Friday, 28 August 2009

Denmark Street W1

Known as London's tin-pan alley, Denmark St in Soho is probably not as buzzy as it was in it's heyday in the 50s and 60s but it still has a certain charm. Some of the music shops have been unchanged for decades and if you are musically inclined or you dream of getting your hands on a top of the range Fender or Gibson then the street's attractions are obvious. Not being so inclined, it is the more subtle charms that have wooed me. I like the way the pace changes when you turn into Denmark St, it's a more relaxed vibe although at the same time it carries with it the possibility of early afternoon beers with whisky chasers and smoking too many cigarettes. Recently it has also become home to one of my favourite London restauarants - the Giaconda Dining Room - a hole in the wall place that serves amazing food with a killer wine list to boot.

Being in Denmark St makes me wish I'd been in a band and makes me think of the 50s and how cool it would have been to listen to skiffle in a Soho coffee bar. With the huge Crossrail project dominating the TCR/Oxford Street intersection round the corner and the looming Central St Giles development at the other end of the street, Denmark Street is beginning to feel a bit hemmed in, but hopefully not much will change on the street itself. I'm sure in 10 years time there will still be kids in skinny jeans staring through the shop windows at guitars they can't afford and grizzled rockers sitting outside drinking pints. I really hope Giaconda is still there too.

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