Regent Street

Regent Street (6)

This busy street in the West End was designed as part of the planning that the architect John Nash carried out to join in one route, Carlton House, the official residence of the prince regent who later became George IV, with Regent’s Park. And that is where its name comes from.

It also functions as a clear dividing line between Soho, which was considered less than respectable, and the select district of Mayfair.

The works to open this street that extends from Oxford Circus to Piccadilly Circus were begun in 1813 and completed in the early 1820s. Although between the end of the 19th century and over the next three decades, the street experienced new transformations.

Look carefully at The Quadrant, the elegant curve that marks out Regent Street close to Piccadilly Circus. 

At number 68 is the Cafe Royal, established in 1865. These premises of lavish Victorian style lounges currently host banquets and events. 

Another interesting stop-off is at the shop called Liberty. This paradise of textiles and interior design was founded in 1875 and was very successful in the time of art nouveau. The building, in Tudor style, is unmistakable since its façade is dominated by wooden beams. In fact to make these beams they recycled the wood from some 18th-century warships. 

The headquarters of the BBC, situated in a  building in Art Deco style in Langham Place, can be seen from Regent Street, but if there is one place you simply cannot miss, this is Hamley’s, one of the biggest toyshops in the world. Thousands of soft toys, dressing-up costumes, board games and video games fill this authentic emporium of toys that will delight any child, not to mention many adults too. 

It is also a shopping area that is always lively, every year holding a multitude of events, concerts, open-air cinema and its shops organise glamorous product presentations, competitions, parades, and  even an exhibition of Formula 1… it is incredible what is organised here. The turning-on of the Christmas lights also becomes a big event when every year a famous personality is entrusted to turn them on in mid-November. 

See if your luck is in and you get a surprise when you are visiting.

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