The Lay of the Land
Tucked away from the hustle of London’s main thoroughfares are its charming secrets: narrow lanes and cosy streets that paint a different portrait of the city. Not far from Oxford Street, you’ll stumble upon one such gem: St. Christopher’s Place.
You won’t find St. Christopher’s Place sprawling across a map with prominent markings. No, it’s discreet — almost whispering for you to find it. Shaped like an ‘H’, it comprises two elongated lanes running perpendicular to Oxford Street, with a shorter one bridging the two.
A Gastronomic Delight
The area thrives as a gastronomic haven. It’s a delightful parade of restaurants, each with its own slice of the world’s culinary offerings. Whether you fancy a rich Italian pasta, a French delicacy, a juicy burger, a Turkish feast, or just a hearty pizza, you’re in for a treat. And the experience is elevated, thanks to the outdoor seating that almost every restaurant there boasts. As you sip your wine or enjoy your meal, the world continues in a blur around you, yet you’re comfortably ensconced in this enclave of serenity.
But it’s not all about food. St. Christopher’s Place is also a treasure trove for those with a penchant for shopping. As you saunter through, you’ll discover boutique stores offering clothing that stands out, glittering jewellery shops, and places where you can find chic accessories. A word to the wise, though — it leans towards the high-end, so your wallet might feel a bit lighter after a spree.
Festive Magic in the Air
Time your visit around Christmas, and you’re in for an even grander spectacle. The area transforms into a winter wonderland, with twinkling lights creating a canopy overhead. The radiant glow of Christmas decorations adds to the magic, casting a warm hue over everything. There’s a special allure to London during the festive season, and St. Christopher’s Place captures that essence brilliantly.
Finding the Hidden Jewel
Now, you might wonder: how does one find this hidden gem? Here’s a hint. As you walk down Oxford Street, let your eyes wander to the north side. Between the O2 and H&M stores, there’s an alleyway. At first glance, it seems like it’s just wide enough for a single person. Venture in, and it soon broadens out, revealing the wonders of St. Christopher’s Place. A hallmark of this entrance is a clock, accompanied by a sign — both of which can be seen if you look closely enough.
A Cinematic Touch
For those who regard cinema as a mirror to reality, you might recognise this place from the film “Love Actually” Remember the tender scene where Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson cross paths before they embark on their Christmas shopping spree? Yes, that was right in the heart of St. Christopher’s Place.
So the next time you’re on Oxford Street, perhaps overwhelmed by the crowd and the ceaseless energy, and yearn for a more tranquil spot to dine or simply to gather your thoughts, let St. Christopher’s Place be your refuge. It’s a reminder that even in the heart of a sprawling city, there are pockets of calm and charm, just waiting to be discovered.