What to Do in London's Victoria
Living and working in Central London can be a lot of fun, and we are lucky to be in one of the best parts of this fabulous city. You see, for a long time, Victoria was a forgotten corner of the capital. Overrun with governmental buildings and civil servants, Victoria was, well, a little bit dull. Things, however, are changing…and fast.
The last few years have seen the beginning of a £4 billion investment scheme to regenerate this drab grey concrete part of SW1 and transform it into something altogether more sassy, and it’s working. Fashion houses such as Tom Ford, Giogio Armani and Jimmy Choo are now part of the fabric (pun intended) that makes up the modern Victoria. Things are definitely on the rise around here.
So, what is there to do when you are in SW1? Let’s take a look, shall we?
Grabbing lunch in Victoria
As one might expect from any Central London postcode these days, eating out is not a problem in Victoria
. Gone are the lousy Aberdeen Angus Steak Houses of old and in comes the altogether fancier options, with some being touted as being amongst the best in town.
There are still chain restaurants on offer (think Nando’s, Giraffe, Prezzo etc.) of course, which is handy for those of us who work in the area and have to grab lunch every day, but even for regular purchases such as this there are some brilliant independents around that won’t break the bank. One of our favourite lunchtime haunts is Etnacoffee, whose authentic Sicilian street food is absolutely extraordinary. Best of all, it’s ridiculously cheap for Central London, too.
Another place we’re very fond of is Strutton Ground. There has been a market here for as long as anyone cares to remember, but the stall holders are slowly changing. This is a good thing if you love your food, as many of the new faces are bringing continental cuisine to the streets of SW1. Small it may be, but Strutton Ground Market should definitely be on your to do list if you ever find yourself in Victoria.
As far as legends of the area go, it’s hard to beat the Regency Café on Regency Street. It’s famous black and white tiled façade has been featured in many a London film, including Layer Cake and Brighton Rock – it’s even been in a Volkswagen ad! This is a typical London greasy spoon with atypical quality food. Sure, it may lack the finesse of some of the other places round here, but whenever you see lines of black taxis like the ones that park along the pavement outside the Regency Café you know you’re on to a winner.
Cultural highlights of Victoria
Victoria has two of the most popular theatres outside of the West End in the Apollo and the eponymously named Victoria Palace Theatre. Tate Britain is just a short walk away if you want to see some of the most beautiful paintings ever made and the equally famous Saatchi Gallery is situated at the Duke of York’s HQ, just under a mile from Victoria Station on the Sloane Square end of the King’s Road.
This part of London is also within a stone’s throw of some of the most iconic buildings in London, if not the world. Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey are all within easy walking distance of the centre of Victoria, giving you the perfect opportunity to take in a little bit of English heritage while you are here. Westminster Cathedral is also worth a visit if you are in the area, and you can find that just set back off of Victoria Street opposite Palace Street.
London’s Royal Parks are also easily accessible from Victoria if you want to experience a little bit of nature in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world. St James’s Park is the closest and can be found just to the north of Victoria Street on Birdcage Walk.
There really is so much to do in this part of the city that any article will fall short of providing you with a comprehensive list, but these are some of our favourites. We hope that you enjoy them, too, whenever you are next in London’s Victoria.