List of places 1
London has fantastic nightlife and the days of pubs closing at 11pm are now gone, allbeit that some still close a little early, but you will always find a bar or club open until the early hours somewhere!
My favourite areas for going out are:
Old street, shoreditch
I try to avoid the West End as its just too busy, too expensive, too touristy.
Some of my favourites places are:
The big chill - Kings cross - dj bar at night or chill out bar after work
Lincoln Lounge - Kings cross - great little pub on york way, small and cozy
Simmons - King cross - tiny tiny place but funky music and funky surroundings
Wax O connors - Just off Leics square (Rupert St) - a huge labarinth of a pub with big crowds.
Vibe bar - Brick lane - nice place to chill out with some funky dj vibes
Chill out cafes for the day include: Joes Jazz cafe at Foyles bookshop on Tottenham court road, and Joe and the Juice, on Regent Street.
There are few 'super' clubs in London, gone are the days of SW1, Bagleys, Home, The End, Club UK, The Cross - all thats left is Egg, Fabric and the Ministry. Other clubs come and go located around the west end.
Whilst i must have been in hundreds of pubs over the years, and most i couldnt tell you the names, im now trying to log them all in the list below;
Kings cross - The Canal (Nice bar on the canal), The Cross Kings (live music bar), Ruby lounge (DJ bar not far from station)
Angel - The Swan (Islington end of upper street - good for a warm up - Wetherspoons), O'Neills (roudy at weekends with dancefloor), Slug and Lettuce (Chain, used to be ok in here but quiet of late - small with nice vibe), The York (more traditional but nothing special), Albert & Pearl (Cocktail bar, good crowd, good music), Hope & Anchor (Bit more rough, plays rock music but serves a good pint), The Angel (Wehterspoons opposite angel tube - nothing special just cheap beer before the crawl up upper st), The cock (Highbury & Islington tube - not great, few dody characters), The Living Room (just off upper st behind slug and lettuce on essex road - trendy cocktail bar with sit down booths, nice place), the new rose (big pub open til 2am), the bull on upper st (funky place with a posher crowd, a bit crowded and expensive beer but nice vibe), the winchester on essex rd (open til 4am, nice place, quite small bar upstairs, dancefloor downstairs), keston louge (big bar with dancefloor at back, gets busy)
Camden - World End (Huge pub with rock music, and serves snakebite!), Belushis (Part of St Christophers hostel - nice place with screens and good food), Lock 17 (Right on the lock, cool place in the summer, not so great when not much going on), Dublin Castle (HEading towards London zoo, nothing special, has live music out the back), The Monarch (Small dance floor, packed at weekend, pretty lively, sometimes a cover charge), The Cuban (Cuban bar/restaurant - expensive cocktails, good food, salsa dancing at night, lively), plus plenty of others i cant remember the name of!
West End -plenty i just dont know the name of plus - Moon under the water (Leics sq - wetherspoons), Yates (Leics sq - cover chg at weekends, lively), Waxy o connor(Club downstairs, cover chg late on, nice place), The Glassblower (Opposite the warwick, nothing special, typical boozer), Sports cafe (Haymarket - huge sports bar), 101 (At centre point - nice bar for social evening), Salsa bar (Salsa classes most nights, Brazil theme on Tottenham court road), O'Neils (Up from Waxys-3 levels of music, late night venue), Waxys little sister (Opposite Waxys - small pub but good alternative), Spice of Life (Cambridge circus, traditional pub) - many more just think of the names.
-old Cheshire cheese, fleet street, claims to be one of Londonderry oldest. Good beer (all Sam smiths brewery) and a labirynth of bars. Food not that great though.
- the ranlagh, bounds green, my local, good pub, great food, nice clientele. More of a sitting pub not standing though.
-maid of muswell, muswell hill, cozy place, quite small, probably better in summer than winter. Food menu is same as the ranlagh in bounds green (assume same owner). Again, a sitting pub so if you get in late you'll have to stand
- the village, muswell hill, younger crowd in this large pub with pool tables at the back, friendly staff, live music, big pizza oven, open til 1am.
- John baird pub, muswell hill, boring as hell, don't go.
- the Garrick, charging cross road, nice pub from outside and in, next to Garrick theatre
- Spouters corner, wood green, wetherspoons, big and cheap but pretty rough. This is wood green after all
- lord nelson, wood green, pretty dull and rough, although probably one of wood greens better but that's not hard to achieve
- The chandos, trafalgar square, opposite entrance to portrait gallery, nice pub if passing to have a pint n catch up with someone
- Yates on Leicester square, brash place, fine for a big night out in west end but am getting too old for it now
- moon under the water, Leicester square, long narrow pub, cheaper beer, always busy, not much of atmosphere, good place to meet people if going out in area
- the Sussex, covent garden, an ok pub for a few beers if on a pub crawl but lacks any great atmosphere
- punch and judy, covent garden, it's got a few floors, location is great especially if you can find a spot on the balcony, expensive though and nothing too great
-The Ship tavern, just hidden round the back of Holborn tube,nice little pub with nice easy going atmosphere with restaurant upstairs although one of the staff upstairs was rude, its a nice place
-Square Pig, Holborn - good pub to meet and soialise, just a 2min walk from the tube, with a small outside section
- Three compasses in hornsey. Nice local pub that is good to chat with friends. I had a couch surf meet here and it was a perfect venue to chat to new people.
-The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park - great pub, 4 different rooms and a large garden. Godo atmosphere. Highly recommended.
-The Goose, Wood Green - home of our regular couch surf meet but certainly not the best put in town. Its in Wood Green for a start which is a hole and the pub is quite rough, but it has lots of space, so good for meeting people and drinks are well priced.
-The Worlds End, Finsbury Park - nice big pub with a square style bar, with kind of two sides to it. It had live music sometimes in one of the sections. Not the tidiest pub but decent enough.
-duke of Wellington, dalston, nice boozer, quite small with a square style bar, packed on a saturday, decent crowd and decent selection of beer
-alibi, dalston, this a club really, very 'dalston' , arty types and rough around the edges but nice raw atmosphere. Low ceilings, dance floors, lots of seating, bla bla
- voodoo rays, dalston, nightclub just two doors down from alibi. 9 quid to get in. Music spot on for my liking, deep house with a touch of funk and some 80s mix thrown in for good measure. Low ceiling small venue, good crowd.
- the finsbury, manor house- just 5min walk or so from manor house on green lanes, this is a bar/pub club with low lighting, an area out the back for live music or dj and seating out the front. I didn't like bar staff and it was a big soulless
- Salisbury hotel, green lanes near turnpike lane, great pub with an oldy feel, with little coves at the back for seating, and friendly staff
-red lion, kingly st, just off regent st, old mans pub which is a Sam smiths. Traditional, small but not a bad place to start
-jam bar/club-at the southern end of carnaby st. Packed, no room to move, typical west end club full of ***s
-two floors, cocktail bar on kingly road, a themed tiki bar downstairs and beer bar with louder music upstairs. Decent place if can get a seat. Bar staff a bit slow.
- claddagh ring, hendon, great Irish boozer with good food and big screens
- the hendon, hendon, massive pub on the busy A41. Nothing special although often busy. Loads of pool tables
- railway tavern, kew bridge station, very traditional pub and so quiet you can hear a pin drop, feels like you're in a village local than a London pub
-o bar, soho, packed pub in soho on the busy area. Kind of a bar pub style.
- The three greyhounds, soho, tiny classic pub on the corner, incredibly busy but decent enough
- walkabout chain- plenty of them around London although some slowly closing down. Been to the one in covent garden most which is ok with a mix of Londoners and travellers but nothing amazing
- the porterhouse, great massive pub in covent garden with several levels and a massive selection of beers, one of my favourites
- maple leaf, Canadian pub in covent garden, decent pub with screens and a fair amount of space
- Montagu pyke on charring cross road, a wetherspoons, cheap drink and food, say no more
- any pub on upper street, angel/idling ton-I've been in all of them several times, can't remember the name of many (the York, the garden, The angel, earl of Essex, the swan, the cock), some better than others but a great night out
- Camden high street, as above, I've been in most all the way from morning ton crescent up to chalk farm, a good night out, can't remember the names of many (lock tavern, belusshis, Cuban, worlds end)
- Salisbury arms, winchmore hill, a young ish affluent crowd in here. Nice pub with outdoor area, plenty of parking and a decent food menu located in the lively village part of winchmore.
- kings head, winchmore hill, on the village green just over from the Salisbury, this place also does food which looks good. The crowd is similar to the Salisbury although probably younger. Pub seems nice enough as we only stopped for a quick one
The Anchor - Southbank: A pub with stunning city views
The Anchor pub , situated near London Bridge station has stunning views of the Thames , St Pauls and The new Shard building. The pub itself was originally built in 1615. Samuel Pepys watched the Great Fire of London from here and Doctor Johnston wrote part of his dictionary! We had a friends meet up recently and had a great nights entertainment.
The Penthouse is a big building. The whole Building is a big party. There are 3 Dancefloors and 3 sorts of music. On the top of the building there's a rooftop and you can smoke on the balcony. On the first dancefloor is just Hiphop. I loved the DJ's there cause they know what good music does mean. On the second floor is just RnB. Its also really great. On the rooftop is House Music. If you like to dance and if you want to have a great view, you have to go there...
Trust me :)
Dress Code: Just Elegant.. No Sneakers...
O2 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE: CHECK IT OUT
At this venue you will find concerts, comedy and live music. check what is on at this link.http://www.o2shepherdsbushempire.co.uk/
The Empire is only a two minute walk from Shepherds Bush Tube Station.
The Hammy O.: An absolute rock classic.
Heaven knows what it is called these days, it has changed names more times than Cher changes outfits in a standard show, but to true rockers this venue will always be known as the Hammy O, or more properly the Hammersmith Odeon. A quick internet check reveals it is the Hammersmith Apollo these days.
The place really deserves the description legendary, although I know the term is much overused nowadays. Bowie did his iconic and briliantly filmed last Ziggy and the Spiders gig here way back in the 70's. I have seen Carlos Santana, Jethro Tull and various other world class acts there. Other than that the Irish dance show "Riverdance" packed them in here for a long, long time, it was their London home. I actually used to hang about with a few of the dancers in a long demised bar not far from the venue.
As the original name suggests, it is a converted cinema and therefore all seated, which is not my preferred way to watch bands but it is a good size and comfortable enough. If you like your rock, this is the place in London you are most likely to see it.
The photos here are all from a wonderful gig in November 2009, which was a Mott the Hoople reunion tour, and will probably be their last due to the drummers health problems. I had always loved Mott and had never managed to see them live, so this really was a special night for me. To see Ian Hunter, Mick Raplphs and the rest of the original line up reunited after over 30 years was simply magic, and I got a front row seat! The fact that Ian Hunter was in his seventies (although he would not admit it) quite gave me hope for my limited musical career. Another Hammy O special,
The venue is not specifically rock, they do all sorts of shows (comedy, MOR, kids shows etc.), which is great. My only gripe with the place is that they are owned by the Mean Fiddler group, whom I detest for reasons probably best not gone into here. You, dear reader, need not worry about that, just check the website for a gig that might suit you.
On a practical level, allow yourself about ten to fifteen minutes to get to or from either Hammersmith Tube station as it is a bit of a hike and I would not want you to miss your connection.
Dress Code: none enforced, it depends on the gig.
Stage Door Bar, Waterloo: Good new talent.
On Saturday and Sunday nights, the Stage Door is an excellent place to go and watch live music. The licensee Dave (himself no mean musician) organises live gigs on certain Saturdays, and an open mic night on a Sunday, both starting at 2000.
The musical policy is very much slanted towards singer / songwriters and the standard is very good. If you fancy playing on the Sunday, turn up in good time as floor spots fill up early (PA is provided). Just speak to Dave the owner or whoever is MCing and they'll try and fit you in. On the odd occasion, your humble narrator may evenbe found in the MC slot.
There is sometimes a small cover charge on Saturday but Sunday is free.
Apart from the music nights, it's a great, lively pub which does excellent food throughout the day. Most major sporting events are shown on big screen and usually attract a good crowd. Sadly the pinball machine is long gone, to my great regret, but there is still a very retro table-style video games table
Dress Code: Casual.
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
Avenue Bar: Cool West End Cocktail Bar
This large cocktail bar in the heart of London's West End has reasonably priced cocktails and drinks and a great atmosphere. If your hanging out near London's Leicester square and looking for a place to spend the night I would definitely recommend Avenue bar. I had a LOT of fun there while visiting my sister in London.
It's also a good spot to grab a bite to eat before or after heading into the theatre; Mains were all under 8 pounds. mostly bar snacks, I recommend the BBQ Aberdeen Angus Gourmet Burgers. All I can say is NOM NOM NOM NOM!
Cocktails were 12 pounds for a pitcher, you cant wrong there, and overall service was prompt, crowd was nice, woman were hot as hell,and just wanted to recommend the place to everyone else on here!
Dress Code: Stylish but unpretentious. Beautiful people
- Food and Dining
- Theater Travel
Leicester Square Cinemas: catch a movie
Leicester Square is at the heart of cinema and theatre land and got its name from Lord Leicester who purchased the land in the early 17th century. In the 19th century it was a leisure area with theatre and other forms of entertainment such as curiosity shows. Nowadays there are four cinemas in the square plus five smaller auditoriums and nightclubs too. Many movies have their Premier show at the cinemas in Leicester Square when they roll out the red carpet for the stars and illustrious guests. Ticket prices can be as high as £14 + £3 for 3D
THEATRE: half price tickets
Should you want the opportunity to visit the theatre go to one of the many ticket outlets in Leicester Square that are selling tickets for half price I saw several of these ticket outlets, one of which informed me that they were the official outlet. Considering regular prices for the theatre are £40-50 it seems quite a bargain to catch a show.
Dress Code: I think that theatres would appreciate people wearing respectable clothes although i am not 100% sure on this.
- Theater Travel
Check out the posters at the underground stations when using the escalators as there are many adverts for theatres and other forms of entertainment. Who knows, maybe you will be discover something of interest.
- Theater Travel
Flower of the Forest: Quite a fascinating night!
We stayed at the Waterloo H10 Hotel and the Flower of the Forest pub is just around the corner. So at one evening we decided to pay a visit to the pub and it became a night never to forget! Flowers of the Forest is a traditional Irish pub serving traditional pub food and it also includes an evening of Irish music as well as a large TV featuring Sky Sports. It definitely is a local pub with the well known local atmosphere. We learned that it’s cheaper than most pubs in the area and has a wicked little beer garden out the back, food is simple and clean and the bar staff are friendly.
When we arrived we had a stack of cards with us, because we wanted to play some cards together. We were welcomed by some local people who already were half naked singing and dancing near the bar. Still the atmosphere was very friendly and we were able to play our cards, drink some cool beer and order some good food. We also played some billiards with the locals and had some nice conversations about the all day themes. It became quite late, saw some people latterly fell down because they drank way too much and even spoke some women that wanted to switch clothes with us. But anyway, it was a great and fascinating night and I would come back for sure, because this place rocks.
Dress Code: Doesn't matter what you wear ... just don't take it off :)
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- Beer Tasting
- Casino and Gambling
The Royal Albert Hall: Beautiful concert venue
This is a great concert venue in the middle of London. It mainly deals for the classical music fan, but does occasionally put on other types of music. I went along recently to watch Blondie, with Debbie Harry.
It has a stalls area, for those who like to get up close and personal with their sweaty rock idols, but also it has a fabulous circle area, which because of the very nature of the circular building, surrounds the stage. Unlike the Wembley Arena or Wembley Pavilion there is no need to hire any binoculars for starring at the big screens in order for you to see the small dot on the stage that seems like a million miles away.
The bar prices inside the venue are a bit steep, but at least they serve decent beer, such as Spitfire and Bishops Finger.
A good place to meet up before the event is in the very decent pub around the corner called "The Queen's Arms"
Directions to the Queens Arms
Leave Gloucester Road tube and turn left. cross at the lights and continue on up until you get to Queens Gate Terrace. Turn right and carry on until you reach a smaller left hand turning before a large one. This is Queens Gate Mews and the pub should be visible once you turn into it. The pub is opposite a great car showroom. which has Rolls Royces and the like on show!
Dress Code: It depends what you are going to see and where the mood takes you.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Riverside Bar & Aqua: By the river in Vauxhall
It’s a little off the beaten path, but if you find yourself anywhere near Vauxhall Bridge in the early evening, I can recommend two good places to drink – the Riverside and Aqua. They sit side by side on the south bank of the river, with large open areas overlooking the water for great views as you drink. If the weather is a bit chilly they both have warmers above some of the tables, though these are in great demand and you need to get here early to secure one. So if driven inside, you’ll be pleased to find there is plenty of room in there too! The Riverside is the livelier of the two and has a good menu if you want to eat (I enjoyed some fishcakes there recently), while the Aqua is quieter and better if you want to chat – it also has a good value 2 for 1 deal on pizza and pasta on weekday evenings, though otherwise the food is a little pricy.
Dress Code: Most people come here after work so dress tends to be quite smart, but there no “rules” as such.
City Cruises: Sundowner Thames cruise
When relatives from Newcastle visited recently I booked up this treat for us all – a two hour sunset cruise on the Thames, operated by City Cruises. We’ve done numerous boat trips on the river in the past, but always during the day, so this was something different for us as well as for our visitors – or rather for me. Our boiler packed up that morning, and at the last minute Chris had to stay home for the gas engineer, and in so doing, he missed a treat!
The boat sailed from Westminster Pier at 18.30 (I imagine that the timings vary according to the time of year, to catch the sunset) and headed east. We were welcomed on board with a glass of prosecco, which was included in the cost. There’s a bar on board so you can buy any other drinks you want during the cruise – prices were comparable to smart bars elsewhere in London. Also included are some canapés (waiters came round with these from time to time).
Most people seemed to make a bee-line for the open upper deck as soon as we boarded but we felt that would be chilly so decided to go inside. This meant we had our pick of the tables and could choose one at the front by the large picture windows. As the evening drew on many people who’d gone upstairs came down, but at first there were only about ten tables occupied inside. A couple of musicians played and the atmosphere was very pleasant,, especially as we soon got chatting to our neighbours, a couple of guys from South Africa, about our experiences of the Olympic Games just a couple of months ago.
Our ride took us through the City of London, past Docklands and Greenwich, and as far as the O2 Arena, before turning and heading back to Westminster. I was a little surprised that there was no commentary on board, as with the usual tourist trips, but soon came to appreciate its absence. This evening is about relaxing and enjoying the sights, sunset and early evening lights over a drink or two, not about ticking monuments off your “to see” list. And as we were blessed with a clear evening and great sunset, both and I and my guests had a wonderful time!
The tour normally costs £20 per person, but I’d found an online deal that secured it for half of that price – a bargain! Even at full price, however, I think it’s very fair for what you get, although buying several additional drinks at the bar will push the cost up. You need to book online on the website below to be sure of a place, but I think you can get tickets on the spot at the booth by the pier, if available.
Dress Code: Bring a jacket or warm top if you want to sit on the exposed upper deck
The hotel: Reading a book.
Wondering what to pack for your next vacation? Yes, we always have some stress related to this issue. As an experienced traveler I always combine some days to relax with some days to explore the surroundings, beautiful historical cities or hiking the amazing National Parks. So I can easily say that whenever I am on vacation, I often want to relax, escape and unwind. There is nothing quite like a good book to accomplish these things.
Being away for many days on a vacation break will of course give you a great chance of getting your head into a good book or two, but which books should you choose to take with you? I do take along some ‘beach books’: a good beach book is engaging and a quick enough read that you can finish most of it on the beach before my sunscreen wears off. A beach book isn't necessarily literature, but a beach book that will entertain. With these beach books in my hand, all I need to remember is my towel and sunscreen.
But some literature is also coming along, because having a vacation, whatever the time of year, usually makes me turn my thoughts to which good book should we take with me? Sitting in my comfortable chair after a beautiful day with long walk, reading a good book in the evening makes it complete.
Dress Code: Doesn't matter ... wear whatever you want.
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