The West End Resident
Kirk Truman

Bloomsbury; rich in artistic and literary history

It basks in the glow of the summer sun. Its leafy streets, the British Museum and characterful squares come back to life in the spring and die again for the autumn. This isn’t Soho, this isn’t Fitzrovia, its something in-between away from the noise of the West-End. Rich in artistic and literary history, Bloomsbury is the perfect neighbourhood for the inner creative.

If you wander through the area, you’ll be delighted to discover the area’s history as well as the local individuals, institutions and businesses that continue to give Bloomsbury its distinct character. The Bloomsbury Group is long gone, but its soul and spirit remain here. Of Central London’s neighbourhood villages, Bloomsbury is the only neighbourhood which carefully fuses the city with all the qualities of the suburbia on your doorstep. If you wander along Store Street, you will find yourself amid an array of independent businesses unmatched in this part of town. Florist Orchidya, cafes like Store Street Espresso and restaurant The Life Goddess make streets like this inimitable.

As you stroll further east, you’ll find yourself passing Russell Square, The Brunswick Centre and eventually on to Lamb’s Conduit Street. This is perhaps a breed of its own. Whereas Store Street feels largely like the village green, Lamb’s Conduit Street feels carefully hidden from Londoners, only to be discovered while wandering off-route. Largely orientated around menswear and dining, designers Oliver Spencer and Cathal McAteer (founder of Folk Clothing) are perhaps the pin-up boys behind the success of the street. Cathal & Oliver’s brands bought new attention to the street. Today it could be considered one of the greatest streets in Central London comprising restaurants such as Nobel Rot, La Fromagerie and leading global brands such as Aesop.

What was originally developed by the Russell family during the 17th and 18th centuries has today become a prime and prominent neighbourhood in our capital. This is the home of The Foundling Museum, the University of London and its countless sites and a wealth of female architects of change in the UK. Really, if you’re here for a short while or a Londoner looking for a spell of quietness in the heart of the city, get out there and wander about Bloomsbury. Cross the Georgian squares, wander through the arches of The Brunswick Centre and drop in on every coffee house you possibly can. This is the neighbourhood where greenery and intellect dance amongst some of the most beautiful Victorian and Georgian architecture in Central London. Intelligent and mature, Bloomsbury feels like the soul of London. I assure you, there is much to see.

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