This might sound a little biased, especially coming from someone who has never lived anywhere else, but I think the United Kingdom’s capital is the best place for a good night out. Whether you’re after something heavy or simply a fun night out with friends, look no further than my (very un-comprehensive) list of some of the best clubbing spots in London.
So, in no particular order here are some of my favourite establishments the capital has to offer.
Let’s start in Central; perhaps you’re coming straight from work or looking to extend your daytime activity into the night. Soho is the obvious go-to. With a myriad of options, a Soho night out seems effortless. Walk from bar to club to bar to club; if one place isn’t quite cutting your fancy there’s no worry as there is bound to be something else just metres away.
Soho is home to the weird, wonderful and often verging on the debaucherous. Some places that I’ve really enjoyed are Trisha’s and St. Moritz Club, old-school establishments full of London characters and home to intimate live music performances.
Nearer the West End is Salvador and Amanda, a tapas bar which holds live Flamenco performances and Reggaeton nights, full of good vibes and Spanish sass. Finally, can’t talk about Soho without mentioning the two of the most famous gay clubs in the world, Heaven and G-A-Y Late; expect gay anthems and incredible performances from world renowned music stars and drag queens.
East London is buzzing with nightlife so-much-so that they can’t be all listed here, but here goes my non- definitive list of party establishments east of the city. If you aren’t feeling ready to commit (we’ve all been there), head to Shoreditch High Street and try out the plethora of fun and quirky bars it has to offer. Nearby is:
• XOYO, a club with a slightly younger crowd especially during the weekdays, but playing all your favourite tunes from funk and soul, to electro, techno and house.
• If you’re after something a little heavier then head to fabric or E1, both venues do great nights and various events playing along the lines of bass, electronic, techno and hip-hop.
• Slightly farther afield is FOLD, recently opened in 2018 and home to the latest electro and techno
music as well as a 24-hour license so you can party until sunrise.
• Facing each other on The Oval in Bethnal Green are The Pickle Factory and Oval Space, versatile spaces which turn into some of the best night-time venues in London.
• Heading north into Camden, look out for KOKO and The Blue’s Kitchen on Camden high street, spaces which hold both live performances from famous artists, as well as live DJ events. Nearby is The Jazz Café, famous for their eclectic range of music, from Arabic funk or Turkish psych-disco to the staple Soul City event on Saturdays.
• Above a warehouse near King’s Cross, Egg is also a good option featuring house, techno and disco
where you can party well into the morning.
Now, as I live south of the Thames, some may argue that my opinion may be warped. But my favourite nights out are always in Brixton, and it is definitely not because of the short ride home.
• Close to Brixton station you have Electric Brixton and Phonox. The former is a large space hosting live DJs and events but if you like XOYO definitely give the newly opened Phonox a try, as they are both managed by the same team.
• Farther down the Brixton Road you will see Brixton Jamm, boasting a roster of music from all over the world as well as a courtyard which is great fun in summer.
• If you love an outdoor venue, also check out The Prince of Wales which has a two-tiered roof terrace as well as great events and pub quizzes. Brixton also has a Blue’s Kitchen where you can see some truly talented and lively performances.
• Hootenanny, a short walk from the station, is perhaps my favourite venue, with a large beer garden and varied live performances playing a different genre each night, from reggae to disco to house.
• Heading central from Brixton is Corsica Studios in Elephant and Castlein Elephant and Castle, a not-for-profit art space which sits beneath the rail arches and holds a great range of live DJs and events. Despite its small size I’d say its one of the best clubs in London.
And lastly, if you’re looking for a fun event with cheap(ish) drinks, or perhaps a fun event to bring a date to, check out Flight Club and Bongo’s Bingo. With multiple venues around London these are great nights out if you’re with a group of mates if you want to try something different.
Think darts and bingo, but with booze.
See more here about London in Dispatches’ archives.
Amelia Anderson is London born and raised and has never stopped exploring the city. Having moved to Oxford for her bachelor’s degree in History of Art, she has now moved back to study Gender Studies at University College London.