West End wonders: must-visit attractions in the Oxford Street area

Oxford Street2
Oxford Street2

Famed as perhaps London’s greatest retail thoroughfare, Oxford Street has, however, more to recommend it than merely shopping outlets. Indeed, its vicinity is home to a vast array of some of the West End’s most eclectic and enticing attractions (all of them in very easy reach of visitors to the San Domenico House Chelsea London); here’s just a few of them…

Wallace Collection

(Hertford House, Manchester Square W1U 3BN)

A hugely revered gallery that’s home to some of the finest artworks of both the 18th and 19th Centuries, the Wallace Collection was literally drawn together by one Sir Richard Wallace, who was the son of the fourth Marquess of Hertford, having been acquired by the first four Marquesses. The selection of fine art was gifted to the British nation by Wallace’s widow in 1897.

Wigmore Hall

(36 Wigmore Street W1U 2BP)

A sensational and significant recital hall, Wigmore Hall was constructed at the turn of the 20th Century by Bechstein; yes, that’s right, the German piano manufacturers. As such, it’s incredibly distinguished in both its aesthetics and its acoustics and, as such, one of the capital’s select few venues that attract the best soloists and chamber musicians on the planet for performances; day in, day out. Moreover, it’s somewhere that’s renowned for helping young musicians break through with debut and/ or early performances in their careers – so, catch them here before they make it big!

The 100 Club

(100 Oxford Street W1D 1LL)

An iconic place that’s been hosting live music since its humble beginnings when it opened way back in autumn 1942, the iconic 100 Club (and possessing one of the easiest addresses to remember in all London Town) holds a particularly enviable place in the history of British jazz and rock music. The perfect place for seeing up-and-comers on today’s UK music circuit; every evening’s bill is made up live acts, 365 nights a year (well, all right; it doesn’t open on Christmas Day, but you get the point).

The Palace Theatre

(Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 5AY)

A venue that way back when was known as the Royal English Opera House (upon its opening in the winter of 1891), the Palace is now one of the most identifiable – and grandest – of the West End’s playhouses, mostly thanks to its prominent location in Cambridge Circus; the crossroads at which Shaftesbury Avenue meets Charing Cross Road right in the very heart of Central London. In its recent past, it’s been celebrated as the home of musicals such as Cats and Les Misèrables for many a long year; right now it’s hosting the J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.

Marble Arch

(542 Oxford Street W1C 1LT)

A Carrara marble monument that, at first, was erected on The Mall, as it was intended as a gateway to Buckingham Palace, the iconic Marble Arch was moved from this location to its home thereafter in 1851, while the east wing of the Palace was being built. Technically speaking, the only personages who are supposed to be allowed to pass through this triumphal arch are members of the Royal family and the King’s Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery (and then only in ceremonial procession); technically speaking, that is!

China White

(4 Winsley Street W1W 8HF)

Finally, here’s a highlight-and-a-half for lovers of fine urban-chic nightlife. Although no longer to be found in its Piccadilly Circus vicinity location, its new Oxford Circus-friendly address – as of 2014 – makes the slightly renamed ‘Libertine at ChinaWhite’ – just as accessible for well-connected revellers as ever (not least those staying at hotels Kensington High Street). Notorious for its opulent and glamorous interior and, even more so, for its ‘A-List’ celebrity clientele, this nightspot is the place for a one-night-only blow out, for sure; that is if you don’t fancy forking out a cool £700 for its annual exclusive membership!