Ah, the London nightclub scene – where to begin?
Well right here’s pretty good, because we’ve taken the liberty of very carefully crafting a beautifully-designed, all-encompassing guide to clubs in London (organised geographically) which will help you and your friends to uncover your next favourite nightspot. So whether you’re a get-dressed-up-and-dance-on-tables-with-sparklers kinda gal, or a get-undressed-and-grind-on-a drag-queen kinda guy…
…we’ve got you covered.
CLUBS IN EAST LONDON
Queen of Hoxton | Shoreditch
Queen of Hoxton comes in three parts: rooftop; bar; and club, all of which boast a pretty epic line-up of weekly events. The rooftop regularly transforms from one seasonal, immersive pop-up to the next – everything from an exotic Moroccan hide-away to a Viking stronghold complete with long boat, feasting hall and crackling fire pits – whilst downstairs Monday-Wednesday you’ll find events like Drag Bingo and Glee Club. Come Thursday things start ramping up with Hip Hop Karaoke and both resident and guest DJs playing everything from disco and house to old school hip hop, classic garage, indie, and electronica.
Address: 1 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX | Closest station: Old Street | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual, although open toe shoes and flip flops aren’t allowed (for your toes’ sake) | Music: house, techno, and disco. | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
XOYO | Old Street
Live Music. If XOYO has a strong point that would be it. Their weekday programming is known for being packed full of great, often emerging artists and their small-ish, subterranean space makes for the ideal place to listen to them. They also host nights like the one where a 16-piece orchestra performed Destiney’s Child’s greatest hits which obviously no human-being in their right mind would want to miss. On Fridays they have a resident DJ (who changes every three months) whilst Saturdays see various guests mostly playing house, techno, and disco.
Address: 32-37 Cowper Street, EC2A 4AP | Closest station: Old Street | Age: 18+ Mon-Thurs, 21+ Sat and Sun. | Dress code: relaxed. Trainers are allowed; tracksuits, suits, and fancy dress aren’t. | Music: mostly house, techno, and disco. | Tables? no | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Colours | Hoxton
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen has had a major revamp, and it’s now Colours – an inclusive new club and music venue hoping to revive Shoreditch’s gig scene. There’s a stylish restaurant and bar area with £5 cocktails before 7pm, chicken wings and burgers from The Orange Buffalo, and trippy AV artwork on the walls. The crowning glory, however, is the 300-capacity live music room, which plays host to art collectives and live musicians almost every night. Expect period parties, masculinity monologue nights, neon life drawing, drag make-up workshops and queer experimental cinema nights.
Address: 2-4 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU | Closest station: Old Street | Age: 18+ | Dress code: Anything goes | Music: Varies nightly, check listings here | Tables? Not in the music room, but there’s a separate bar area | For more information or to check ticketing, visit their website HERE.
Werkhaus | Brick Lane
Another brand new opening, Werkhaus has made its home in a cavernous industrial space that’s part of the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. Joining the growing movement for live music in East London, it’s a single space venue that offers up either DJs or gigs every night. They’ve got a Funktion One sound system on their hands, so whatever you go to hear, it’ll sound real good.
Address: 85 Brick Lane, E1 6QL | Closest station: Liverpool Street | Age: 18+ | Dress code: Relaxed | Music: Live music, house DJs | Tables? No | For more information and to see what’s on, head HERE.
The Moth Club | Hackney
Imagine an old, working man’s club ie. dark woods and carpeted floors, thick with the smell of spilt beer. Now imagine a group of Hackney hipsters taking it over, covering the ceiling in gold sparkles and hanging a gold fringe curtain and garish silver sign at the back of the central stage. Throw in a weekly line-up of events like a Ru Paul’s Drag Race Quiz and a Madonnathon (a night exclusively dedicated to Madge and her collaborators) bingo, karaoke, game shows, race nights, interactive film screenings and special cabaret events…and you have one of the most merry-making clubs in London.
Address: Old Trades Hall, Valette Street, E9 6NU | Closest station: Hackney Central | Age: 18+ | Dress code: there isn’t one. Come as you are | Music: Motown, Madonna, plus a touch of everything else | Tables? Yes but not bookable | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Dalston Superstores | Dalston
Dalston-based LGBTQ+ venue (although all allies are welcome). It’s on the smaller side. It’s two floors. Upstairs there are a couple of raised booths and tables with stools, whereas downstairs is just a big open space often clouded by a smoke machine. It’s open in the daytime as a cafe and cocktail bar, made even better by the regularly rotating queer art hung on the walls. Nighttimes get a lot messier, with live gig nights like Sissy showcasing up and coming queer artists (‘the coming out party you never knew you needed!’), drag nights featuring scantily clad go go kings, queens and princes, lesbian nights with curious names (Clam Jam…), and big sweaty raves.
Address: 117 Kingsland Highstreet, E8 2PB | Closest station: Dalston Kingsland | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: dependent on the night | Tables? A few but they’re not bookable and get removed as it gets later | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Brilliant Corners | Dalston
It’s more of a live music venue than a club. In fact, it’s actually a Japanese restaurant and bar, with a back room that opens out into a bigger, more open space with a stage. The crowd is mostly local East London folk, or serious music folk who like to drink and dance whilst also commenting on the vintage analogue sound system and Klipschorn speakers (whatever they mean). We like it because it’s intimate, and never too intense. Plus they do monthly jazz nights which are always a treat.
Address: 470 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London, E8 4AE | Closest station: Dalston Junction | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: various | Tables? At the front in the restaurant/bar, but not at the back. If you’re there to see jazz there will be chairs though | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Fabric | Farringdon
You want to go here if you want a club club, you know: huge space; strobe lights; and loud, pulsing music. It was set up in 1999 by a group of club-goers themselves with the hope of making other club-goers happy. And, considering 1999 was over 19 years ago now, well, they must be doing something right. It’s a gigantic, three-part playground (25,000 square feet in total) among which is a “bodysonic”, vibrating dancefloor that let’s you feel the music straight through to your skeleton. Seriously. In through your feet, right into your bones. On Fridays you’ll find FABRICLIVE where you’ll mostly find bass-drive dance music; on Saturday’s it’s just straight up Fabric with both resident and guest DJs playing house, techno, electro, disco, and dub-techno; and on Sundays, right up until 8am on Monday morning (!), it’s WetYourSelf with a little more house and techno…before a coffee and a tube ride to work.
Address: 77A Charterhouse Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M 6HJ | Closest station: Farringdon | Age: 19+ | Dress code: casual. Jeans, trainers, caps, even shorts are all allowed. | Music: house, techno, electro, disco, dub-techno | Tables? Yes | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
93 Feet East | Shoreditch
Radiohead, Groove Armada, The White Stripes and Bombay Bicycle Club, are just a few of the names that have played at Brick Lane’s 93 Feet East. Which, I think we can all agree, earns them iconic London music venue status. They’ve been going since 1999, although just undergone a recent refurb. It’s got two big, industrial looking rooms, and an epic outside courtyard fit with heaters for when it’s cold. They also do club nights like their two resident nights Parade (playing house and techno the first Saturday of every month) and 93 Degrees (focusing on UK house every third Saturday). Beyond that it’s just a case of scouring their website where you’ll stumble across stuff like Disco Disco (you can probably guess what they’re about) and Paradise Alley which involves the outdoor courtyard, street food, and prosecco and cocktails on tap.
Address: 150 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL | Closest station: Liverpool Street | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: depends on the night | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Village Underground | Shoreditch
It all started in 2006 with the hope of bringing affordable studio spaces to London. They forklifted four old tube carriages onto the top of an old railway viaduct (as you do), along with a couple of shipping containers, gave them a bit of a revamp and then the artists moved in. Next they took over an abandoned coal store close by, cleared out the rubbish, gave it a lick of paint and now that’s where the painters, filmmakers, and musicians showcase their stuff. Even the outside wall’s an exhibition in it’s own right, repainted every three months by a different street artist. When it comes to club nights, Village Underground is one of the more eclectic clubs in London programming everything from indie, electronic, and experimental to hip-hop, Reggae, R&B and more.
Address: 54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3PQ | Closest station: Shoreditch High Street | Age: 18+ | Dress code: no business attire, no fancy dress | Music: a bit of everything | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
The Pickle Factory | Bethnal Green
Once a pickle factory, now a stripped-back white-washed club, boasting a stone tiled floor, and a handsome wooden-slatted ceiling, similar to that of a fancy recording studio somewhere. You’ll find it across the road from Oval Space in Bethnal Green. In fact, the two venues are actually related, with The Pickle Factory being the smaller, more intimate of the two. Programming wise, whilst Oval Space’s size and reputation means it’s mainly focused on booking bigger headliner acts, The Pickle Factory is known for slightly more up-and-coming stuff. It definitely doesn’t always run like that so keep your eyes open, although arguably with a 200-person capacity seeing someone that up close and personal as they’re just starting out could prove a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Address: 13-14 The Oval, London, E2 9DU | Closest station: Bethnal Green | Age: 18+ | Dress code: we say go casual | Music: it varies, although it definitely leans towards techno and electro with a little funk and soul | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
CLUBS IN CENTRAL LONDON
She Bar | Soho
London’s only lesbian nightclub. It’s a relatively small basement space, nothing to write home about, BUT it’s exclusively for women so, if that’s what you’re looking for, she’s your gal. The good thing is it’s in the middle of Soho, right opposite G-A-Y in fact so you can dart between the two if you wish. Also they’re open all week and put on a number of pretty fun events. There’s comedy and karaoke nights, She’s Single Mingle nights; and then just general Fridays and Saturdays getting messy and having a laugh.
Address: 23 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 5JL | Closest station: Leicester Square | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: charts and cheese | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Tropicana Beach Club | Holborn
It’s big, it’s bold, and while drinks aren’t quite free, it’s essentially everything George Michael dreamed of. In fact, the lyrics to Club Tropicana are almost spookily prescient as this central London club includes a blue lagoon (a digitally enhanced, interactive dancefloor, on which you’ll be avoiding (virtual) sharks and participating in (actual) shot-laden surfboard limbo contests); cocktail time (when cocktails are blazing, Copacabana is blaring, and the staff dressed as lifeguards come running over with sharing cocktails); andddd a summer’s tune (that is, music you most likely know the words to, along with steel drum bands, cabaret acts, and fire entertainers).
Address: New London Theatre, Parker Street, WC2B 5PW | Closest station: Holborn | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: charts and cheese| Tables? Yes | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Mahiki | Mahiki
You’re probably not going to want to go to Mahiki nearing the end of the month. Named after the Polynesian path to the underworld, it’s a place of pure hedonism, famous for it’s treasure chest sharing cocktails that ironically leave you with a lot less gold than when you started. Take their £3,000 Beware of Blackbeard cocktail for instance including nine bottles of Don Perignon and a Mahiki Ocean Sweeper (50 shots). Alternatively you can also indulge in a bottle of £10,000 Champagne. The space is split up into three parts, all tiki-styled. Think bamboo lined walls, handmade princess chairs, and exotic palms. There’s a pan-asian restaurant serving up the likes of tiger prawn crab gyoza, tuna tartare, and pork sticky rib; the Lanai Lounge; and the Aloha Party Room where, in the name of pure pleasure, you can dance under a ceiling strung with a hundred fisherman balls.
Address:1 Dover St, Mayfair, W1S 4LD | Closest station: Mayfair | Age: 18+ | Dress code: smart. No flip-flops, shorts, or sportswear | Music: charts and guilty pleasures| Tables? Yes | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
G-A-Y Bar | Soho
The walls are bright purple, the music’s cheesy as hell, and Britney Spears is more often than not splashed across plasma TVs lining the walls. It’s one of those places you love to hate. You’ll slag it off to your mates and then sneak in the cover of darkness for a few cheap tequila shots and a boogie. All in preparation of course for a continuing the night at the equally funtastic G-A-Y Late which opens just as this one closes and is conveniently located around the corner.
Address: 30 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UR (Gay Late: 5 Goslett Yard, WC2H 0EA) | Closest station: Leicester Square | Age: 18+ | Dress code: anything goes | Music: cheese, cheese, cheese | Tables? a few but not bookable | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Roadhouse | Covent Garden
Image credit: Simon Sadek
It’s an American-themed restaurant, bar, and nightclub dressed up like a roadside diner. Admittedly one with a potentially dodgy drink driving policy. There’s a Mack truck crashing through one wall, a Harley Davidson parked on the bar, and road signs and trucker paraphernalia throughout. You can feast on 24-hour marinated rib stacks and hot dogs with chilli or crispy bacon until late. There’s a happy hour every night of the week where you can get 2-4-1 cocktails, Prosecco, beers, and wine. They have lip sync battles every Tuesday and Rockaoke every Monday and Wednesday (karaoke with a live rock band and the chance to win £5,000). They also have a world famous flair competition where bartenders from all over the world come to shake their stuff in front of a roaring crowd. Music wise it’s either a live band or DJ playing mostly classic rock: Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, and Journey. (With a little Sister Sledge thrown in.)
Address: 35 The Piazza, WC2E 8BE | Closest station: Covent Garden | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: rock classics | Tables? yes but in the restaurant | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Heaven | Charing Cross
A fabulously gay super-club. One of the first gay clubs in London, and openly gay clubs in the world. And now it’s the only central London live music where you can rave with a massive 1,000 people. You’ll find it in a couple of railway arches underneath Charing Cross station, conveniently located within walking distance of Soho and its slew of gay bars perfect for warming up in. Looks wise it’s a pretty huge warehouse type place. The walls are painted black, there are exposed lighting rigs and disco balls on the ceiling, and it’s usually lit up some sort of smokey dark blue or green. There are four bars in total and multiple dance floors across two floors, where you can show off your moves to a constantly changing list of live music and club nights with a focus on the best in pop, house, hip hop, Destiney’s Child, disco, and R&B.
Address: 17 Villiers Street, WC2N 6NG | Closest station: Covent Garden | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: pop, house, hip hop, Destiney’s Child, disco, and R&B | Tables? No| For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
CLUBS IN SOUTH LONDON
CLF Art Cafe| Peckham
Found within Peckham’s famed The Bussey Building – an 120-year-old former cricket bat factory on Rye Lane – it’s a five-storey, warehouse-style arts venue by day, and part live music venue part club by night. They host stand-up comedy nights. They have in-house theatre residencies with companies like Nouveau Riché, offering scratch nights, festivals, and full-productions. Their in-house film club puts on all-day films screenings across all genres. And then there’s the dancing. Their most famous night being The South London Soul Train – the biggest soul night out of all clubs in London – playing a mix of Motown, funk, soul, disco, and rare groove on the first second, and third Saturday of every month.
Address:A, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | Closest station: Peckham Rye | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: a bit of everything really. It depends on the night. Anything from soul to house to dum & bass to disco. | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Hootananny’s | Britxon
A favourite among Brixton locals, Hootananny’s is a pub – offering both pool tables and a beer garden – by day, and a live music venue/club by night. One of their best nights is Live Band Karaoke where you’re invited to take the stage and sing your karaoke number of choice with the backing of a full live band. Beyond that it’s a mixture of live music and DJs, mostly playing roots, reggae, hip-hop, and ska. The bar is big, avoiding long waits, and they serve delicious Jamaican street food – Jerk chicken rice, peas, and salad; or Ackee and saltfish – until late.
Address: 95 Effra Rd, Brixton, SW2 1DF | Closest station: Britxon| Age: 21+ | Dress code: casual | Music: mostly roots, reggae, hip-hop, and ska | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Omeara | London Bridge
It’s Ben Lovett from Mumford and Sons’ latest venture. A multi-disciplinary cultural hub that plays host to live music, comedy shows, and indie club nights, as well as exhibitions in the additional gallery space. Some stand out nights include The South London Soul Train, over from Peckham playing funk, soul, Motown, and disco; as well as Super Duper Fly and Holler Back, both offering up a night of hip hop and R&B. They have an outside terrace overlooking Southwark Cathedral and The Shard, and are conveniently located a mere stones through away from Flat Iron square where you’ll find street food from Eastern Mediterranean inspired Laffa, Mexican Cantina Carnitas, and more.
Address: 6 O’Meara Street, SE1 1TE | Closest station: London Bridge | Age: 18+ (some ticketed events 16+) | Dress code: casual | Music: dependent on the night | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Ministry Of Sound | Elephant & Castle
Once a former bus depot is now one of London’s most momentous dance clubs. Think huge warehouse space, pounding music, coloured lights, and plasma TVs. It’s got five rooms – all dj’ing something different – four bars, and four dance floors. There’s also a big, 400-capacity, heated courtyard for catching your breath. Every Friday is their resident trance night The Gallery, otherwise it’s mostly a rotating list of big name dance DJs, with a touch of techno, house, and soul.
Address: 103 Gaunt St, London SE1 6DP | Closest station: Elephant & Castle | Age: 18+ | Dress code: smart/stylish. Jeans, t-shirts and branded trainers are all fine. Shorts too if they’re smart. No tracksuits or caps. | Music: mostly dance | Tables? Yes in the VIP lounge | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Infernos | Clapham
It feels like a cross between a strip club and casino, with a little school disco thrown into the mix. Red lighting, carpeted floors and disco balls sums it up well. They’ve also been known to explode balloons ands sparkly bits over the crowd. If you’re after cool, this probably isn’t your thing but if you want to get drunk and dance to cheesy music you’re on to a winner. It’s a pretty big space, split over two floors, both with it’s own dance floor and DJ playing pop ballads galore. The first Friday of every month they have a live-sing-along, essentially where they play the likes of Destiney’s Child and Journey and the whole club joins in with the help of giant video screens. Alternatively if you’d rather practice your vocals in private they have a number of karaoke booths for hire.
Address: 146 Clapham High Street, W4 7UH | Closest station: Clapham Common | Age: 21+ | Dress code: | Music: pop ballads | Tables? Yes | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Printworks | Canada Water
It’s a giant industrial arts venue. We’re talking a massive 199,200 sq ft, with another 40,000 sq ft outside. It used to be a fully functioning printing press delivering papers including the Evening Standard and the Metro, and whilst they’ve swapped out paper for people, what’s cool is that all the original machinery and industrial features remain. You’ll find a bit of everything here: craft beer festivals; theatre; fashion shows; and live music. The main room holds a mighty 3,000 people which draws some pretty big names. It’s also where on weekends they host all-day electronic raves. Club nights are mostly focused on dance music (cue the strobe lights), although you’ll also find house and hip-hop in some of the smaller rooms.
Address: Surrey Quays Road, SE16 7PJ | Closest station: Canada Water | Age: 21+ | Dress code: smart casual | Music: mostly dance | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Brixton Jamm | Brixton
Soaked in history (and beer no doubt), Brixton Jamm has been going since the 18th century. Once a traveller’s inn turned Ye Old White Horse pub, it’s latest reincarnation is into a multi-purpose music venue; a pub, bar, and club, with a huge outside terrace. It’s got a casually cool vibe about it. Inside the floors are dark wood and it’s got a beautiful glazed red and green tiled bar. Outside the terrace is strung with bulb lights, and bunting. You want to visit in summer for a boozy day party. Something like Heatwave which starts outside in the late afternoon and plays house and disco for a mighty 12-hours. They have a BBQ, glitter and sparkles station, and plenty of summer cocktails. As it gets later it moves inside into their two clubs rooms both fitted with top of the range sound systems and lighting rigs. (In other words it looks good, and it’s loud.) If not that then they programme great live artists (Adele, Massive Attack, Franz Ferdinand, and Groove Armada are just a few of the names who have graced their stage), or you can find a whole range of other club nights playing mostly hip hop, R&B, Afrobeats, and House Wednesday-Sunday each week.
Address: 261 Brixton Road, SW9 6LH | Closest station: Stockwell | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual although no tracksuits | Music: mostly house, disco, funk, soul, hip hop, R&B, and garage| Tables? Yes, outside and in| For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Corsica Studios | Elephant and Castle
It’s got the same gritty, dimly-lit, smokey green, trendy vibe as a lot of Berlin nightclubs, except you’ll find it in a couple of railway arches behind the shopping centre in Elephant and Castle. It’s a relatively intimate space – two rooms in total – but the sound systems are huge which is definitely what makes it one of the best clubs in London. It’s also what draws in big name house and techno DJs from all over the world to blast their music over a sweaty, hyped up crowd, seven days a week.
Address: 4/5 Elephant Road, SE17 1LB | Closest station: Elephant and Castle | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: house and techno| Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Blues Kitchen | Brixton
We’ve got a soft spot for the Blues Kitchen, probably because we’ve got a soft spot for Motown, Funk, and Soul. Although it’s also that frustratingly rare yet ideal mix of restaurant, bar, and club, where you can start with a couple of cocktails and dinner – a Burnt Pear Old Fashioned alongside some Cajun BBQ – and then see where the night takes you. Here it’s likely to take you upstairs, where, before long, you’ll start to realise a live bland are smashing through all of your favourites songs. More specifically, on Tuesdays you’ll find a mix of live upbeat blues and bluegrass; on Wednesdays it’s electric blues (plus there’s £5 cocktails making the trip all the more alluring); Thursdays see soul; whereas Fridays and Saturdays are essentially a big mix-up of everything, switching between live music and DJs, for approximately no money before 9pm and just £5 after…well ,£5-£8, depending on if you book your ticket in advance.
Address: 40 Acre Lane, Brixton, London, SW2 5SP | Closest station: Brixton | Age: 18+ | Dress code: anything goes | Music: Motown, Funk, and Soul | Tables? no, although you can book certain areas for parties | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
CLUBS IN NORTH LONDON
The Jazz Cafe | Camden
Open since 1990, it’s become something of a live music institution, offering people the chance to watch world famous funk, soul, and R&B artists, like Adele and Amy Winehouse, play intimate sets in the heart of Camden seven days a week. You can either push up close to the stage or they have a mezzanine restaurant serving up the likes of bone marrow & brisket burger or Southern fried chicken – alongside a decent list of cocktails, beer and wine – where you can watch seated from above. On Fridays and Saturdays the space transforms into more of a club with a rotating list of DJs playing the best of house, disco, and soul.
Address: 5 Parkway, Camden Town, NW1 7PG | Closest station: Camden Road | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: a lot of jazz, soul, funk, and R&B | Tables? In the restaurant |For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Egg London | Camden
Egg London. Most people can’t get an-ouef. Which is unsurprising seeing as not only one of the biggest clubs in London (three floors and five rooms in total), it’s also one of the only places with a 24-hour license, meaning you can rave with some of the world’s biggest house and techno DJs until 8am. Look wise, think industrial; huge silver rooms with exposed lighting rigs and metal staircases. They also have a leafy outside terrace fit with speakers which makes for decent daytime raving in the summer.
Address: 200 York Way, N7 9AX | Closest station: Camden Town | Age: 21+ | Dress code: smart casual. Jeans and trainers are allowed. Hoodies, tracksuits and er…manbags aren’t | Music: house and techno | Tables? yes | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
The Camden Assembly | Camden
Pub, music venue, and club conveniently located a stones throw from Chalk Farm tube. It’s a casual kind of place, although beautifully designed. It’s split over three floors with dark wood floors, glazed tile bars and exposed brick walls. If you’re visiting in the daytime you’re most likely going for a craft beer and a Patty Supreme burger (think delicious towers of dry aged beef, American cheese, streaky bacon, fried onion, and BBQ sauce; or if you’re veggie, a crispy bean patty, vegan cheese, lettuce, spice tomato salsa, and vegan mayo.) Nighttimes on the other hand offer up live music and dancing. They have a resident club night every Saturday called Crush playing hip hop and R&B, otherwise it’s nights like Who Run The World (female fronted R&B) or The Sex Tape Series (funk, soul, and disco).
Address: 49 Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8AN | Closest station: Chalk Farm | Age: it varies although it’s strictly over 18 post 11pm every night of the week | Dress code: anything goes | Music: hip hop and R&B although it really depends on the night | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
FEST | Camden
Filling three huge rooms in Camden’s 19th-Century Stable Market, it’s hard not to find a reason to visit FEST. For starters there’s the restaurant, where, alongside the food, you’ll find week-long entertainment in the shape of cabaret meets comedy…meets burlesque and more. Next are the party stables. Well, pub house by day, party stables by night, all individually dressed to reflect everything from a kitchen 70s cocktail party to a a summer soiree. Whatever you’re celebrating they’re there to be individually hired out and grand you access to everything else that’s going on as well. The roof is festival themed offering up al fresco tipples, as well as sports and cinema screenings under a canopy of flowers and multi-coloured parasols. Finally there’s the club. 10,000 sq ft in size, styled to feel somewhat un-styled in a stripped-back, half-finished party barn meetings tropical luau kind of way. Wooden floors and and exposed ceiling beams are off-set with neon palm trees, bright blue banquette seating, and surfboards running the length of the ceiling. They programme a range of live music acts and DJs that span genres, as well as a couple of ‘themed music nights’ like Glitterfest where guests are invited to cover themselves in sparkles and dance to R&B, Hip Hop, Garage, Funky House, Afro Beats & Bashment.
Address: FEST Camden Stables Market, London, NW1 8AH | Closest station: Chalk Farm | Age: 18+ | Dress code: anything goes | Music: a bit of everything | Tables? Yes | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
CLUBS IN WEST LONDON
Maggies | Chelsea
There are plenty of people out there who want to
go to a club Margaret Thatcher. Which was exactly the thinking behind Inception Group’s Chelsea venture, Maggies. Well, that and providing an 80s themed club that comes sans cheese. Bought to you from the creative cats behind themed bars Cahoots, Mr Fogg’s, and Barts it’s unsurprising the mere look of the place is a joy in itself. As well as gigantic Maggie mural on the wall and her most famous speeches being broadcast in the toilets, the space is filled with Rubik’s cube and cassette tape tables, display cases full off everything from A-Team figures to A-ha platinum discs, and cocktail menus that you can read through View-Masters. Drinks do on the whole reflect the celebrity clientele however if you’ve got the dollar it’s most probably the only time you’ll get to drink a sharing cocktail (The Super Mario) delivered to your table with it’s very own theme tune and laser show. Music on the other hand is everything 80s, with the occasional night like School Disco (yes school uniforms are encouraged) and Hip Hop Hooray (80s hip-hop) thrown into the mix.
Address: 329 Fulham Road, Chelsea, SW10 9QL | Closest station: South Kensington | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: classic 80s| Tables? Yes | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Notting Hill Arts Club | Notting Hill
It’s a scrappy little place, a relatively small basement with cheesy multi-coloured projections – ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ – on the walls. That said they programme some great live artists, and the size of both the room and stage make for an intimate gig. Beyond that if you’re in West London and fancy a place to dance you’ll find a rotating number of club nights like 90210 (a 90’s and 00’s throwback night) and Relentless Funk (playing funk, soul, hip hop, disco, and house).
Address: 21 Notting Hill Gate, Kensington, W11 3JQ | Closest station: Notting Hill | Age: 18+ | Dress code: smart casual. No suits and ties. | Music: funk, soul, hip-hop, R&B, disco, and house | Tables?No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Paradise By Way of Kensal Green | Kensal Rise
Paradise by Way has to be one of West London’s most beautiful venues. Part pub, part restaurant, part bar, part club, it’s dressed up like an abandoned Manor House: velvet chaise longues; wall antelets; peeling wallpaper (the beautiful multi-coloured kind); and gilded frames filled with portraits of important looking people. Any evening of the week would be well spent here drinking your way through their cocktail list or spoiling yourself with dinner from ex Petersham Nurseries chef Cat Ashton alongside a glass of wine. They also programme a whole range of events like disco yoga and swing dance most nights of the week. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are when their club nights happen. On the last Friday of every month is their resident night Hip-Hop vs RnB, otherwise it’s a choice between nights like Back to Ours (playing, house, disco, and soul); Soul Paradise (Neo-soul, R&B, and soulful hip hop); and SUPA DUPA FLY (old school R&B and Hip Hop).
Address: 19 Kilburn Lane, W10 4AE | Closest station: Kensal Rise | Age: 18+ | Dress code: casual | Music: everything although there’s a strong focus on soul, hip hop, and R&B | Tables? no | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Kona Kai | Fulham Broadway
It’s the perfect place for a tiki after work cocktail…especially seeing as not only are they good, they’re also all £6 every day between 4 and 9pm. The space itself is Polynesian inspired: the roof is thatched; the walls are bamboo; there’s palm trees; wicker chairs; and whisky barrels for tables. You can sit and gently warm your insides with likes of a Pomegranate Margarita (tequila, cointreau, fresh pomegranate, and lime juice), or a Passion Fruit Whiskey Smash (bourbon, fresh lemon juice, mint, and passion fruit) or on a Friday and Saturday things get a little more wavey with their resident DJs playing charts, hip-hop, and house until late.
Address: 515 Fulham Road, SW6 1HD | Closest station: Fulham Broadway | Age: 18+ | Dress code: hula skirts encouraged. Surf boards must be left at home | Music: charts, hip-hop, and house | Tables? No | For more information or to check possible door charges visit their website HERE.
Last updated: 18th March 2020
Fancy something a little more low-key? Take a look at our Best London Bars With Live Music guide instead.