London’s West End is the beating heart of central London. It’s the place where shoppers rack up serious debt on Oxford Street, theatre nuts coo over the latest plays and musicals and tourists flock to soak up the delights of Covent Garden and its surroundings.
It’s also where you’ll find plenty of London’s best restaurants, bars and clubs, many of them somewhere on the narrow streets of Soho, the city’s most reliably buzzy party district. But the West End’s not all about expense and excess – it’s also home to some of London's best free things to do, including the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. Plan a perfect trip to central London with our guide to the best things to do, see, eat and drink in the West End.
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The best bits of the West End
The perfect weekend in the West End
Best restaurants in the West End
Things to do in the West End
Bars and pubs in the West End
Hotels in the West End
Theatre in the West End
Ted's Grooming Room Fitzrovia
This central London branch of the slick Turkish barber chain offers the usual drop-in cuts, wet shaves and hot towels, but you can also book in to the 'By Appointment Only Lounge' for something a little more special. Decorated with vintage medical equipment to reflect the area's background, the Mortimer Street boasts a bar designed by Looking Glass Cocktail Club and offers the 'Cut a Dash with Ted' treatment – essentially the barbershop full works. The barbers here mean business; there's no idle nattering about holiday plans as they expertly shape beards and style your hair into traditional but adaptable styles. What really gives the booked-in treatments the edge (pun intended) is the ear hair burning and the hot towel treatment. There aren't that many places in London you can have your fuzz removed with fire, after all. The hour-long session is a hefty £75, so you need to care more about your look than your bank statement, but at the end of it you'll look a million bucks, so what goes around comes around.