Fuel up for a day in the saddle at the ever-popular (and aptly named) Riding House Cafe where you’ll find an array of breakfast favourites, or opt for open sandwiches and cinnamon buns at the Scandinavian Kitchen a few doors down. HT Harris is a Fitzrovian lunchtime institution: a proper family-run Italian deli who know the perfect way to combine soft ciabatta, thinly sliced meat, fresh salad leaves and generous glugs of olive oil. Stop by legendary London hangout, The Social, on a Friday afternoon and you’ll get your lunch soundtracked by some top-drawer DJs courtesy of the Sonic Sandwich boys. Dinner at Roka on Charlotte Street is a must for its showpiece robata grill and life-affirming yellowtail sashimi with yuzu-truffle dressing. Bonnie Gull is a comely neighbourhood seafood shack beloved of the Beckhams, no less, and the simple yet sophisticated Picture on Great Portland Street tempts with its winning six-course spring menu.
Mr & Mrs Smith x Tokyobike
Discover London's Fitzrovia
You’d be hard-pushed to find an area in central London quite as rideable (and roamable) as Fitzrovia. The area north of Oxford Street has a more laid-back feel than its more hedonistic Soho counterpart; more lived-in neighbourhood than West-End tourist trap. Its Victorian streets are dotted with charming cafés, characterful pubs, beloved boutiques and must-visit restaurants – with a pace perfectly suited to idle cycling…
Coffee lovers: get your brews from Kaffeine, a coffee-shop-cum-meeting-point so popular, there are now two stores mere streets from each other. Fitzrovia’s most famous watering hole is the Fitzroy Tavern – it’s counted everyone from Dylan Thomas to Aleister Crowley as regulars. The King & Queen will be right up your street (your street being Foley Street) if you like your pubs unfussy. As well as its defiantly pints ‘n’ pistachios attitude, the pub has the unexpected honour of being the first venue Bob Dylan ever played outside the US. Keep your eyes peeled for a set of fairy lights strung around a Clipstone Street doorway: the only clue to downstairs drinking den, the Lucky Pig, where you should ask for a zingy and spring-y La Passion.
For a vivid and varied collection of modern painting and sculpture, pay a visit to Fitzrovia favourite, Rebecca Hossack, at her Charlotte Street gallery. Nearby, the Getty Images Gallery is home to work from the peerless photo agency dating back as far as the 1850s, and always host to an attention-grabbing exhibition. A little less orthodox is Pollock’s Toy Museum, a nostalgic (and at times unsettling) collection of toys, games and dolls from yesteryear, crammed into a quaint corner house.
It’s technically a road outside the Fitzrovia boundaries, but don’t let that stop you cycling in and around the resplendent Regent’s Park. Spend some time exploring the fascinating Grant Museum of Zoology, too – you’ll get a glimpse at dodo bones, a jar full of preserved moles, a whole quagga skeleton and other curios from the natural world.
The London Edition – a grown-up and glam affair from Studio 54 magnate Ian Schrager – stands back from the bustle on Berners Street. At its heart is the hidden away Punch Room, where tufted banquettes and fumed-oak panelling bring to mind Dickens’ cheerier scenes (the author himself actually lived a few streets away) and award-decorated mixologist Davide Segat preps historic cocktails before they’re ladled into dainty glassware. For something brighter and breezier, check-in to the Charlotte Street Hotel, elegantly outfitted by interiors queen, Kit Kemp, and always abuzz. Rooms are artfully appointed, the restaurant is intimate and inviting, there’s even a private cinema…
You'll find Tokyobike's Fitzrovia store at:
14 Eastcastle Street,