Exploring Soho

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– The spending money for this post was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own –

Soho is hands down one of my favourite areas of London, there’s so much to do, see and eat. If you’re travelling from afar, I’d definitely recommend staying in one of the hotels in Soho, as you could easily spend a couple of days taking your time to explore the area. If you’re planning a day trip to London, or even a short city break, keep reading, as I have some great recommendations!

THE PHOTOGRAPHERS GALLERY / 16-18 RAMILLIES ST, SOHO, W1F 7LW

As a photography student, it just wouldn’t be right not to include this one. This gallery is quite hidden, its tucked away behind Oxford Street basically. If you’re a photographer or just a photography lover, this gallery is for you (obviously). I think its quite overlooked, as the Tate Modern is so popular, most people head towards that. But this is well worth the visit, the exhibitions are always changing and I believe its free entry before 12:00pm.

Alongside the great exhibitions, it has the best gift shop. If you’re a bit of a photography nerd like me, you’ll be in your element. They have such a huge range of film to buy (including 35mm, 120, polaroid etc). They also sell hundreds of photography books and magazines too. I actually picked up the magazine ‘GUP’, which is an international photography magazine and also a roll of Ilford B&W film. I’ll definitely use both of these in my future uni projects and they’re two things I wouldn’t be able to get where I live.

BREAD AHEAD / 21 BEAK ST, SOHO, W1F 9RR

After wandering around a gallery, you’re bound to be a bit peckish. A short walk away from The Photographers Gallery sits Bread Ahead. We were instantly drawn in by the huge display of cinnamon buns sitting in the window. As you walk inside, you’re greeted by a whole host of sandwiches, pastries and cakes to choose from (all of which look delicious).

Because there was such a variety, it made it quite hard to choose. We ended up opting for a hazelnut filled doughnut and a cinnamon bun. I must say, I preferred the cinnamon bun as the hazelnut doughnut didn’t have as much flavour sadly, but I’d love to go back and try out some of the other cakes. The other great thing about this lil cafe, is the interior. It has gorgeous turquoise blue walls, which makes it feel very regal.

SOUNDS OF THE UNIVERSE / 7 BROADWICK ST, SOHO, W1F 0DA

A more popular spot in Soho, is Sounds of the Universe. If you’re a music lover, this will be right up your street. Packed full of vinyls, CD’s and books. Theres a real mixture of old-school music and modern stuff too, so something for everyone. The upstairs consists of vinyls and CD’s and as you walk downstairs, theres a whole host of books, alongside more vinyls.

I love wandering around record shops, even if I don’t end up buying anything, I make a mental note of vinyls I’d like to add to my collection. I think my next purchase is going to be The 1975’s newest album!

GOOD NEWS / 23 BERWICK ST, SOHO, W1F 8RB

Although this may look like your typical newsagents, its actually full to the brim with mainstream and independent magazines. I get far too excited when I see somewhere selling independent magazines, as they’re usually so hard to find if you don’t live in London.

After having a browse around the shop, I settled on the magazine ‘Lionheart’. A magazine similar to the likes of Oh Comely and Frankie, it includes style, culture, travel, photography, craft and all that good, creative stuff. There were plenty of other magazines I could have picked up as well, but this really took my fancy and I can’t wait to get reading!

GAILS BAKERY / 128 WARDOUR ST, SOHO, W1F 8ZL

You can’t really visit Soho without going to at least two cafes/bakeries. There are plenty to choose from but Gail’s was top of the list. Similarly to Bread Ahead, they serve sandwiches, tea, coffee and plenty of cakes/pastries. It took us a while to choose what we wanted as again, you have such a huge variety to pick from. I opted for a chocolate chip cookie (which was massive but also utterly delicious).

I’d love to go back and perhaps have lunch there, as the sandwiches on offer did look incredible. Plus, that gives me an excuse to try out some more of their cakes!

I had so much fun wandering round Soho, and found some real hidden gems. If you get the chance to visit, hopefully you can check out some of these amazing places!

Lucy

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