A vibrant and lively neighbourhood in the centre of London, Soho has long been associated with entertainment culture, and despite the modernisation that has taken place in the district in recent years, it has managed to retain a certain charm that gives a nod to its cultural past and leaves it a popular location with residents and tourists alike.
In recent years, Soho has become a media-centric region, with many businesses having flocked to the neighbourhood to take advantage of the fantastic city-centre location, the plentiful transport options and the swathes of modern office space that has cropped up in the past two decades. Couple this with the fantastic nightlife and the vibrant cultural aura, and Soho really shines through as a great place to live for trendy professionals who want to work hard and play hard.
Why should I buy in Soho?
Plentiful public transport
Soho's transport options are fantastic, being in close proximity to a number of different underground stations. Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Leicester Square and Covent Garden sit on a range of the main lines, which means Soho is linked well to most of the capital's must see landmarks and key transport hubs, ideal for work and play.
Using the underground system, commuters can gain access to; Knightsbridge in just seven minutes, Waterloo in eight minutes and Liverpool Street in 13 minutes.
Because if its location in the centre of the city, it is easy to walk to most of the other vibrant areas of London, including Oxford Street, Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road, giving fantastic access to the majority of the city.
The new property gem
Soho is one of the best up and coming areas in the city, largely thanks to the redevelopment that has taken place there in the last two decades. According to Land Registry data, Soho has overtaken Marleybone as the real gem of the West End property market.
Prices in Soho now average out at £1.6 million (£1,404 per sqft), which marks a 55 per cent rise since 2012, showing just how hot the market there is – and it’s only likely to continue to grow in the months ahead with new developments popping up all the time. Anyone buying property in the area is making an investment that could potentially see them making big returns in the long run.
Why should I live in Soho?
Trendy shopping opportunities
Whether tradition, trendiness or a rugged market is the order of the day, you'll always find exactly what you're looking for in Soho.
To capture the heritage and independent values held by Soho, few places are better to visit than Berwick Street, which has a fantastic range of shops, including vinyl retailers, bespoke tailoring, textiles, vintage, food, fashion boutiques and one of the oldest street markets in the capital.
Speaking of markets, no one can live in Soho without paying a visit to Soho Flea Market sooner or later. Perfect for the arty and trendy, Soho Flea Market will see you mingling with the best and brightest in the city as you search through arts, crafts and other wares on select dates throughout the year. Everything from fashion and jewellery designers to glassblowers and ceramicists make it one of the best places in the city to pay a visit to.
Perhaps one of the things Soho does best though is fashion, with major labels and independent boutiques alike having swarmed to the area in recent years. Fashion highlights include the likes of Jack Spade (famed for tote bags), Agent Provocateur, the charming and tasteful Cloth House and Kingly Court - a three-tiered complex that mix of established chains, independents, vintage and gift shops side by side in one convenient place.
A wide range of eateries
In recent years, Soho has really stepped up to the plate in terms of dining options, with more upmarket eateries having come to the area in the past two decades as the professionals moved in. There's an impressively wide range of fine dining, and no matter what kind of cuisine you want to sample, you're likely to find it in Soho thanks to the multicultural nature of the area.
As well as a range of lunch bars and staples such as Pret A Manger, the very best eateries to try out are:
• Marco Pierre White’s L’Escargot - Michelin Starred, Greek Street's finest restaurant offers fantastic French cuisine in opulent surroundings.
• Aperitivo - Ideal for those looking for excellent food with a twist, this eatery is one of a number in London, and it has become particularly trendy in recent times thanks to its Italian tapas menu.
• Bocca di Lupo - Popular with the critics, there was a buzz about this place when it opened its doors in 2008, and it still remains today as one of the best Italian restaurants in the capital.
• La Bodega Negra – What could possibly be better than a little bit of adventure to find a quirky new eatery? La Bodega Negra serves some of the most adventurous dishes in the capital – BBQ octopus anyone? But to get inside, you need to go through a sex shop – so Soho – where those with a reservation will be invited to descend the back stairs to this wonderful little eatery.
A wonderful night out in Soho
Few places in the capital cater to the LGBT market quite as well as Soho does, and no matter what kind of night out you are looking for, you're sure to find it in Soho.
There is a plentiful supply of fantastic nightspots in the area, but we take a look at some of the best:
• Shadow Lounge - Perfect for those looking for an air of exclusivity and class, Shadow Lounge is the capital's original members' club, where you can even find yourself doing a bit of celebrity spotting.
• The Box – Affectionately known as 'London's seediest VIP club', The Box is well known for its rather saucy cabaret acts, most of which involve nudity and some sort of sexual theme. Billed as a theatre of varieties, you never know what you'll see here, but you can be sure it'll be unique and highly entertaining. Booking is essential, thanks to its popularity.
• Café de Paris – If the theatrical is something you're interested in, Café de Paris offers you some of the best burlesque shows around in rather swanky and over-the-top surroundings that really need to be seen to believed. One of the first clubs to bring this sort of cabaret to London, it's a must-see spot.
• G-A-Y - Probably one of the best known nightclubs in Soho, G-A-Y caters to a trendy young crowd, offers cheap drinks, and even sees performances from some of the world's biggest stars like Lady GaGa and Kylie!
A hidden gem in Soho
Take a little wander down some of the winding side streets off Oxford Street or Regent Street, and chances are you might just uncover something a little off the beaten track. This is never truer than when you find the beautiful little Lexington Street, which hosts some fantastic venues. There's something for everyone in these pretty surroundings, with Mildred's (vegetarian restaurant), Andrew Edmunds (for that romantic meal) and Fernandez and Wells (a wine lover's paradise) all particular favourites.