In a nutshell: Set within Bloomsbury (sounds as posh as crumpet, doesn’t it?), this area is basically overpopulated with students from SOAS and other schools within the University of London, many of whom I doubt know how lucky they are to reside in one of the most historic and tourist-savvy areas in the city; there are hotels everywhere! I also got a sneaking suspicion that the many terrace houses which surround the square are owned by MPs who claimed them on expenses…
If you’ve got a couple of hours: Chill in the square and visit its cafe – there’s something quaint about it – and you might even be entertained by a classically-trained busker. Or you could pop into the British Museum which is nearby and check out the Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures of West Africa exhibition which has been extended until July 4th (£8 or free for members). Shoppers should head to The Brunswick Shopping Centre which makes retail therapy feel ridiculously elite (Waitrose, French Connection, Space NK you get me?); that’s until you notice it’s balanced off with Superdrug, Specsavers and Nandos. Phew. Foodies will appreciate Carluccios with does great Italian, and those with sweet tooths should probably make a beeline for Patisserie Valerie. There’s also the Renoir Cinema in the mall which is totally art-house and shows some of the best indie films.
Don’t even: Take a picture in one of the few remaining red telephone boxes that are littered around here. Don’t do it, for the love of GOD! (But, if you must – I hope you take down the porn flyers first and try not to step in the wee, urrrrgh!)
Further info: Bloomsbury on Wikipedia
Do you live/work/play in Russell Square / Bloomsbury and have any area recommendations? Leave your tips below in the comments section!