Property for sale in Fitzrovia has always been snapped up by bohemian and quirky people but why did creatives make Fitzrovia their home, and does it still attract artists and big thinkers today?
Tucked away between Marylebone, Soho and Bloomsbury, the area was first referred to as Fitzrovia in the 1930s, probably named after the Fitzroy Tavern - a public house situated on the corner of Charlotte Street. The Fitzroy Tavern and also The Wheatsheaf became a popular place for the artistic and bohemian community to frequent. The painter Augustus John, the poet and artist William Blake, and the novelist and journalist George Orwell were all believed to have lived locally and discussed their work in the local taverns.
In fact, a wealth of respected people with cultural connections are said to have lived in Fitzrovia. The artist John Constable lived at 76 Charlotte Street; George Bernard Shaw, the playwright and critic, and English writer Virginia Woolf both resided at 29 Fitzroy Square - at different times - and modernist painter Wyndham Lewis lived on Percy Street.
Fitzrovia was also popular with burgeoning pop stars. The UFO Club - a popular 1960s underground venue in the locale - saw Soft Machine and Pink Floyd grace its stage. Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix also performed at Speakeasy on Margaret Street, and Bob Dylan made his London debut at the King & Queen pub on Foley Street. It is generally believed that Coldplay were formed in Ramsay Hall, a University College London accommodation block on Maple Street, and Boy George is said to have lived in the area.
The Fitzrovia area has also found favour with film directors. Filming for the 1964 Beatles’ movie A Hard Day’s Night took place at the Scala Theatre, which sadly no longer exists. Bertorelli’s restaurant on Charlotte Street was prominently featured in the film Sliding Doors and Guy Ritchie made Rocknrolla at Charlotte Mews.
Fitzrovia property is a charming mix of stucco-fronted mansions, period townhouses and newly developed apartments, all packaged up with a village-style vibe. Well known for its vibrant café culture, smart bars, art galleries (over 50 in 2015*) and theatres, it remains a hub for culture vultures and artists themselves.
Fitzrovia’s bohemian roots have never been forgotten and the area is still a booming creative hub today, with nods towards fashion and the media. Companies such the Arcadia Group, Saatchi & Saatchi, Time Out and City Guide are based in the area, along with several other advertising agencies and television production companies.