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Artisan cider, sourdough pizza and a coffee shop in a toilet: it’s Fitzrovia’s best bits

Posted at 10:15 am, July 26, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Fun London, Music & Nightlife
Franco Manca

Go boozing with the best of them in the pub-packed centre of the city.

Why go there?
To quell your raging literary imagination with dark liquor. Plus, cheap pizza.

What’s the vibe?
Cultured but low-key, with a heavy emphasis on eating and drinking (and a particularly heavy emphasis on the drinking bit). Fitzrovia – the block of streets above Oxford Street – gets it name from Charlotte Street’s Fitzroy Tavern, where everyone’s favourite roustabout writer Dylan Thomas used to get steaming drunk and behave obnoxiously.

riding house cafe

Okay, but before the booze, some food.
Good idea. Icco on Goodge Street and the newish Tottenham Court Road branch of sourdough specialists Franco Manca do inexpensive yet excellent pizzas, while The Riding House Café on Great Titchfield Street is the place for brunch. Then scoff cake at Tap’s top coffee shops on Rathbone Place or Tottenham Court Road.

  Reverend JW Simpson

Enough stodge, where are the tipples?
That’s the most important question of all. Let’s start our crawl at the Green Man on Riding House Street – a lovely, laidback pub with headsplittingly strong artisan cider. On to Artesian at the Langham hotel, for some of the best cocktails in the world (no exaggeration), followed by a slightly cheaper round at Sam Smiths pub the Champion on Eastcastle Street. Then end up at Reverend JW Simpson, behind a very unassuming door at 32 Goodge Street, where, we hope, sobriety will have no chance of finding us.

the attendant coffee shop toilet

I’m just off to the toilet.
Have fun! No, seriously, if you want a water closet with a difference then urine luck. The Attendant on Foley Street is a charming espresso bar in a refurbished Victorian gents’ lav. Or dash up to the Grafton Arms on Grafton Way, which has a wee-operated racing game built into its urinals. Just don’t get carried away with your joystick.

BT Tower

Is there anything else to do round here apart from pissing and getting pissed?
You can gawp at the BT Tower. Once the tallest and most imposing building in London, it now looks more like the bottom bit of a tatty lightsaber. More timeless entertainment is to be had at Pollock’s Toy Museum on Scala Street. Then check out the exhibitions at the cool and cultural Rebecca Hossack or Alison Jacques galleries (on Conway Street and Berners Street).

And if I only do one thing?
Forget everything; it shouldn’t be hard given the number of brain cells you’ve just killed. Then do it all over again.

By Jonny Ensall, who’s hungover.

For more of London’s best bits take a look at Camberwell or Wimbledon.

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