London: discover Fitzrovia

London is a great capital city with various areas to visit, discover and explore.

Tourists always mention Mayfair and Soho. Younger generations are about Shoreditch.

What about Fitzrovia?

A name which sounds more Eastern European…but it is absolutely part of London.

If you take the Tube to Tottenham Court Station and walk a few minutes north of Oxford Street, you will be in….Fitzrovia. It is that close and simple to access the quaint streets. Almost like a little village in the middle of a the capital.

Fitzrovia map

Fitzrovia map

What to expect, see, purchase?

It is a real cultural sector with a lot of independent businesses. It is not old fashioned or derelict like East London used to be.

There are printers, galleries, restaurants, framers, coffee shops…etc

To give people a better understanding of what is around there, Fitzrovia Journal does that job.

Fitzrovia Journal - Header banner

Fitzrovia Journal – Header banner

Fitzrovia Journal Issue 2

Fitzrovia Journal Issue 2

…Neatly tucked away between the wealth of Marylebone, the edgy energy of Soho and the grandeur of Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia is peaceful and attractive, home to small media organisations, small pubs and small restaurants and a smattering of decent hotels… Source

Fitzrovia journal is a free cultural magazine (without arrogance) available from all good retailers in that area. It is about the life & style (or lifestyle) of people making that area of London unique, friendly, warm and stress free.

Now you know it but keep it for yourself…


London’s accommodations

Living in the capital is exciting. However, there is a price to pay and having a healthy budget and strong savings are essential.

There is a real attraction for London…a constant buzz about fashion, music, culture and art exhibitions as well.

Some people like central London when others have a passion for the East of the city and browse through Shoreditch and the rebirth of Brick Lane or the docklands.

It is almost like being in different towns when traveling on the Tube lines. For instance, Old Street and Liverpool Street stations are completely different from Sloane Square or Charing Cross.

There is always something to see, visit and the interaction is just second-to-none. Sometimes we can hear people saying that Londoners aren’t helpful because always in a rush.

Personally, I have never struggled to find a particular shop or address. Even delivery drivers would stop their routine to show me the right direction on their personal SatNav. There is a great feeling of community even if there are 7 million people living there.

However, when it comes to work and live there, a question must be asked.

Pay a premium for the privilege to have an accommodation closer from the office OR commute and get a more affordable rent? Some wealthy people are lucky and can purchase a property, but it seems that prices are hitting record highs. London’s lifestyle can be pricey!

Getting on the property ladder is one thing but even renting can be a real assault course… Decent flats are like gold dust.

Recently, The Independent reported that a bedsit in Earls Court equipped with double glazing , a bed, kitchen and shower (but no toilets) was available for £536 per calendar month. Not bad you might say… However, all this is in ONE room. Very very compact indeed. In fact, so small to live in it – alarming that such space can cost so much.

Bedsit London Earls Court

Bedsit London Earls Court

Everything is not lost. It is after all easy to visit London for a day or long weekend. There are plenty of guest houses and hotels. Some of them are even very close from London Underground stations and shopping arteries. The Strand Palace Hotel on the Strand will provide you a  room to rest and copious breakfast for a decent rate.

But when it comes to work, some companies also decide to move away from the capital. The Met Office (in 2003) then in the past months blur Group made the move from the Southeast to the Southwest.

 …Exeter and the South West demonstrate a track record in innovation and entrepreneurship… Source

The other latest news from Flybe was the implementation of regular flights from Exeter Airport to London City Airport will begin in October 2013 – (BBC article HERE).

This could change or facilitate life and business for a lot of companies and workers too. The Southwest of England offers a wide choice regarding shopping but also concerning the type of accommodations.

As blur Group CEO Philip Letts declared: “Exeter has the right ingredients to become Europe‘s San Francisco and south western UK the new Silicon Valley.”  There are already innovative graphic design studios in Exeter, but having new high-tech companies in Devon can only be a bonus point for the local economy and regional growth.

Could the forthcoming months show further moves from other firms in order to avoid paying premium rates and high rental costs? Some born and bred Londoners won’t certainly make the jump. But, it is always good to know that there is a plan B available.

The English capital will always remain a focus point for entrepreneurs, investors and tourists as well… whatever the amount to pay. The recession has affected a few families and sometimes a change is necessary in order to survive financially, but the heart usually stays anchored at the foundation’s root.

Aerial view of London

Aerial view of London


London: picnic on a roof garden [vintage]

We are all waiting for that time during the year, where we can have a decent picnic or barbecue.

See below an amazing vintage photograph, showing four women having lunch on the roof garden of Adelaide House.

London lunch on a roof garden

London lunch on a roof garden

Do we still know how to enjoy our daily lives with all the stress and electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets which have – almost – invaded our homes?