#127 Meard Street
Meard Street is a quiet, pleasant alleyway in Soho which leads from Dean Street to Wardour Street. Stroll down it, and you could almost be in Bloomsbury or Belgravia. It’s lined with elegant and terrifyingly expensive Regency townhouses, as well as the odd quiet cafe and unassuming clothes shop – there’s a branch of Wahaca there now, but this isn’t a street that’s changed much in the last hundred years.
There’s only one strange thing about it: a month ago, it wasn’t there.
It can’t have been. We’ve walked up and down Dean Street a thousand times. We’ve been down every snaking alley and shoulder-wide passage. We’ve stumbled out of half the bars on these roads at three in the morning. But we’ve never seen this street before. It’s obviously one of China Miéville’s rues sauvages, the wild streets of London which move around on a whim and occasionally swallow up unwary explorers. Perhaps the chic-looking Dean Street Townhouse hotel has attracted it here, offering whatever it is that streets crave. People? Popularity? Or perhaps it was tired of life in some provincial town, and moved here, dragging history and geography with it. Because even streets get tired.
Don’t believe us? Here’s GK Chesterton’s experience of this phenomenon, only a mile or so away in the City. See what you think, and then tell us we’re not mad.