Soho is a vibrant, eclectic place which originates from Henry 8th’s era where he changed it from farmland into a Royal Park. Though sometimes the drainage system in London may suggest otherwise, the area has definitely changed for the better, and Soho is one of the coolest and most exciting places to be at any hour. Long famed for its non-stop social scene, open minded community and prior sex industry links, there is a lot of cultural significance within these few compact streets.As well as being host to some of the biggest names in partying, there is a lot to be said for Soho’s work ethic and business credibility too.
As previously mentioned, the sex industry was booming in Soho, with its first brothel opening in 1778. The trade grew and ominous red lights would hang in the doorways of the houses there. The area still has a hint of this and actually embraces it in some of its venues with references in pub or club names. There’s no point trying to erase such a huge part of the history…
Talking of history, Soho has some impressive pop culture references, particularly around the Brit Pop era; Berwick Street is the recognisable backdrop for one of the best selling albums of all time, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory by Oasis. In it, two men are walking past each other on the street, known at the time for its densely populated record shop presence. Further to this, Pulp recorded a song called Bar Italia based on the well known late night hangout on Frith Street.
Music is a pretty significant feature for Soho with musicians, both successful and emerging, spending lots of time their be it in venues for live music or shops for instruments and records. Whilst the high street is seemingly less popular, there is a loyal base of musos who utilise it devotedly. Denmark Street, technically not Soho but parallel to the area, is known as Tin Pan Alley as it houses instrument shops and recording studios aplenty.
Musicians sure do get hungry though, as do all the other residents and businesses of Soho. Luckily it has a thriving, diverse and successful foodie scene with many popular and bustling restaurants. Lots have a no booking policy so you will often find chic Londoners patiently waiting outside Barrafina, Bocca Di Lupo, Ceviche and Dishoom, to name a few. You and your colleagues will truly be spoilt for choice for dining options. It is also worth mentioning that pop-ups, food stalls and street food are equally as commonplace and delicious in Soho. You’ll never want to food-prep again.
The sorts of people who have office space in Soho vary, but there is certainly a ‘vibe’ that is less corporate and serious than the city. News and television agencies and creative industries certainly flock here and there is a real hub of media folk within the few streets that makes up this district. It is by no means limited though, with Mayfair and Covent Garden nearby there are recruitment firms, legal teams and hedge fund companies near by. Additionally, because of the community feel within the area a lot of freelancers opt for co-working space here to feel like they are part of a team without having to work for anyone else.
The sorts of office space you can choose is vast; loft spaces, converted townhouses, new-build open plan work-spaces all feature and there is certainly an increase in properties being built for office use. The building creators in Soho certainly know their audience and ensure that there is breakout space, activities, events and refreshments on site in most cases – inclusivity and the right energy for ideas to flow is key and desired round these parts.
With all this in mind, it isn’t surprising that the area is associated with creative types. Steeped in rich history, eclectic venues and a neighbourhood feel, this area has something for anyone who wants to be on the map.