Often associated with being London’s premier entertainment district, Soho has a rich and colourful history. Over the years it has become a cultural melting pot, with residents originating from all corners of the globe including Asia, Europe and South America. But unknown too many of us at Clarendon, our gas safe engineers family owned a shop in the area and inadvertedly added to the deep culture of Soho. We caught up with Frank Rosi (Gas Safe Engineer and Maintenance Supremo!) in an attempt to understand what it was like growing up in Soho during the swinging 60’s and 70’s.
To give you some background information, Frank’s parents moved to Soho from rural Italy in the 1960’s and set up a wholesome Italian cafe known as the Court restaurant. Open from 7:30am to 8pm, the restaurant served hot beverages and a wide range of delicious foods including steaks and spaghetti’s. Frank reminisces about how he used to spend his Saturday afternoon’s helping out in the restaurant and recalls the time when Cliff Richard and the Shadows visited the establishment. The pin up of the swinging 60’s, you would be hard pressed to find anyone more famous then Cliff in the area at the time. Unfortunately though there is no juicy gossip to share about the band as Frank recalls that they were “polite and well-mannered gentlemen!”
Soho in the 60’s and 70’s was a vibrant and bustling area. Carnaby Street was littered with clothing stores and was regarded as the “go to place” for the latest threads. Wardour Street, a favourite hangout for Frank, showcased the latest films and productions. And if you wanted fresh produce, Rupert Street market was around the corner.
Today, Soho still retains its character from yester years and portrays the same image of being a “cool” and “trendy” place to visit. Whilst a lot of Frank’s favourite places in the area in the 1960’s are no longer there, he is still reminded of his childhood days every time he carries out maintenance work at one of Clarendon’s serviced apartments in Berwick Street and Old Compton Street, Soho.
Although a lot has changed, visitors to the area can really immerse themselves in the history of one of London’s liveliest districts. We at Clarendon Serviced Apartments strongly recommend you visit the area if you are planning a trip to London. We promise you won’t be disappointed!