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Soho is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods of London. Previously home to the adult entertainment industry and a chaotic past, Soho has shed its sordid image to become a popular attraction. It is now the entertainment capital of the city with many popular theaters, clubs, upscale restaurants, bars and a lot more. It also has a variety of shopping destinations. Keep Soho on top of the list when visiting London.
Covent Garden is a historic district that is famous for its street performers, shops, restaurants, bars and theaters. The most well known attraction in the area is the Royal Opera House. Before it became the capital’s premiere destination for entertainment and leisure, Covent Garden served as the largest fruit and vegetable market in England. Currently, the Apple, East Colonnade and Jubilee markets are held in the piazza area. Visitors can browse through antiques, artwork, jewelry and clothing that can be found among the market stalls.
Visiting Oxford Street is essential on any trip to London. Towards the end of the 18th Century, it was bought by the Earl of Oxford and soon after this, Oxford Street started to become popular for shopping. When Debenhams and Selfridges opened in 1909, the street became the place to go to for good quality shops. It now has over 600 shops and there are over 200 bars, cafes and restaurants in close walking distance as well as many other places of interest. Many of the more popular stores consider their branch in Oxford Street to be the flagship store and the one where they have their special openings and promotions.
Named after Sir Thomas Bond, the financial controller of the Queen's Household at the court of King Charles I, the Bond Street area was swampy, uninhabited and near a plague pit. It used to be an unsavory area where highwaymen preyed on passers-by and noblemen fought duels. By the 1850s, however, Bond Street had undergone something of a renaissance and became a place lined with fashionable shops, where members of high society would stroll the streets. It has remained so, although tourists and shopaholics are its main visitors now. Nonetheless, Bond Street still has many traders who display the Royal Warrant and maintain a tradition of individual service, with many leading fashion houses where made-to-measure garments can be purchased. For lovers of art, high fashion and elegant clothes, jewelry and leather goods, there is no equal to Bond Street. Acquisitions and changes have enhanced its reputation further over the years, with key fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton opening shops.
King's Road used to be the private road of King Charles II and took him between Whitehall and Hampton Court Palace. In 1830, it became a public road and then became famous in the 60s and 70s for its many fashionable establishments. It is now Chelsea's main road and the place for serious shoppers - you may even see a famous face or two here as well. It isn't just for the wealthier shoppers, there is something for everyone. In addition to clothing shops, there are antique shops, technology shops and a wide range of eateries.