink at their front of house café. There’s comedy or hard-hitting drama to choose from. You’ll often see top comedy talent head to the theatre as they break onto the circuit and names from Russell Brand to Doug Stanhope have graced the stage.