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Leon Bell’s Fitzrovia Keeping it cool in hip Fitzrovia, which led The Sunday Times list of the top 10 places to live in London this year
Finish this sentence: ‘You know you’re in Fitzrovia when...’ ... everyone looks like they’ve stepped off the pages of a lifestyle magazine. It’s very trendy, but really bohemian and friendly around here.
Name a shop in your area that you couldn’t live without: The many coffee shops – the 8,000-odd residents can’t live without those! There are some brilliant restaurants including Dabbous (if you can get a table!) and Pied à Terre. To shop like a Fitzrovian, try the Black Truffle boutique on Warren Street.
What’s the local outlook for Fitzrovia in 2017? Fitzrovia is going through a renaissance at the moment and you’ve got incredible, exclusive developments like Fitzroy Place with its own in-house cinema and chill-out zone. You’ve also got Crossrail, which will boost the already extensive transport links. The arrival of Facebook moving into Rathbone Square is also big news here. The international students bring a global influence to this part of town, keeping it really cosmopolitan, together with the many creative industry types.
What do you love most about Fitzrovia and where it’s heading? There’s a real sense of community here – that you wouldn’t necessarily expect in the West End, and
although it’s going through massive regeneration it still manages to retain its character through its colourful and diverse long-term residents. Looking ahead we’re planning to get more involved with The Fitzrovia Partnership, which provides a collective voice for local residents and businesses, and supports and encourages community events like food festivals.
What’s your favourite part of the day around this area? Here it feels like Friday every day – it’s just such an exciting vibe. We love the lunch run between 12 and two when the people watching is at its best. You see the hippest individuals and the odd celeb like Idris Elba, but Fitzrovians aren’t the type to make a fuss or ask for a selfie – even if you are potentially the next James Bond. They’re far too cool for that!
HERE IT FEELS LIKE FRIDAY EVERY DAY – IT’S JUST SUCH AN EXCITING VIBE... YOU SEE THE HIPPEST INDIVIDUALS AND THE ODD CELEB
Where do you and your team unwind at the end of a busy day? The great thing in Fitzrovia is that in the summer you can have drinks at classic places like the Charlotte Street Hotel. What’s less well known is the amazing array of underground cocktail bars that really come alive in the autumn and beyond. I really recommend the Reverend JW Simpson on Goodge Street. It’s scruffy, subterranean and really good fun.
Find Leon and his team at: Dexters Fitzrovia 66 Goodge Street, London, W1T 4NG 020 7067 2401