A Guide of Soho's Old & New

Platform LDN take you on a trip through their favourite Soho spots, old and new.

 

Coffee

Old: Algerian Coffee Stores
Supplying Soho’s caffeine fix since 1887, this Victorian establishment stands as the oldest coffee shop in London. Here, customers are spoilt for choice with a selection of over 80 coffees and 120 teas from around the world, and with the addition of £1 Espressos and £1.20 Cappuccinos, this famed spot remains tough competition for Soho’s coffee scene.



New: Soho Grind
This trendy spot opened in 2014 by DJ and musician Kaz James offers more than just your average cup of coffee. During the day you can enjoy a taste of the Grind’s own custom blend espressos, developed especially for Soho, and by night, head downstairs to the basement to find a secret cocktail bar offering everything from the Grind Espresso Martini to a Hot Flat White Russian.

Bars 

Old: The Coach & Horses
A true Soho institution, The Coach & Horses has been around since the 1800s and is renown for previously having the ‘rudest landlord in London’, it remains a notorious haunt even today. With its charming mix of age-old traditions and modern ideas, it stands as a pub of many ‘firsts’ - London’s first vegan pub, where customers can tuck into a tasty plate of “tofush and chips” and recently, the first pub in London to gain a nudist license. This could make for a rather interesting evening if you join them for their pub sing-along nights on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

New: Ziggy’s, Hotel Café Royal
Let’s set the scene. The date is July 3rd 1973 and David Bowie is hosting ‘The Last Supper’, a retirement party for his alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust at Hotel Café Royal, where the likes of  Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Barbara Streisand will gather to say their goodbyes. Fast- forward to 2018, and that very same spot is now opening its doors as a David Bowie-inspired cocktail bar. Serving some of the singer’s favourite tipples alongside cocktails inspired by his life, you can enjoy a Darkness and Disgrace whilst sitting among a collection of Bowie’s most intimate portraits.


Market Stalls

Old: Ronnie’s Flowers
Dating back to 1778, Berwick Street stands as one of London’s oldest markets today and Ronnie’s Flowers is London’s longest running flower market stall. A family-run business, it was originally owned by Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Stannett, and is now run by his daughter, and continues to sell a beautiful selection of flowers all year round.



New: Jerusalem Falafel
Opened in 2011, Jerusalem Falafel is bringing a taste of the Middle East to Soho, and has quickly become a lunchtime favourite. Combining over 20 ingredients into their glorious fried chickpea balls, this vegan stall boasts one of “the best falafel wraps in London” (it’s the only thing they do, and oh, they do it well), and what’s better, it won’t break the bank, costing you a mere fiver. With four pieces of falafel, plus all the trimmings, it will keep you full until dinner, and if you’re lucky a little bit after #lunchgoals.


Food


Old: L’Escargot
Founded in 1896, M. George Gaudins was renowned for his snail dishes and first to serve it in England as a delicacy - earning the name Escargot. With almost a century under its belt, Escargot prides itself on being the oldest and most celebrated French restaurant in London. Although stooped in history, it would be wrong to only expect what made them famous. From lobster bisque to pheasant ballotine, Escargot exhibits the colourful variety of French cuisine has to offer - blending tradition with the latest culinary arts.

New: Duck & Rice
The gastropub with a Chinese twist is an unexpected but delightful combination. The pub and restaurant are on different floors but blend well given their very different concepts. The focus of the pub isn't just beer and draught, but their cocktails have the savour to match the aesthetic. Alan's take on Chinese food is somewhat experimental whilst focusing on combining strong flavours. The Cantonese Roast Duck is the perfect example - combining the crispy, moist and fatty textures to create a signature dish (not to mention how its complemented with a cocktail or pilsner).


Music


Old: Ronnie Scott’s
From its inception in 1959 until present-day, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club has remained as a Soho staple, with jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Roland Kirk gracing its doors. Scott’s paved the way for American jazz instrumentalists to come across the Atlantic; as well as fostering new homegrown talent in Soho. The creation of an in-house record label, as well as expansion on Frith Street has proven its legendary status. The speakeasy vibe and intimate setting has attracted audiences young and old to witness jazz history in the making.

New: Sister Ray
Sister Ray started with a strong do-it-yourself attitude, as a market stall in Camden, pre 1990s. It found its home in Berwick Street, moving throughout the decades, but maintaining its ethos (and postcode) nonetheless. As a fond fan of record store crate digging, Sister Ray always delivers on its fantastic selections. Their involvement in Record Store Day shows its roots as a true independent store, championing new music, and helping to bring about the revival of vinyl. Sister Ray is a brilliant gem in Soho, laid out across two floors, with no dud in sight.

 
Fashion


Old: Sherry’s London
Championing the progression of the Modernist Style revival for the past 40 years, Sherry’s is
regarded as the longest serving retailer of the ‘swinging 60s’ style. Dedicated to all things
MOD, and all things fashion - in that order; the store has been sitting pretty in Carnaby’s
Broadwick Street since 1979, dressing clientele such as Liam Gallagher, Suggs, Skepta,
Gary Oldman, and Whoopi Goldberg. Heavily influenced by The Jam, and Quadrophenia by
The Who, Sherry’s will have your 60s style sorted, you’re spoilt for choice!

New: End Clothing
Located at the end of Broadwick Street, END Clothing is a new hub for the area’s street-
style lovers, and hypebeasts alike. The first bricks-and-mortar store from this coveted online
luxury menswear brand whose main aim is to “target the new wave of fashion-conscious
consumers who mix innovative, and directional menswear”, and that’s an easy feat with over
400 brands and designers to choose from.

Special Feature: House of St. Barnabas
The House of St Barnabas got its start in 1862 as a pioneering homeless charity for
members of the public. Between its start, and the outbreak of WWII, St Barnabas opened its
doors to more people than ever as a place of refuge. From 2005 onwards, the House began
its social enterprise programme, Employment Academy, to help break the cycle of
homelessness with valuable employment, mentoring, and support. As it stands, it currently
operates as a private members’ club with a gorgeous sprawling staircase, rococo style
interior with plush furnishings and a decadent chapel hall - highly recommend taking a look
inside. Central to the house is giving back to its community, a hallmark of Soho’s society.

Photos and words by Platform LDN.

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Discover the concept store at 3 Berwick Street.