As cities go, London has among the most variety in its nightlife, with something for everyone – whether you want to gyrate to the latest beats at the coolest nightclubs, a romantic night out at more cosy DJ bars and restaurants, a fun experience at the theatre or even a quiet conversation in a coffeehouse.
One of the must do activities while in London is see a musical, not the decades old staples like Cats or Phantom, but newer yet instantly recognisable offerings like fantasy tale Wicked. Now into its 20th year, the funny preppy show which takes lots of liberties with the beloved children’s tale still plays to sell-out (and some repeat) audiences every night, so ensure Wicked Tickets are in your London checklist before you head out for a night of fun.
The clubbing scene
Once you’re fed and watered for the night, check out London’s hottest clubs. These can be found anywhere, from the sites of former theatres, railway arches, factories to warehouses. Every night is a different extravaganza for the senses, and you can pick what music best suits you – whether indie, rock, pop or world music – but things get serious come the weekend when all night dance raves steal the limelight. Top draws include Pacha, Fabric, Koko and Proud Camden.
Bring on the cabaret
The tight-lipped Brits not only break loose on dance weekends, they also have an affinity for cabaret and burlesque acts scattered throughout the capital. Featuring lots of tassels and many different get-ups in corsets, the cabaret scene has grown in recent years to accommodate different tastes and seasons of the year – of which Halloween is a big draw – both for those who favour a big show stopping performance or smaller striptease act. And don’t be fooled: some of these places rock a pretty good menu to, and are worth trying out, like Proud Cabaret City, Volupte Lounge, Café Jojo, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, and the more understated CellarDoor.
Those fancying a quiet night out can either check out London’s speakeasy bars, which promote Prohibition-style décor and dark lighting, or fill their palates with fare from the city’s hidden bars and restaurants – some with kooky select menus of their own. Snuggled away from the tourist attractions and big restaurants, these establishments find sneaky ways to stay out of the limelight. From restaurants camouflaged as sex shops to bars hidden within wardrobes, these secret locations away from prying eyes are welcome, unusual alternatives to the hustle and bustle which sometime overwhelms Londoners on a night out. Standouts are: Back in 5 Minutes, Callooh Callay, Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour, Love & Liquor and The Lucky Pig.