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London nightlife: Top 9 venues

Thinking of a good night out in London? To tell the truth, you have countless options before you. To save you from getting lost in this sea of bars, nightclubs and scenes in the capital, we’ve listed 9 of London’s best bars and entertainment venues that offer an unforgettable night!

1. Trailer Happiness

When you spend a night in the exotic underground bar of Trailer Happiness, which is located on Portobello Road and entered through a door that could not be found without the yellow fish picture on it, you will feel like you have traveled back in time to that exciting 70’s. Adorned with hula girls and other evocative pacific symbols, don’t be fooled by the bartenders in this place’s Aloha shirts, their staff are truly competent and expert at making creative tweaks to rum classics. In addition, they are known for their occasional flaming shows, such as spraying alcohol on the ceiling and setting it on fire with applause. The quiet conversations that start in the early hours of the evening turn into a lively dance party as the night progresses and the DJ starts playing funk classics.

Where: 177 Portobello Road, W11 2DY
Tel: +44 20 7041 9833
Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate

2. Kensington Roof Garden

Looking for a stylish bar in London? You must try this place in the sky. Rising above the streets of Kensington, this private club is one of the places where socialite and flamboyant people stop to spend the night. You’ll feel like you’re part of high society, even for a night out among women in trendy designer dresses and men in blazers. The venue has a percussionist drumming in tune with the songs played by the DJ, and adrenaline is running high, but you’ll probably find a reason to go to the garden that gives the place its name. This club is part of Europe’s largest terrace garden, which is home to 500 plant species, Spanish ponds and even flamingos, and acts as a flamboyant oasis for a cigarette break or late-night chat.

Where: 99 Kensington High Street, W8 5SA
Tel: +44 20 7937 7994
Nearest station: Kensington High Street

3. Sketch

If you can’t decide between elegance and quirkiness, you won’t regret choosing sketch. After walking through the dizzying tea rooms that create the setting for an Alice in Wonderland from the future, you may be stunned when you enter the giant white capsule that looks like a UFO. So what’s going on at this intergalactic party? London’s fashionable women and smiling men mingle to electronic music and sip their whimsical cocktails around the round bar. This warm environment provides night owls with a sophisticated alternative to the surrounding nightclubs. Make sure to stop by the washroom for a memorable photo opportunity. We are serious. Each toilet is housed in egg-shaped capsules that look like they were borrowed from an art gallery from another universe. This is one of the many reasons that make sketch a must-visit place in London nightlife.

Where: 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG
Tel: +44 20 7659 4500
Nearest station: Oxford Circus

4. The Book Club

The Book Club is one of those places that reflects the stylish slovenly atmosphere of the Shoreditch region. Located on a side street full of murals and perpetuating the café culture during daylight hours, this place attracts partisan crowds as the sun goes down. Its main hall, surrounded by white walls and sprinkled with ping-pong tables, is a social place where new bands sing. Serving cocktails with humorous names, bartenders blend in well with stylish and relaxed customers. But if what you’re looking for is to roll things up and mess around a bit, the basement party is where you really need to be. You can dance until your feet crack in this place where hip hop and house music thrill the excited crowd.

Where: 100-106 Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH
Tel: +44 20 7684 8618
Nearest station: Old Street

5. Union Chapel

An inviting church, this heavenly music scene will fill the hearts of even the most confident atheist with awe. Starring a magnificent church organ, this impressive Gothic chapel is a strange stage of familiar singing. The magnificent acoustics of the church also make everyone on stage – Roseanne Cash or Billy Bragg, world-famous bands or stand-up comedians – shine. All proceeds are used for the maintenance of this magnificent historic building. Come and enjoy the spiritual enlightenment sitting on a wooden bench.

Where: Compton Terrace, N1 2UN
Tel: +44 20 7226 1686
Nearest station: Highbury and Islington

6. Bethnal Green Workers Club

When it comes to ‘quirkiness’ and ‘extraordinary’ fashion concepts of London nightlife, this historic workers’ club is a few shirts ahead of its rivals. First off, this is an East London gem with a distinctive understatement that effortlessly puts its magic to work, and has a humorous side to it that softens its increasingly popular side. There’s always something out of the ordinary at the Bethnal Green Workers’ Club. Dance music, amateur nights, cabaret, games… You can find whatever comes to your mind here! Gay nights are also very popular here, attracting visitors from all over London for the city’s best party.

Where: 42–44 Pollard Row, E2 6NB
Tel: +44 20 7739 7170
Nearest station: Bethnal Green

7. Happiness Forgets

This underground Hoxton bar was one of the forerunners of cocktail bars in London, and Happiness Forgets has always kept its place, even though it has faced many competitors over time. The secret here is not only the strong, sophisticated cocktails they expertly mix, but also the atmosphere. Of course, the candlelit basement atmosphere can create that classic and stylish shabby atmosphere, and the lack of signs outside pointing to the bar adds a chosen and special atmosphere to the place, but the atmosphere is generally cheerful and relaxed. And although this is located right in the heart of East London’s hipster paradise, this area is strictly off-limits. As they say on their website, “cocktails are great, fools out”. So in short, this is a place you should definitely not miss, serving great cocktails.

Where: 8-9 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU
Tel: no
Nearest station: Hoxton

8. Bussey Building

Peckham is very active these days. From eateries to independent boutiques, this unassuming neighborhood competes closely with East London for popularity. There is no better example of Peckham’s magic than the Bussey Building. Located on a huge concrete block, this arts center/warehouse style nightclub is one of the haunts of South London nightlife. Although it offers an excellent selection of music from all genres, it is particularly strong in soul and funk, as well as reggae, dancehall and hip hop. You can also find the opportunity to dance on the terrace in summer in this place where the irregular space is used with crazy creativity. The venue also has a record store and a comic book store/cafe. Before I forget! Did we mention theater, movie and comedy nights?

Where: 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
Tel: +44 20 7732 5275
Nearest station: Peckham Rye

9. Notting Hill Arts Club

Notting Hill, a dilapidated place occupied in the 1960s by bohemians, hippies and rogue rock stars, is a completely different place today. As a matter of fact, it’s maybe a little too nice and serious place. Although Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, went a bit far in its over-loving fairy-tale interpretation, it managed to portray an elegant sense of fun that is associated here. You can have a great time at Notting Hill Arts Club by getting a chance to return to the region’s tougher roots. Home to new bands and amateurs and with a fiery basement that also doubles as a nightclub, this exciting arts center is a very creative and really welcoming place. You will dance until your feet hurt in this place where you can listen to everything from Latin influences to ‘grime’ (a musical movement that originated in East London). Get ready to live that bohemian spirit again.

Where: 21 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JQ
Tel: +44 20 7460 4459
Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate

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