SPRING 2020 | #2 | FREE
In this issue:
Soho Female Founders,
income during lockdown,
An Influencer's Soho,
MANTHE PENTON HARRAP, STYLIST
Share your pics with us - tag @mysohotimes #MySohoTimes WWW.MYSOHOTIMES.CO.UK
ep ino Spring
Better an 'oops' moment, than a 'What if'... I saw this message
on a cocktail shared in an Instagram post and thought - "I'll drink
to that!" We've faced many 'oops' moments since our launch last
winter, but the fact that we're here with our spring issue speaks
for itself! Spring is an opportunity to blossom - and that's our
For this issue we set out to spotlight some of Soho’s Female
Founders - the women holding their own in leadership positions
in what can still be a man's world. Influencers are the craze of
the decade - we reached out to a few of our favourites to share
their recommendations for An Influencer's Guide to Soho. And
for those looking for some escapism in W1, the London Lifestyle
Awards founder shares his favourites!
As we go to print, we are in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic
leaving businesses and residents anxious about the future. As a
small independent start-up, we too feel the weight of
uncertainty. That said, Soho has a legacy of facing epidemics
and coming out stronger - we will get through this TOGETHER!
Please look out for each other, especially for elder and less
abled residents who are most at risk. For those struggling to
come to terms with being isolated at home, we've included a
last minute addition - a small business guide to generate extra
income, curated by YRS TRULY founder.
Keep supporting your local independent businesses via their
online resource. My Soho Times can be used as a vehicle to
bring the community together. Please talk to us about ways we
can share your stories and special discounted rates for promos.
Stay safe and remember - an act of kindness goes a long way!
Photo: Barima Owusu-Nyantekyi Spring awaits ... Welcome to issue #2 of My Soho Times.
Editor's Picks for Spring The Soho Girl x Kai Lutterodt
Editor in Chief
VIT- C CABARET! SELF-CARE
Now is as good a time as ever to look after Music, dance, humour - plan for better Putting yourself first shouldn't seem like a
yourself from the inside. Vitamin C is a days with your favourite theatrical selfish act. Make your wellbeing - both
powerful antioxidant that can strengthen elements all rolled into one! Whether it's mental and physical, a priority this season
your body’s natural defences. Keep your at your local pub, or at the legendary with 'self-care' days. This could be by
immune system going strong with plenty Bloomsbury Ballroom - a cabaret show is dusting off that yoga mat in the cupboard,
of fresh citrus fruit. a guaranteed fun night out! or running yourself a relaxing bath...
MY SOHO TIMES 03
what you need to do
The UK Government advises that the single most important action we
can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to
protect the NHS and save lives. When we reduce our day-to-day
contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection.
That is why these measures have been introduced:
Stay at home
Only go outside for
food, health reasons
or work (where this
absolutely cannot be
done from home)
Stay 2 metres (6ft)
away from other
Wash your hands for
at least 20 seconds as
soon as you get home
These measures came into effect on Monday 23 March. The
Government will look again at these measures after three weeks,
and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.
For more info visit: www.gov.uk
21 13 43
7 3425 36 46
7 People of Soho 21 The Perfect Makeup 36 An Influencer's Guide to
Local residents and old Soho Match
hands share their views on life Let the expert influencers guide you
during the current COVID-19 It's all about the achieving around a perfect day in Soho. The
crisis. Community will prevail. flawless skin tones. Sara lockdown won't be forever... ,
Menitra reveals all to MST
readers. 43 Westend Escapes
12 A small business guide 24 Mums for Soho Parish Founder of the London Lifestyle
awards shares his picks on the best
to generating an income School venues in W1 to escape to... You
might want to start planning your
during lockdown Soho and school.... not usually two post COVID-19 ventures from now.
words you usually find in the same
Wondering how to keep afloat sentence. The mums tell all. 46 Vanity Von Glow
financially during the current
troubled times? MJ Widomska The Diva's Diva - Vanity Von Glow
settles down for just a moment to
offers some welcome advice. concentrate on our Q & A sesh.
19 The Legacy of WW2 25 Soho Female Founders
The past reached out to the present Meet Soho's female entrepreneurs,
in February when a WW2 UXB These ladies are not just for
caused a mass evacuation of the International Women's Day, they
area. Learn what occurred here. have Soho sewn up all year!
CONNECT WITH US
@MYSOHOTIMES • WWW.MYSOHOTIMES.CO.UK
Senior Editor: Gillian Smith Contributors: Ivo Belohoubek| Freda Adu | Gareth Lewis | Tony Shrimplin | Jason Gale |
Kesh Wang | Kiran Selvakumaran | Sara Menitra | Rebecca Taylor | Beverly Elie Cover photo: Scott Collier
For opportunities to contribute articles and reviews please email [email protected]
MY SOHO TIMES 05
People of Soho
Live. Work. Play
Community spirit is what keeps Soho going...
George Skeggs aka Soho George
"I have always been community orientated and have been involved in local community
associations. One founded years back was the Covent Garden Community Association,
which was formed to protect the interests of the local community, they still do a
stirling job. I love to engage with the many people l encounter on my sojourns around
the area on a day to day basis. I can talk non-stop on many subjects, sprinkling them
with a bit of banter - mainly when I'm on Berwick Street Market. Two favourite hot
spots for me are Bar Italia (which has a great history all of its own) and a more recent
independent interloper ,My Place, which l frequent every day."
MY SOHO TIMES 07
"Viruses have been known and feared
throughout the course of human history.
Within our village we have always stood
strong. The fierce independence of our
community in Soho will prove we still have the
courage to soldier on as a pocket of
independence in a difficult time."
Beverly Elie Lanre Olagoke
"I have lived in Soho for over 31 years. Back then, I remember "For decades I've worked collaboratively with
when you walked along Berwick Street, you would be rubbing other community organisations to support
shoulders with many shoppers and customers. I soon became young people through Arts Alive Trust. I'm
familiar with the community spirit that our Soho is known for. currently working with Nicolle Joy (founder of
Coronavirus and community spirit? Everyone has been LEGACY ) to help support young people
impacted emotionally, with the loss of businesses or even suffering with mental health issues due to
loved ones. Community spirit, there really hasn't been enough trauma and pressures of current youth culture,
of that here in in my block for over 20 years. But a neighbour via the Arts. Now more than ever we need to
took a shopping order and dropped it outside my door, lovely band together as a community, as the impact on
Annita cooked lentil soup and a friend living five minutes away mental health will be disproportionate. All health
offered their help as long they were able to. The mis- care givers, community organisations, business
communication from the government has lead to me thinking and other organisations need to work hand in
of that saying: the fittest will survive." hand to combat the fallout from COVID-19.
Together we will get through this."
Use the hashtag #MySohoTimes
Follow us on @mysohotimes
LLeenndd yyoouurr ssuuppppoorrtt ttoo
SSoohhoo bbuussiinneesssseess dduurriinngg
aanndd aafftteerr CCOOVVIIDD--1199!!
Ways you can support local businesses during
this pandemic include:
*Buying Gift Vouchers to use at a later date
*Using their delivery services
*Connecting on social media
*Signing petitions for Government to offer
Lunch Time deal
Double up the patty for £8!
MY SOHO TIMES 11
A SMALL BUSINESS GUIDE TO
GENERATING EXTRA INCOME
Worried about your business? Every Part One: Generating extra income
industry will feel the effects of this While you’re wondering how to save your business,
pandemic and the economic upheaval it is hundreds of thousands of people are holed up in their
causing. MJ Widomska - founder of creative homes wishing they had your specific skillset. You can
studio YRS TRULY - shares a guide to translate your knowledge and passion into a potential
generating extra income during the revenue stream.
So, no matter what that is: a tried and tested way of
lockdown. It’s safe to say that making fake meat that would fool anyone, running a bar
no-one is safe... in Berlin, speaking Catalan, sewing really cool-looking
sock puppets, music theory — someone’s dying to learn
But, we won’t go down without a fight. Independent all about it. And, all you need is a phone or a laptop.
businesses can (and should) employ new tactics to Here are a couple of helpful services to get you started:
generate some side earnings and diversify their income Superprof - online one-on-one tutoring
streams for the future. Skillshare - subscription-based learning platform
Udemy - sell your courses for a fixed price
Having spent most of my self-isolation so far If your skillset is too niche (or not niche enough) to
researching how my favourite small businesses are attract a reasonable audience on any of these services,
dealing with the situation, I’ve decided to create a list of there are other ways to monetise your skills and your
different approaches to getting through this financial products.
However hard I try, I can’t imagine a business that
Part One of this article will focus on making an extra couldn’t conjure up something to sell online. Any local
income for yourself and your business. Part Two will restaurant could sell one of their signature recipes
discuss various ways in which businesses might seek online, which their patrons could then download for a
help from their customers. small donation.
If you’re ready to consider online shopping, here are a
Not everything on this list will be the right fit for your few services that will allow you to do so easily:
specific industry and audience, but I hope some of Shopify — e-commerce-first website builder
these examples will prove helpful. And remember — if Squarespace — versatile website builder
you have the means, support small businesses and
Want all the benefits of selling stuff without setting up Live stream for donations
your own website and building an audience? Fair enough. Live streaming is not for everyone, obviously. But, if
Here’s what you can try: you’re a make-up artist, a yoga teacher or a freelance
Kindle Direct Publishing — get your ebooks on developer, you may find an audience willing to engage
Amazon with you. And, what’s great — Twitch and Mixer support
Etsy — physical and digital crafts donations, which means your supporters can show
Depop — independent fashion their appreciation for your business in real-time, as
Deliveroo / Uber Eats — for hospitality businesses you’re streaming.
You can also approach live streaming differently. Why
This may seem like a no brainer for food businesses that not hold online, ticketed classes via Zoom, Google
are allowed to serve takeout only under the lockdown Hangouts or Houseparty? You could charge for the
rules. Consider adding menu items that could be tickets directly through your website or even Paypal. If
purchased by customers who want to support you: you’re looking for a wider audience, Eventbrite could be
perhaps a tiny bottle of your signature sauce? Or, a helpful.
voucher for a coffee or a beer once the lockdown is over?
If there’s one thing we all crave while locked down in our The easiest way to get help is to ask for donations —
flats, it’s good content. If you have ever considered especially in time-sensitive circumstances. Services like
translating your passion into videos, blog posts or live GoFundMe allow you to set up an online donation box
streams, now is a perfect time. in minutes, and plenty of businesses have already
Medium — get paid to write chosen that route. Donations could provide a lifeline to
Medium is a blogging platform that allows you to monetise your business and cover the most pressing expenses.
your writing. Anyone can join their partner program, and However, we live in uncertain times. If your business
as long as you’re comfortable writing a couple of articles a relies on foot traffic it could be months before things
week, you should be on your way to some semi-decent get better. So, if you want to make sure your customers
earnings. do come back after it’s all over, you may want to try
Patreon — create content powered by small vouchers instead.
Patreon is a platform that allows your audience to support Vouchers and discounts
you with a low monthly donation and in exchange gain If you have the means, you can offer your customers
access to exclusive paywalled content. vouchers and discounts to redeem in the future. That
could be a free gym class, a meal, drink, in-store
discount for retail businesses, and so much more —
pretty much limited to your creativity. It’s a great option
for anyone who wants to encourage their customers to
come back as soon as they can. Additionally, as financial
uncertainty looms over all of us, it’s easier to justify
spending £25 on a voucher than on a donation.
Ask the government
Lastly, make sure to exhaust all COVID-19 help
measures available to your business. As things change
rapidly, keep checking the relevant .gov page here (if
you’re in the UK).
As of March 22nd, some of the assistance available
includes a job retention scheme, tax payment
deference, business rates holidays, various grants and
more. Most importantly, remember you’re not alone.
Small businesses all around the world have been
shaken to the core by the Coronavirus crisis, and many
are uncertain of their future. If you have the means
yourself or work for a large organisation, consider
supporting independent entrepreneurs online.
Written by MJ Widomska - founder of creative studio
YRS TRULY | IG: @yrstruly.uk
MY SOHO TIMES 13
B EUE RKT HBEAEEPNE R
Soho's Urban Biodiversity SAVE THE BEES
By Dr Luke Dixon 1. Plant something for
them to forage on; even if
It’s around 500 years since the cry of ‘SoHo’ first it's just some lavender on
rang out across this part of London as huntsmen your windowsill.
on horseback pursued foxes across the fields.
The hunters may have gone, but the foxes are 2. Buy local honey: it
back, bedding down in the gardens of St.Anne’s supports the bees and the
Church and wandering the streets with an air of beekeepers.
urban entitlement in the evenings. They may be
the most striking wild creatures to live in Soho, 3, Leave some water for
but they aren’t alone. In recent years the bird them to drink, the birds
population has flourished with great tits, wood will be grateful too.
pigeons, goldfinches, and a host of others now
nesting in trees and on rooftops. 4. Check out the website
We have our squares and hidden gardens, but it org for lots more
is the greening of Soho’s rooftops that has played information.
a big part in this increasingly rich bio-diversity.
Many roofs are now resplendent with vegetation MY SOHO TIMES 15
and if you climb across them as often as I do, you
will be astonished at just how green Soho is.
A vital but more or less overlooked component of
the area’s wildlife is pollination. Soho’s secret
beehives are an important part of the area’s
wildlife. I have been managing colonies of bees in
Soho for fifteen years, initially on the Hearst
Magazine building on Broadwick Street, and now
on Carnaby and Ganton Street. The bees
pollinate the many plants and trees and produce
the best honey money can buy. So diverse and
pesticide-free is the flora, with flowers in bloom
throughout the year, that the bees are always
busy and their honey wonderfully complex in
taste and texture. Even so, it takes the nectar of
four million flowers to produce just one kilo of
Sometimes they swarm. We had a spectacular
swarm on Carnaby Street last summer which
found a temporary home on the lamp outside the
Shakespeare’s Head. It was soon collected and
rehoused, but not before it had attracted the
attention of plenty of tourists. But mostly the
hundreds of thousands of bees in Soho are
unseen and unheard.
Find out more at
Did You Know?...
The John Snow water pump sits innocuously on Broadwick
Street today, but not many people know of its sinister past
and that it was the source of a deadly cholera epidemic in
the area during 1854. Dr John Snow, an Anaesthetist and
pioneer in Epidemiology had long postulated that cholera
was spread through an infected water supply. What he did
next was evidence-based medicine at its finest. The doctor
lived on Frith Street, which placed him in an ideal location
to witness first-hand the effects of cholera on his
neighbours. He’d noticed that a coffee shop employee had
served glasses of water from the Broad Street pump and
subsequently nine of those individuals contracted cholera.
A little research amongst other residents proved that
those without the disease hadn’t used the Broadwick
Street pump, narrowing down the source and enabling the
authorities to act.
Today the pump stands as a reminder of the lives saved by
Dr John Snow... just outside the John Snow pub, where
you can grab a pint (or a clean glass of water!) as you read
Written by Dr Freda Adu | @Frediva
THE LEGACY OF WWII IN SOHO
In a busy city you might expect the odd Bomb disposal teams deal with There were over 40 people trapped
interruption to your day… closed roads, around 60 German WWII bombs a in the debris of the demolished
signal failure on the tube, even the odd year. Fortunately, occurrences like this buildings and 15 fatalities, but the
power outage. What might take you by are rare in Soho. Most of the bombs total number of casualties is
surprise though, is the sudden that were dropped on London during unknown.
discovery of an unexploded bomb in WWII were between 50kg - 250kg ,
the heart of London. It wasn't just Soho whilst the larger ones, 500kg-1000kg, This year's UXB discovery is a timely
businesses that faced evacuation, fell during the later stages of the war. reminder that history is never far
residents and visitors alike found away and the ripples of WWII and the
themselves making a speedy exit from It is estimated (IWM) that more than Blitz affect us to this day.
the area around Dean Street, not once 12,000 metric tons of bombs were
but twice in a week due to the discovery dropped on London and nearly To learn more about Soho and the
of an unexploded World War II bomb. 30,000 civilians were killed by enemy West End during WWII and read
Tony Shrimplin of The Museum of action. These weren't just explosive firsthand accounts from the people
Soho shares insights on the legacy of ordnance but also secondary, who lived through this period, visit:
WWII in Soho. incendiary devices designed to lower West End At War.
the moral of Londoners and drain
In February 2020 a large, 500kg, WWII manpower. All bombing incident in Westminster
UXB (UneXploded Bomb) was during World War II is marked on the
discovered by construction workers in On the 11th of May 1941 at 3.47am, a Westminster Bomb Map.
Richmond Buildings off Dean St. The high explosive device hit the junction Westminster City Archives has
Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance of Old Compton Street and Dean detailed reports of each incident
Disposal) team were called out and the Street. 59 and 60 Dean Street were located on the map and photographs
bomb, which had broken up into two destroyed, including the original of the damage which resulted. No
parts, was safely removed from the Patisserie Valerie. The landscape of other local archive has such an
area and detonated. Soho changed forever. extensive collection.
The Museum of Soho
MY SOHO TIMES 19
London in Lockdown
Photos by @LondonBeautifulLife
41 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 5LW 03
Model + Musician: Shingai
Photographer: George Okello
Makeup: Sara Menitra
The Perfect Makeup Match...
Whether it's someone with dark or medium skin Once I'm half way through applying foundation you
tone, pale and freckled or with vitiligo that sits in my begin to see the comprehension dawn on their faces.
chair, they all have something in common. The Their prior experiences of incorrect skin tones that
inability to find a perfect match. The match we’re are too light or dark become distant memories.
talking about relates to skin tone and foundation. Sessions will often end with clients noting down
Approximately seven in every ten people gracing details and taking pictures of the foundations I’ve
my chair will reflect on an uncomfortable used on them for ongoing use.
experience when a makeup artist is aiming to
match their skin tone Today there are multiple make-up brands that take
account of the vast array of peoples's skin tones. My
For a makeup artist it’s not the years of experience favourites are Illamasqua and Lancome. There's still a
that matter most, but the attitude and awareness of serious discourse that needs to happen around
the person that sits in the chair in front of them. As inclusivity, not only for darker skin shades but also
I learn more about the needs of the sitter, I create people with freckles, vitiligo, scars and more.
an ongoing authorship that includes the removal of
assumption when considering foundations. The In the end the role of the makeup artist is meant to
need to observe and then test is imperative to my empower the person in the chair and not the
practice. My process is conscious… I call it “Naive”, opposite.
as if I am always doing makeup for the first time and
not from memory. Sara Menitra is an award-winning makeup artist
from Lisbon, living in London | @saramenitramakeup
For many, applying foundation for themselves
before seeing a makeup artist on a shoot day is very SOHO MASTERCLASSES:
common. Be it an actor, model or performer, 7th June Self-Makeup (Dewey & Flawless)
hearing a sigh when I explain that I have to remove 14th June Self-Makeup (Eyes Makeup)
their makeup, will usually be followed by relief once 21st June Show The Beauty Within (for Makeup Artists)
they understand my knowledge of skin and my
range of foundations. For more info visit: www.saramenitra.com
MY SOHO TIMES 21
FFIINNGGEERR LLOOOOKKIINNGG NNAAIILL IITT!!
BEAUTY BOX NAIL BAR
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on your nails can totally transform the way you Nails, brows, semi-permanent makeup,
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so much about us. Think back to to last time you
had chipped nails or dry cuticles... How did it services offered using Lycon hot wax
make you feel at that important meeting or or threading.
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hiding your fingertips is too often an unwanted 45 Brewer St, Soho, W1F 9UE
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nails. Having your nails looking good enhances
positive thoughts and boosts self-esteem. It's a LE LOTUS
form of self-care... so pamper yourself!
Trying something new with your nails can make Just off Oxford Circus, Le Lotus is a
you feel like a different person... go for a splash or one-stop nail salon offering a full
colour, nail art or keep it classic with a French
manicure! Here are a few of our selected nail bars range of nail extension services from
in and around Soho! Acrylic with Shellac/OPI, SNS dipping
powder to the hottest trends like
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020 8616 9890
THE LONDON SALON SOHO
Relax in the hands of our
professional senior stylists and
therapists and let yourself drift away
from the daily grind of work.
5 Carlisle St, Soho, W1D 3BJ
020 7494 4444
TOWNHOUSE redefines the nail salon
experience. We’ve thrown away the
rulebook and created something truly
impeccable: beautiful surroundings,
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020 8054 7378
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020 7439 0666
WITH CODE WWW.OLIVERSTEPHENS.COM
MY SOHO TIMES
MY SOHO TIMES 23
MUMS ARE TAKING ACTION TO RAISE MONEY
FOR SOHO'S ONLY PRIMARY SCHOOL
Yes, Soho does have a primary school. And it's vulnerable.
Soho Parish School is a lifeline for many working class families in and
around the area. Due to limited space in the old Victorian building, pupil
numbers are small, which means the school is poorly funded. In
addition, they face further Government cuts. Without financial support
from fundraising activities organised by the school and Parent Teacher
Association (PTA) - Soho Food Feast, for example now in its 10th year,
is a major contributor - the school would be in a critical state. PTA mum
Sandra told us: “We have to decide - do we give the children fresh fruit,
or do we give them stationary? Those are some of the decisions the PTA
have to make due to cuts." The mums of the PTA urge more local
businesses will play a part in Soho’s fantastic community spirit by
donating money to the school to help build the next generation!
You can donate to the PTA by using this link: WWW.WWW.SOHOPARISHPTA.COM
10th Soho Food Feast
Bringing the community
together to support
Soho Parish School
In what might still be considered a
man's world, we're tipping the
scales in the other direction to
spotlight 10 women with strong
ties to Soho who've started their
own businesses or are in
Kai Lutterodt, My Soho Times
Founder & Editor
Photo: Rebecca Taylor
MY SOHO TIMES 25
MANTHE PENTON HARRAP
STYLIST AND IMAGE CONSULTANT
What’s your connection to Soho?
I lived at 74 Wardour Street. From my windows I looked
down on the jamboree of life on Wardour St, Meard St
and into Peter St and Berwick St... an electric vibe! I
loved my time in Soho. Now I'm in a bigger place on the
edge of Hyde Park, but I still float in and out of the area
What made you want to start your own business?
The love of dressing and wanting to see others succeed.
I trained three years ago at The House of Colour as a
Colour and Style Consultant, it includes expertise on
make-up and accessories. I enable my clients to find
their own hidden inner confidence, and carry that into
every meeting and area of their lives.
What advice would you give to your younger self? "One should add a bit of sparkle
Own one’s failures, don’t look back. Do not wait for to the world."
perfection. The best results will come after hanging in
there, no matter how long. - Manthe Penton Harrap
Read the full interviews on our blog. Search SARAH HOLLEBON
Soho Female Founders FASHION DESIGNER
What made you want to start your own business?
A year ago, I realised in order to move my goals and
aspirations in the fashion industry forward, I would use my
talent to create positive change in this world through my
work. Designing and making garments is what feeds my
soul, I am happiest when I am immersed in these areas. I
feel my garments ‘speak’ volumes and convey an important
visual message, rather than just being a pretty piece of
clothing on the rail to buy.
What advice would you give another women wanting
to start a business or become self-employed?
Starting a fashion brand is both creative and a business.
Striking your own balance between the two is vital. On a
weekly basis, check your cash flow and reflect on your time
management. Follow your dreams and be open minded.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Meditate more - meditating is healthy for your mind, body,
Soho Female Founders
KING OF SOHO GIN, CO-FOUNDER
What led up to you co-founding the King of Gin
with Howard Raymond?
It was not long after the death of Howard’s father, the
original ‘King of Soho’, Paul Raymond - we thought
what better way to celebrate his life and Soho legacy
than to create a drinks brand in his name? I come
from a long line of female entrepreneurs; women in
my family have never been afraid of a challenge.
Have there been particular challenges as a
I enjoy the drinks industry and have personally found
people to be welcoming and supportive. But it is like
any sector, you will come across bias or inequality of
all kinds. Call it out, but do not let other people’s
issues sidetrack. I am someone who likes to focus on
What advice would you give your younger self?
Business is a journey and it is important to stay
dynamic; there is no substitute for hard work, self-
education and focus.
"Women in my family have LYDIA JOHNSON
never been afraid of a THE LONDON CLINIC OF HYPNOTHERAPY,
challenge." - Alex Robson FOUNDER
Read the full interviews on our blog. Search What's your connection to Soho?
Soho Female Founders Soho was always on the horizon, a little way off the
Harley Street beaten track. Having left London for a
good few years to live in Cornwall, I came back with a
fresh zeal and vigour. I still leave at the weekend but
cannot wait to get back to the throbbing heart beat
of Soho... it has changed, but London has been
changing for centuries, after all.
What made you decide to start your own
I feel passionately about hypnotherapy and all its
attributes. By running my own business, I can be in
charge of helping people. I like to make it accessible
to everyone. It plugs into my core values and if you
can be paid to help people, there is no better feeling.
What advice would you give to your younger
Get to a hypnotherapist as soon as possible, it
seriously changed my life after the first session. Be
honest and kind - two consistencies that will go far...
and step into your confidence.
MY SOHO TIMES 27
FARM GROUP, CO-FOUNDER
You have a majority-female board. Have you
always liked working with women?
We took the best people and a lot of them happened to
be women. Now you’re seeing whole production teams
and a lot of companies that are run by women. So for
people with talent in the field, it’s a really strong time for
Is it still a fun industry to work in?
It still attracts really keen, young, talented people and
always great hanging out with them. I hope you can pick
up there’s a nice happy vibe here. The Farm has its own
film festival with proper prizes and great judges. We’ve
got more talent in our kitchens than most companies
have in their boardrooms.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Drink less! And be kind…
"We’ve got more talent in our
kitchens than most companies
have in their boardrooms."
- Nicky Sargent
FARM GROUP, CO-FOUNDER
Why did you decide to strike out on your own and
co-found a company back in 1998?
We’d had so many changes of management and it just
became inevitable. We thought we’d try and be
masters of our own destiny. At that age you’re fearless
and feel you can take on the world and I don’t think we
ever had any doubt that we’d achieve it.
Did you ever consider locating your start-up
outside the area (Soho)?
No, it never entered our heads. You had to be in Soho.
People wouldn’t cross the road to Fitzrovia. It’s the best
place to work… and we don’t like to be too far from
How has your industry changed over the years?
It’s changed quite a bit. There’s more remote working
now but a lot of the skills are the same, it’s just data not
film now. We’ve always worked across all the genres -
scripted, non-scripted, comedy, drama, documentaries
and shiny floor shows.
Read the full interviews on our blog. Search
Soho Female Founders
Soho Female Founders
CHINA EXCHANGE, CEO
What led up to you becoming the first CEO of
The path that led me here involved international public
policy and communications roles for financial services
companies, running a small business for a Chinese
family who didn’t speak English in Shanghai and a
lifelong fascination with China. Before I took this job, my
career felt like an eclectic mix – China Exchange ties all
those experiences together into my dream job.
"Understand, research, seek Have you any thoughts on how to get more
advice and be assertive." women in senior roles?
- Mira Manek Systemically, industries need to look at how people get
to senior roles. What path is typically taken and why are
MIRA MANEK there few women reaching those roles? On a more
CHAI BY MIRA, FOUNDER human level, I think that encouraging women to trust
their own voices, experiences and ambitions is a
powerful way to remind us that we can make great
things happen. I do this with my team, our volunteers
and interns and with my friends.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
One “no” doesn’t mean “no” forever. Keep asking. Keep
What made you want to start your own business?
My route to wellness started with realising that I was
trying to be healthy but had actually lost my common
sense when it came to health! I started learning and
eating the food that I had grown up eating, the food
that my mother and grandmother have cooked since I
was young. I started experimenting and coming up with
my own trousseau of recipes, holding supper clubs,
writing a cookbook and then launching my café.
What’s your connection to Soho?
I have a few favourite areas, and one of them has to be
Soho! It’s such a vibrant and diverse area with a rich
history and ever evolving. I also lived in Soho recently. I
absolutely love having a café in the heart of this
energetic space, a little tucked away too, so there’s an
element of quiet and zen.
What advice would you give another women Read the full interviews on our blog. Search
wanting to start a business? Soho Female Founders
Understand, research, seek advice and be assertive.
Speak to others who have businesses in the same field. MY SOHO TIMES 29
Find a niche. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
SOHO PARISH PRIMARY SCHOOL, HEAD TEACHER
What’s your connection to Soho?
I came to Soho Parish in 2004 in answer to an advert for the
Deputy Headteacher post. I had never even been out in
Soho at that time and thought it sounded very glamorous.
When I arrived at the school to find girls dressed in PVC on
either side of the school gates, calling to men on the street, I
was somewhat taken aback!
What lead to you becoming the Head Teacher of Soho
When I'd had my last baby (I have three children, aged 10, 8
and 5) and the Headship came up, it was an easy decision to
apply. Like many staff, I very quickly 'fell in love' with Soho
Parish. The Soho community is extraordinary. It sounds
such a cliche but I was delighted to find a village in the
centre of the city, where everyone knows everyone.
What advice would you give to your younger self? "Love what you do, build your
The child who's giving you sleepless nights right now, network and don't delay
because they're having a tough time and taking it out on the taking action."
people closest to them, is going to turn up one day as an - Justina Matulevičiūtė
assured, successful adult and tell you that you were his/her
favourite teacher and you made a difference. It's worth it!
JM COMMUNICATIONS, FOUNDER
What’s your connection to Soho?
Oscar Wilde once said ‘Oh, I love London Society! It is
entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant
lunatics. Just what society should be.’ - and I could not find a
better description for Soho. Since the day I came to London
about seven years ago, I absolutely fell in love with it and
always knew it is my place to be.
What are the advantages or disadvantages of being a
woman in your industry?
Women are naturally great communicators and nurturers
so marketing and hospitality businesses are a wonderful fit.
I think the biggest disadvantage is that both fields are still
very male driven but I've enjoyed seeing the changes in
Read the full interviews on our blog. Search What advice would you give another woman wanting
Soho Female Founders to start a business or become self-employed?
Love what you do, build your network and don't delay taking
action. It's much easier to work 14 hours a day when you
enjoy what you do. Having a support circle of like-
minded people will not only keep you motivated, it will also
help open doors and achieve your goals. It probably will
never feel like you have everything sorted and ready, so
once you have a plan start taking action immediately and
figure it out as you go. Learn from mistakes and don't forget
to celebrate victories, even if they seem like small ones.
Did You Know?...
Soho Women in History
Soho has always been on the cutting edge, so it's no
surprise it's female residents have made their mark. Mary
Seacole lived here after she returned from the Crimean
War in 1857. A British-Jamaican nurse, herbalist and
businesswoman, her services were refused by the War
Office. Heading out to the Russian front anyway she set up a
hotel for sick and convalescent officers. Move over a bit,
Celebrated Swiss-born painter Angelica Kauffman, one of only
two female founding members of the Royal Academy, was a
resident in the 1760s. Here she fell for the dubious charms of
fraudster Count Frederick de Hom, making an unfortunate
marriage. Her career recovered after their separation. Not the
first Soho lady to be taken in by false promises.
Eighteenth century opera singer and entrepreneur Theresa
Cornelys also made her mark on Soho. A rackety life included
a daughter by Casanova and the establishment of the ultimate
party venue at Carlisle House... If only those walls could talk
It's rare to spot a female Black Cabbie, so when we THIS FEMALE CABBIE
met Jo Adlam, I took the opportunity of finding out HAS THE KNOWLEDGE
how how she got started and how more women can
be encouraged to get behind the Black Taxi wheel. OF LONDON!
Let's go for a ride with Jo... Written by Kai Lutterodt | @the.soho.girl
Photo by Ivo Belohoubek | @dogoodfilmsworldwide
I’ve been doing this for 17 years nearly. My ex-husband was
a taxi driver and told me I should do the suburbs 'cause I’d MY SOHO TIMES 31
smash it! And my son’s a green all-London taxi driver, plus
I’ve got cousins who are all London taxi drivers.
I actually enjoyed the Knowledge test because it’s a
challenge and I like maps. It was easy for me, but I was
nervous when I had to go for my appearance - the verbal
test. You’re asked to pick up from one place and drop off at
another using the straightest route. It took me about 18
months to do the suburbs. The whole of London can take
about three years.
Sometimes people are quite surprised to see a lady driver. I
get guys coming up to the window and they go ‘alright mate!’
then they go ‘oops, sorry it’s a lady.’ But normally they enjoy
seeing a lady taxi driver and women like it because they feel
safe. But I always say to them, you’re safe in any London
Greenwich is my favourite part of London, especially in the
summer. It’s got so much history...
If you’re thinking of taking the Knowledge test I’d say go for
it! You have to be in a certain mind to do it; you have to be
confident and strong to cope with the different people tyou
come across, especially if you’re doing night work. It’s very
flexible hours, you can do as many shifts as you like - you
can go home and come back later... which I’m doing tonight!
Support our work by using a London Licenced Black Taxi -
they’re the best in the world!
Words and photo by Ivo Belohoubek
BEST FOR: PEOPLE WATCHING
You could be excused for thinking you
were in Italy - it has the look of a classic
Italian cafe. With a long and rich history
in Soho, Bar Italia is a community gem.
MY PLACE SOHO
BEST FOR: BRUNCH
A perfect spot for the best brunch in
Soho - top it all up with their signature
Espresso Martini The name speaks for
itself! It's fast becoming the local's
ALGERIAN COFFEE STORES
BEST FOR: CONNOISSEURS
This gem of a shop boasts a huge
variety of coffees, freshly roasted and
ground each day. A feast for all the
senses. You can still get the best value
expresso at just £1 a pop!
BEST FOR: FLAT WHITE
A damn good flat white for those with
a nostalgia for antipodean artisanal
coffee of Australian and New Zealand
cafes. So come and 'smash back a
couple of flatties bro!'
BEST FOR: PEACE AND QUIET
An oasis of tranquillity, great coffee
and fresh banana cake tucked away
from Soho’s relentless hustle and
bustle. Head to Smith's Court...
MY SOHO TIMES 33
TTRRAAIILLLLEEDD AANNDD TTAASSTTEEDD!!
Build your buns - Tori Kara Age Written by Kesh Wang |
Grab a steamed bun and fill it with crispy @keshgot212
panko-coated teriyaki chicken, add slaw
and smother it with sriracha mayonnaise. The Noodle Lab is
Sounds good? It is. The chicken is Wagamama’s innovative flag-
succulent on the inside as you bite into ship restaurant, creating dishes
the crunchy fried exterior. The sourness that no other branch serves.
of the slaw and spiciness of mayonnaise Their Asian-inspired recipes are
on top of the bun add extra flavour and designed, trialled and tested
freshness to the ingredients, creating a here first, with customers’
delicious and fun dish to have as a side feedback having a direct impact
order or a main. on which ones will make it into
Pulled Lamb Mokutan Soba countrywide. These test menus
Lambs, bok choi, noodles and mint? It may are changed seasonally to keep
sound like an unusual combination but the line-up original - and the
Wagamama have made sure this dish will innovative ideas flowing!
defy your expectations. Ponzu dressed
lamb is cooked deliciously and paired with The Strip on the side of the
bok choi, mangetout, red and spring onions, menu details all the latest
ginger and fresh mint. The vigour of the testing dishes. Your feedback
mint and zinginess of ginger give an extra could be what earns your choice
oomph to the tasty lamb. These intense a place on the main Wagamama
flavours are neutralised by charcoal menu... so don't be shy, spill the
noodles that maintain a smooth texture. beans!
Matcha Bao-Nut Soho x Talks
This dessert combines flavours of matcha, Our socials are an opportunity
coconut and sweet miso to create a to try items from the test menu
satisfying culinary treat. The lightly fried, whilst you network! Book now
sugary bao-bun is served hot, filled with for our next Soho x Talk event
creamy matcha ice cream and doused with at the Noodle Lab!
sweet miso sauce to make each bite a little
taste of heaven. Break off bits of the bao-bun www.mysohotimes.co.uk/events
to dip it in the sumptuous ice cream or take
no prisoners and go for a mouthful. Perfect Wagamama Noodle Lab
for vegan food-lovers with a sweet tooth. 81 Dean St, Soho, W1D 3SW
Photos: Kai Lutterodt| @the.soho.girl
Club Dine in good company
Exclusive dining experiences
across the Westend
What we do Partnership
Gain access to exclusive dining Teaming up with local
experiences where networking businesses is important to us.
and good food are at the heart We promote our partners and
pass on the best value dining
of what we do.
experience to you.
Become a member at:
A Taste of Soho Interested in contributing
in the next issue?
Email [email protected]
Taste Your Way Around
Soho from £55pp MY SOHO TIMES 35
Book now at
An Influencer's Guide to...
You can't scroll through your social media feed
without being captivated by posts shared by
influencers. They have a powerful impact on
their followers because their opinions are
valued. 80% of industry professionals find
influencer marketing very effective, rating the
quality of customers and traffic from this
method of outreach as better than other
So between these 11 Instagrammers - rest
assured, you’ve got Soho covered!
@thirsty_foodie It's Friday night in Soho and I just got paid. My first stop -
Barrio Soho for their happy hour cocktails. Caipirinhas all
round, for as long as happy hour lasts. I then take a short stroll
to the Japanese extravaganza bar Chotto Matte for a sake
based cocktail next to an enormous mural of a dragon. My
hunger starts to kick in. I make my way to Zelman Meats,
where I order Lobster croquettes and a Ribeye steak, with a
glass of malbec. Suitably fed and inebriated, I then decide to
get my disco on at Rupert Street Bar, whilst sipping on dark
and stormys. Once that closes, I finish my night off at Be At
One on Greek street, with zombies and Spandau Ballet.
Soho is a foodies paradise! The amazing
food choices here are endless, but here
are some of my all-time favourites:
When I need to get my Greek fix, I visit
The Real Greek on Berwick St for
excellent Greek wine and banging
meze. Peruvian Señor Ceviche in Kingly
Court for divine ceviche and pisco sours.
St Moritz on Wardour St for traditional
Swiss fondue- swoon, and my new
favourite is the Fatt Pundit, Berwick St
again, for Indo-Chinese deliciousness.
You’ll always be well fed in Soho!
@ainsleyateit I work at Work.Life on Noel Street and since my
life pretty much revolves around food, I can
vouch for the fact that Soho is a veritable feast
for food lovers. You have China Town with
some of the best food in London, at incredible
value. Some amazing food markets: Street Food
Union on Rupert Street and Berwick Street
for lunch. There's a restaurant for every cuisine
you can think of - from chains to Michelin-starred
fine dining - so you're really spoilt for choice!
MY SOHO TIMES 37
For the perfect pasta, head to Bocca di Lupo for
sharing plate heaven and counter top dining. If you
are in the mood for a great healthy salad - Bibi’s
Kitchen always has a takeaway queue out the door
(get there early for an outside table in the pretty
courtyard). Berenjak is my go-to for a Persian feast,
and if you are on a date, swing by Basement Sate
afterwards for dimly-lit cocktails in cozy corners. For a
livelier evening head to Ceconnis Pizza Bar or La
Bodega Negra, both are buzzing and lively later on
in the week. Venture a little further for one of my
standout new openings of 2019 - Norma; a Sicilian
eatery on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia.
My happiest memories are in W1. There is so much to do,
and everything is walkable - including Fitzrovia, just north
of Soho. My ideal day starts with a coffee from the Penny
Drop, then some quiet contemplation in the Fitzrovia
chapel. A ride at Psycle, followed by breakfast at the riding
house café. Lunch at Lore of the Land, then finishing it
off with a stroll through Fitzroy Square Garden. For
something indoors an afternoon at the Grant Museum
of Zoology, followed by early evening drinks at the
Charlotte Street Hotel. Dinner at Bubble Dogs and a
night cap at the Sanderson...why not?!
The perfect day starts with a bowl of udon at Koya
Soho. With nearly 30 different varieties, you can most
definitely find your favourite and fall in love with their
thick and chewy udon. Move on to Barafat Cafe if you
want to indulge in some high-quality coffee or some
beautiful pastries under a pastel, bespoke and
innovative interior. Alternatively Soho Square
Gardens is a calm and relaxing place to stop by. A
meat lover should never miss out on Zelman
Meats with the finest steaks from around the world
accompanied by some black truffle & parmesan chips.
Unleash the big kid in you! Ballie
Ballerson brings all the instagramable
balling fun you could ask for. Based on
Berwick Street, this ball pit bar has the
ingredients for a guaranteed fab night -
humour, fun, great music, creative
cocktails and raving ball pit wars under
UV lights. Have the full ballers' experience
and go VIP!
If Hollywood glitz is more your thing, head
to Sketch in Mayfair. Highlights of the
venue include their creative interior which
changes regularly. Don’t miss the
opportunity to get a snap shot of Sketch's
alien pod-like toilets and disco ceiling.
If you're looking for a night of entertainment,
eating or drinking then visit the revamped
Boulevard for a theatrical show or even
enjoy a late night of comedy, jazz, or cabaret
within their intimate theatre. If you're feeling
a bit peckish dine in their vibrant restaurant
and tuck into dishes crafted using the finest
quality locally sourced ingredients. Or head
on over for a drink at The Lobby Bar within
the historic Victorian Six Storeys and sip on
one of their many showcased cocktails
displayed in sparking crystal decanters.
@thechinesefoodie Rice Wine on Brewer Street is a hidden gem for
Japanese staples. I come here often to stock up
shabu-shabu meat and curry cubes in winter
months. Roulette tickets are a great bargain at
the brand new Boulevard Theatre and their
pink restaurant & bar looks so vintage and classy.
For seafood lovers, head to Wright Brothers
and grab a dozen (or three) of their £1 oysters! If
you fancy Asian, Freak Scene is a good quirky
Australian-Japanese restaurant where you can
taste amazing small plates.
MY SOHO TIMES 39
Soho is an absolute foodie heaven. If I could spend a whole @ServedinLondon
weekend eating in London, this is where you’d find me.
Sharing plates are an increasingly popular concept, here
are a few I’d recommend: award-winning Venetian
at Polpo, Japanese & Peruvian at Chotto Matte or
Parisian-style at Blanchette. If you are a seafood lover like
myself head over to a London favourite Randall & Aubin
Seafood Restaurant which launched in 1996. I could go on
for hours but a final eatery that"s won my heart is BAO
Soho. Taiwanese inspired, insanely satisfying, small plates.
Thank me later.
It’s so hard to choose a favourite place in Soho & @hewnly
around! So many great places... for coffee or
brunch I love My Place Soho and I would never
pass on lunch at the Ivy Soho Brasserie - their
jackfruit bang bang salad & truffle arancini are
couple of my favourites on their menu. Dinner
time? I’d head to a newly opened 28-50 Wine Bar
& Kitchen in Covent Garden for a yummy seafood
platter accompanied by a lovely glass of wine, or
the modern Spanish restaurant Aqua Nueva not
only for the food but also for the city views from
their roof terrace. Cocktails? I love a dark place
with lux interiors and a quality tipple. Disrepute,
Experimental Cocktail Club or Mandrake
spring to mind.
Tips from the influncers...
You don't need a professional Define your audience and Build your following. Your
camera to get the look! Play create value... be specific on viewers value honesty so
about with your camera phone who your target audience is. always remain authentic.
settings, angles and filters
My Soho Times
on the radio Hosted by
The Soho Girl
Tune into the new monthly show with
guests, music and talk about Soho from the
perspective of a local!
A Literary Cabaret
Celine’s Salon began in 2015 at the Society Club, a With a book on the horizon and a UK tour pending,
bookshop-meets-private members venue situated in Celine plans to take the show all over the UK, Europe
the heart of Soho. Over its two year monthly and further afield. Celine’s Salon was well received in
residency, the salon’s audience grew - as did Antigua and has been invited back to further grace
its collection of writers across all genres - its purpose Caribbean shores.
being to platform new works.
Her ultimate goals? It’s an impressive list: a global
From the The Society Club the salon moved to the collection of documented works and tackling areas with
basement of The Mediterranean on Berwick Street; low arts engagement. Worldwide libraries for people to
after out-growing this venue, it finally arrived at its access original literature and more live shows in every
current home, Gerry's Club on Dean Street. city to bring writers and audiences together.
Celine has now produced and hosted over one Céline Hispiche is a Soho resident and hosts a Celine's
hundred shows and has an abundance of talented Salon monthly show on Soho Radio.
writers who still perform regularly throughout the
year. Each of her salons are themed, which allows For more info about Celine's Salon and upcoming
the writer to present a completely new piece. shows, find 'Celine's Salon' on Facebook and Instagram.
Photo by Kai Lutterodt | @the.soho.girl WWW.MYSOHOTIMES.CO.UK
JASON GALE, FOUNDER OF THEFALVOONUDROINTELWIFEESSTTYELNEDAEWSACRADPSE,SS.HARES WITH US SOME OF HIS
fpCITtyneofehoeEiepraewrNsflrttestoiTeotcfca'UrpstrafgaRrsfmboeclpYoeseeaaochCscaiornaecLsfm ieroUSrtoeamoaoBstsnhkesuodoiwrctme.nhkhFsaeeeobttwrCrauhehcmereaetkneollr,atel,euiwrtggnrthhoyeojiotrssCkeyati,lssuttbrchbotauaehot1pef0e. SwIlASasuwpoawAexpmlauraoLresrrenOoydni6anuNfoic4tnne6mhriei2oq4sitldun0oamuea1nlctoo9fdeeerodet-dakaatflitkinnuokoegdrreseSaywasaaoLhlvauoohaenrnontndb6dliaues4osespten.witlcraIL,vthcciifhecereaneesisatsttth.iaysienl!eyg THE ESTABLISHMENT
same time as These include a make-up bar with Those who know me best know that I
enjoying a glass of red and a few bites. phone charging docks and jewellery love good food, well-mixed drinks,
The Century Club has a welcoming boxes hidden inside beautiful white talking and history. The Establishment
members’ policy with fantastic friendly table tops. Inside the salon, a bar has just opened and is a perfect
staff who take pride in the venue where serving drinks and snacks helps econmjoby itnhaetimonosotf..aTllhtihseintthiimngastethfiarst tI
they work. makesthe whole Salon64 experience falmooarzisnpgeraukmea-isnyspoinreGdreceokckSttariel emtehnaus an
beoscthapeex.citing and relaxing…a great CanhdrisistilnoecaKteeedleorn'stihnefasmpootuswchheareir photo
www.centuryclub.co.uk was taken. Comedian Peter Cook also
6Lo1n-6do3nShaftesbury Avenue owned a venue in the early 60’s with
www.salon64.co.uk the same name.
W1D 6LQ L4oBnadtoenman Street www.establishmentsoho.com
W1D 3AG W1D 4DS
MY SOHO TIMES 43
OUT AND ABOUT
WITH GILLIAN SMITH
OpDeSitenhesxanOcapcrlervNsteaeaooOiprdsttfneiVoibtamsrAhtlleeeioyetNoiCciferfBfaoeasIvtcAllaaeihoksRbxvauterbeatredeirimtlshweDleiaisnaoh.etndTnosithossttishrvpsbooaeitoinmsoasrfnlBwteitycaohy‘lomrifes.ctreIhktehsttoeIaiamislseis,’ yfPCwbFCaooueOOintuosrYYhtuydtaAAvAoMsaiwsattaainiiaicylPtlnisfnefaaocgrlfliuooiorrnevdwsoeidtkaasyriinenentondgeOauttndatstsdesro,ihcin-tseahrkisvfaanscenywi.qasoTbauppuheseeoeelhsertnftwthainifineintutedghs-setd INDIAN ACCESNT
in Mayfair. My expertly prepared served in opulent surroundings, L1o6nAdlobne,rWma1rSle4SHtWre.e t, Mayfair,
martini means I am never disappointed. ensuring escapism and relaxation. Telephone: 0207 629 9802
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3JR. Telephone: 0207 486 3222
You pays your money, you takes
Soho's Queer Past - and Present
Written by Gareth Lewis | @garethlewis_
Photography Kai Lutterdt | @the.soho.girl
"Ghosts and shadows of queer culture fill the brick and mortar of Soho." A way to sum up Soho.
Dan de la Motte is a queer performer, activist and researcher who has a rich knowledge of Soho’s queer
history. Alongside a full schedule, he is involved in working with ‘Queer Tours of London’ as a tour guide. The
company works as a collective of people who celebrate queer culture and heritage through guided tours on
foot, bus and occasionally by water.
What does the Soho tour involve? Why did you get involved?
The tour discovers the hidden history of the places that It started out when I met the founder, Dan Glass. He was an
after dark were bustling with queer culture in the times inspiration to me, and it felt like it was something I wanted to
before decriminalisation. Many of the places on the tour be involved with. I still love it. It is also such an exciting time
are now commercialised retailers or swanky office now, because of the number of LGBTQ+ anniversaries. In
apartments. One of the places we visit is Forty-one Dean 2018 it was 30 years since Thatcher’s Section 28 act was
Street, now a restaurant, but once the Colony Club Room. made into law, last year it was the 50th anniversary of
Post World War II the owner Muriel Belcher was known for Stonewall and this year will see the 50th anniversary of the
her open attitude towards sexuality, which helped attract Gay Liberation Front. It is important to look back on these
gay men to the notorious green walled club. A community historic moments but also understand that is still nowhere
was building quickly, right in the heart of Soho, full of near perfect for queer communities across the country and
fascinating and interesting characters who were living an the world. Time doesn’t always mean progress.
exciting but secretive life. The most well-known spot on the
tour is the Caravan Club - back in the 1930s it was known Future of queer places in London?
as ‘London’s Greatest Bohemian Rendezvous’ which was Protecting spaces and places is vital. There is that question
code for being gay-friendly. Promising ‘All night gaiety’ the of do people make the space a place, or do people go to a
Endell Street property was used by both gay men and space because of the reputation of that place? The closure
lesbian women as a safe space, but in 1934 it was subject of clubs, pubs and community spaces seems to be too
to a huge police raid which lead to hundreds of arrests and common. London is a busy, diverse and exciting capital
a major court case. Those are just a few of the many which needs to be nurtured. An example of positive change
places where queer culture and Soho came together. is the new LGBTQ + community centre being created in east
London, a new venue for everyone in the community –
Who comes along? something we desperately need.
A variety of people join our tours. Students, locals, academics,
tourists from both the UK and elsewhere. Soho is known for Find out more about Queer Tours of London visit:
being a melting pot of queer culture, so I think people are www.queertoursoflondon.com and follow Dan on
attracted to visiting and finding out more. It's important to me
and the collective that we are open to all walks of life. As well Instagram: @dandelamotte
as Soho we cover other areas such as Vauxhall, Hackney and Get 10% off your next tour with code
MY SOHO TIMES
MY SOHO TIMES 45
A Quickie with Vanity Von Glow
Written by The Soho Girl | @the.soho.girl
She's bold, she's loud and she's fierce!
We caught up with the glittered brow Drag Queen, Vanity Von Glow, for a
quickie... (that's a quick Q&A - get your mind out the gutter)!
WHO’S YOUR LOOK INSPIRED BY? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR
A combination of Sarah Brightman and Celine YOUNGER SELF?
Dion - two of the most dramatic divas! Don't hang out with Lady Lloyd.
WHAT CAN’T YOU LEAVE HOME WITHOUT? TOP THREE TIPS FOR BEING FAB-U-LOUS?
A glitter eyebrow. You don't need permission, you don't need
approval, all you need is a drink!
IF YOU WERE THE FIRST DRAG QUEEN OF THE
WORLD FOR A DAY, WHAT LAW WOULD YOU WHERE AND WHEN CAN WE FIND YOU ON
CREATE AND WHY? STAGE THIS SPRING?
I am an ageing diva so I would change the law of Like everyone else we really aren't sure when the
gravity. Why must everything droop with time? normal show schedule will be up and running -
but I look forward to the return of my weekly
WHAT'S YOUR IDEA OF A PERFECT NIGHT brunches at Zebrano in Soho, the return of my
OUT? comedy music sing-a-longs Poppers at the Piano
A night of live music at the piano, or with my at the Clapham Grand, as well as Drag Queen
guitarist - nothing is more enjoyable for me than Wine Tasting events throughout the year.
the sound of my voice belting out the power
ballads with my musicians! Follow Vanity Von Glow on Instagram:
MY SOHO TIMES LAUNCH PARTY
Words by Ivo Belohoubek | @dogoodfilmsworldwide
You can’t launch a magazine in London’s party playground without throwing a party so My Soho Times threw
not one, but two events to celebrate in Soho’s iconic Experimental Cocktail Club and the Piano Bar Soho.
What started off as a blog by Kai (a.k.a the Soho Girl) is now an independently-funded shiny hyper-local
magazine full of all things Soho. Both venues filled up instantly with enthusiastic supporters who enjoyed
treats sponsored by Crosstown. The Soho Girl herself shone in a orange ankara print suit by Becca
Apparel and friends, partners and contributors rubbed shoulders with Soho’s personalities including Mark
Powell, George Skeggs aka Soho George, and friends from King of Soho, Groucho, and The Museum of Soho.
EXPERIMENTAL COCKTAIL CLUB THE PIANO BAR SOHO
Not your typical Chinatown establishment, the Properly warmed up and due to popular
Experimental Cocktail Club is a gem hidden demand, the party continued a day later at
behind unassuming battered doors in Gerrard the Piano Bar on Carlisle Street, this time
Street. It’s a place oozing with character, the with the champagne flowing. Business and
shabby chic and minimalist décor is redolent charity partners, advertisers and Soho
of Soho’s bohemian past. Complimentary personalities mingled to chat and talk
cocktails and music expertly mixed by DJ turkey. The Piano Bar is an intimate venue
IAmAfrorisk on the desks loosened the crowd with live music and a chilled atmosphere
(and what a crowd it was) who came to show that easily makes you forget that you're in
their support for My Soho Times and pick up the bustle of Soho. One of My Soho Times
their free copy - which I am sure will a aims is to bring together diverse groups of
collector’s item in the future. We couldn’t be people from artists to business owners,
more thrilled to host in such an iconic Soho start-ups to media and the hospitality
spot, a location steeped in the legends of industry to showcase a community that
Soho’s artistic past. We proudly stand on their understands and cares about Soho. Now
shoulders, and carry their legacy with My that the scene is firmly set, rest assured
Soho Times. there will be more events like this.
"I'VE NOT ONLY
I FEEL LIKE I'VE
AS PART OF MY
-THE SOHO GIRL
Photos by Crystal Forbes-muir and Freda Adu MY SOHO TIMES 49
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