Oxford street is often referred to as the retail heart of London, on account of the fact that it is home to the flagship stores of several well-known UK high street shops, as well as smaller, independent traders and, in the form of Selfridges and Co, one of the most famous, iconic and historic department stores in the world. If you’re coming to London to bag a few bargains then there’s every chance that you’ll want to book a room in an Oxford Street hotel or, perhaps preferably, in a hotel which is situated close to Oxford Street whilst offering enough distance to avoid the more intrusive noise and clamour.
Once you’ve booked into your hotel and done a little bit of exploring, however, the chances are that you’ll realise there’s much more to the area around Oxford Street than just shops, and that it’s the perfect place to head to if you want to enjoy an entertaining night out. To begin with, it is situated within easy travelling distance of the West End, the theatrical heartland of London. No matter what kind of entertainment you enjoy you’ll be able to find a world class example of it here, whether that means a hit musical, a long running ‘institution’ like The Mouse Trap or a challenging new dramatic work. Travelling to and from the West End is simple, thanks to the tube stations positioned along Oxford Street, not to mention the frequent and reliable bus services which run along it.
Putting tourism to one side for a second, one of the factors which draws many people to London every year is the fact that it offers the opportunity to make something of oneself and develop new and lucrative opportunities, via either employment or education. The job opportunities in a city the size of London are too many and too varied to even begin to list them here, but it’s useful to note that, within walking distance of Oxford Street itself there are literally dozens of educational establishments, offering courses, diplomas and degrees in everything from travel and tourism to modern languages. Examples include West London College, the London Theatre School and Radcliffe College.
Of course, whether you come to London to learn, shop or be entertained – or even some exciting combination of all three – one of your priorities will be finding reliable and affordable places to eat and Oxford Street, on top of everything else, offers an abundance of cafes, bars and restaurants.
On top of the well-known franchise names which you’ll find in every city centre in the UK, this part of London boasts dozens of smaller, independent restaurants, ranging from family run cafes to world renowned Michelin starred centres of gastronomic excellence. Examples include the following:
Leon: a Mediterranean restaurant which serves fast food with a twist – the twist being that it is all freshly prepared with organic ingredients.
Vapiano – this is an Italian restaurant with an intriguing ordering system. Diners place their order at the till via an automated swipe card, and then get to see the food freshly cooked in front of them.
Maroush – a Lebanese restaurant set out over two floors. Serves a huge range of food and, in the evenings, offers live music and belly dancing.