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London - Around Town : Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia (part 2) - Shopping, Eating and Drinking

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Bloomsbury & Fitzrovia on Foot

Morning

Arrive at the British Museum at 10am (opening time) so that you can enjoy the new Great Court in peace. View Norman Foster’s glass dome while having coffee at the café here. Stroll past the great Assyrian bas-reliefs on your way out.

Browse the antiquarian book and print shops, such as Jarndyce , along Great Russell and Museum streets. Turn left up Little Russell Street, noticing the fine Hawksmoor church of St George’s. Loop around Bloomsbury Square and check out the list of Bloomsbury group literary figures posted here. Head west to Bedford Square with its elegant Georgian houses. Cross Tottenham Court Road and carry on to Charlotte Street.

Afternoon

See the photos of literary figures such as Dylan Thomas in the basement bar of Fitzroy Tavern at No.16 Charlotte Street, while enjoying a pre- lunch drink. If you fancy something more substantial than bar food, try a curry from Rasa Samudra at No. 5.

After lunch, amble up to the Brunswick Centre for some shopping, from food to fashion. This awesome concrete-and-glass megastructure is one of London’s iconic buildings. Catch a cult flick at arthouse cinema The Renoir, or have a coffee at Carluccio’s (One, The Brunswick).

Fitzroy Square

Shopping

  1. Liberty

    One of London’s most appealing department stores, Liberty sells cutting-edge contemporary design in clothing, jewellery and household items. Opened in 1875, to specialise in goods and silks from the Empire, the shop remains famous for its “Liberty Print” fabric .

    • 210–220 Regent Street W1

    Liberty
  2. Hamleys

    London’s largest toy shop sells everything from dolls to computer games. Worth a visit just to see their fabulous window displays .

    • 188–196 Regent Street W1

  3. Heals

    London’s leading furniture store is a showcase for the best of British design. There is a café at the back of the 3rd floor.

    • 196 Tottenham Court Road W1

    Stylish glases at Heals
  4. French’s Dairy

    This jewel of a shop in the heart of Bloomsbury sells chic, contemporary jewellery and accessories for both men and women.

    • 13 Rugby Street WC1

  5. British Museum Shop

    Find exquisite crafts and jewellery in this museum shop. Everything from a pair of earrings modelled on those of ancient Egypt or a replica Roman bust to contemporary crafts.

    • 22 Great Russell Street WC1

  6. Contemporary Applied Arts

    CAA promotes British art and crafts, and you can find glass, ceramics, textiles and jewellery within.

    • 2 Percy Street W1

  7. James Smith and Son

    Established in 1830, James Smith is a beautiful shop that will meet all your umbrella, cane and walking stick needs.

    • 53 New Oxford Street WC1

  8. Cornelissen & Son

    The most appealing art shop in town has wood panelling and rows of glass jars full of pigments.

    • 105 Great Russell Street WC1

  9. Jarndyce

    The handsome antiquarian bookshop is best for 18th and 19th-century British literature.

    • 46 Great Russell Street WC1

  10. Shepherd’s

    Write a letter home on these fine hand-made papers. The shop is also a specialist on bookbinding.

    • 76 Southampton Row


Eating and Drinking

  1. Rasa Samudra

    Exquisite dishes from the Kerala region of southern India, including fish and vegetarian curries. A cookbook on display helps explain dishes you have never heard of.

    • 5 Charlotte Street W1

    • 020 7637 0222

    • Disabled, with advance booking

  2. Truckles of Pied Bull Yard

    This wine bar comes to life in summer when the terrace is filled with drinkers enjoying chilled rosé and Pimm’s.

    • Off Bury Place WC1

    • 020 7404 5338

    • No disabled access

  3. Bam-Bou

    Set in a lovely four-storey Georgian townhouse, this is a traditional South Asian restaurant.

    • 1 Percy Street W1

    • 020 7323 9130

    • No disabled access

  4. Hakkasan

    Its location may not be salubrious but this Chinese restaurant and cocktail bar is certainly classy.

    • 8 Hanway Place W1

    • 020 7907 1888

  5. Fitzroy Tavern

    The pub that gave its name to the area (Fitzrovia) has a large central bar that attracts a lively after-work crowd. Good Samuel Smith beer is reasonably priced.

    • 16 Charlotte Street W1

  6. Salt Yard

    Spanish grazing dishes here include Old Spot pork belly with cannellini beans and fried courgette flowers.

    • 54 Goodge Street W1

    • 020 7637 0657

  7. Villandry Foodstore

    Attached to an excellent food shop, the restaurant has a simple modern European menu that changes twice a day.

    • 170 Great Portland Street W1

    • 020 7631 3131

  8. Smithy’s

    A hidden gem in King’s Cross serving European cuisine with fine wine and real ales.

    • 15–17 Leeke Street WC1

    • 020 7278 5949

    Smithy’s
  9. Carluccio’s Caffè

    A touch of authentic Italy in this quiet square behind Oxford Street. Eat hand made pasta at pavement tables.

    • 8 Market Place W1

    • 020 7636 2228

  10. Tas

    This branch is well placed, offering Turkish food made for sharing.

    • 22 Bloomsbury Street WC1

    • 020 7637 4555

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