Westminster council sets out its table on outdoor dining, drinking and toilets

Westminster council has published its latest plans to allow cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars in the West End to set out tables and chairs to increase trading capacity from 4 July when lockdown is eased but while social distancing continues. Some roads will be closed and pavements widened for outside eating and drinking. The temporary …

Architects are not the only ones obsessing about learning spaces and working spaces

A friend of mine passed me a copy of Architects Journal this week which has some interesting observations on life, and valuable insights into how schools and offices will operate when they re-open. The Architects Journal: Adaptation + Workplace, 21 May 2020. "Things architects obsess about are everyone's obsession now: public space, green space, learning …

Muted excitement as Lidl opens its new store on Tottenham Court Road

Front of supermarket.

There was somewhat muted excitement for shoppers this morning as German supermarket chain Lidl opened its first central London store on Tottenham Court Road, during a pandemic. Normally I'd be thrilled about the opening of a new food store close to home but shopping has lost much of its pleasure and become one of the …

Should you wear a cloth face mask to protect others?

Man wearing a keffiyeh.

It is no substitute for social distancing and washing your hands to stop the spread of Covid-19, but wearing a washable, cloth face mask when you go shopping or have to use public transport could help stop you spreading the virus if you don't know you have it. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has now …

Proprietors of historic pub on Hanway Street launch crowdfunder to re-open after lockdown

Front of public house in street.

Tenants of one of the smallest and most well-loved pubs in Fitzrovia are appealing for funds from its customers to enable it to re-open when social distancing measures are relaxed and London returns to some sort of normality, whenever that may be. Bradley's Spanish Bar, tucked away off Oxford Street in the tiny single-track lane …

Women’s group gather evidence for ‘safe zone’ around Whitfield Street health centre

Man standing outside women's clinic.

A group campaigning for an end to the harassment of pregnant people outside abortion clinics nationwide is gathering evidence in order to create a safe zone around a health centre in Whitfield Street, Fitzrovia. Many residents and workers in Fitzrovia would have noticed the sometimes large numbers of people holding a "vigil" opposite the Central …

Plans for roof-high office chill-zone give local residents the creeps

Street scene.

Designers behind a massive sun-seeking terrace in Fitzrovia have stunned locals by omitting its crucial south-facing vista from photos sent to planners. Applicants renovating 60 Charlotte Street withdrew plans late last year for their third story piazza after residents with privacy concerns wrote to Camden Council. Now the same Luxembourg-based firm has resubmitted plans for …

Architects and engineers can play their part against climate change and habitat loss

Placards in a window.

Friday's climate strike saw thousands of adults join the movement started by young people  taking action against climate change and species extinction. These included many architects and engineers in Fitzrovia. "More than 100 assembled outside London’s Building Centre before going on to a rally in Westminster, while outside the capital, architects took part in protests …

Street artist mocks Trump ahead of UK state visit

Trump posing for cameras.

A street artist has mocked US President Donald Trump on the eve of his arrival in the UK for a three-day state visit. The artist who goes by the moniker Loretto stencil-painted four satirical images on a boarded-up, disused building on the corner of Great Portland Street and Carburton Street in Fitzrovia over the weekend. …

Taxis, media lies, and Tottenham Court Road

Taxi blockade.

For the sixth weekday evening in a row London Taxi drivers have blocked Tottenham Court Road between 4pm and 7pm, and brought the surrounding streets to a standstill. Many people have struggled to get home by public transport and many more are wondering what's going on. There have also been a number of incorrect statements …

Bourgeois and proletarian cinema in and around Fitzrovia

Front of hotel.

The streets in and around Fitzrovia are home to a number of picture houses and film clubs. Some well-known and others a little hidden from view. Here's our round up of places to catch a good movie. Charlotte Street Hotel Film Club, 15-17 Charlotte Street London W1T 1RJ. Enjoy a meal in the restaurant and …

Great Portland Estates appears to have run out of ideas for street names

Street sign.

As the massive commercial and residential development on the former Royal Mail delivery centre in Fitzrovia nears completion, developer Great Portland Estates appears to have run out of ideas for street names. The Rathbone Square development will have office space for Facebook, 142 private residential apartments, cafes, shops and restaurants surrounding a central square within …

Science for the public good or a dystopian future where artificial intelligence goes on the rampage?

Front of wobbly building on Howland Street.

Ground-breaking research into human thought and a vision of rogue robots and replicants hungry for more life will collide at a major event in Howland Street this week as part of Fitzrovia Festival. Georgina Ferry introduces Neural Architects, her behind-the-scenes account of a unique collaboration between a leading architectural practice, Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd, and …

Must we kiss goodbye to Rathbone Street’s young lady of the night?

Painting of woman at window.

Above the Newman Arms pub in Rathbone Street there is a bricked up window with a picture of a young woman. In the painting she can be seen in a nightdress and little cap which partly covers her long red hair. She peers down onto the street below with her bare arms resting against the horizontal …

Family law and relationship therapy served with coffee and cake

Chocolate brownies on a plate.

If your relationship is getting you down then help is at hand at a cosy cafe in Warren Street which is hosting a number of free workshops designed to soften the impact of familial discord with the help of some sugar-laced treats. Family law solicitors from Grayfords on Fitzroy Square will be running a series of …

Arup left staff in the dark after deal to sell its offices and relocate

Outside of building.

Staff at Arup's London headquarters were left with a weekend of unnecessary uncertainty about the future of their offices after a surprise announcement was made saying their building had been sold and that they were moving but to an unknown new address. A trilogy of multi-million pound deals involving the global engineering firm and two publicly …

Radio: Looking for Prince Monolulu

Comedian Stephen K Amos presents the fascinating story of former Fitzrovia resident and flamboyant racing tipster Ras Prince Monolulu on BBC Radio 4 this Saturday. Monolulu (1881-1965) became well-known on the race courses of England in the 1920s with his ostrich feather headdress and famous catchphrase: "I gotta 'Orse, I gotta 'Orse to beat the favourite." He …