It might go without saying, but London one of the best places in the world to see in the New Year. The firework display on the Thames is thrilling and the atmosphere in the city is electric. With this in mind, we’ve put together some of the best places to dance, drink and be entertained until the early hours in London, from cool jazz clubs to undercover Mexican restaurants.
For all-night entertainment, head to Corsica Studios located in two railway arches behind the Elephant and Castle shopping centre. Hosting cutting-edge acts from the dance and house music scene, Corsica Studios aims to combine art, music and film to create an unforgettable club night. Their ethos is to support up-and-coming artists and the local community, helping to showcase new talent wherever they find it.
El Camion is a little slice of Mexico’s Baja peninsula in Soho which is just waiting to be sampled. The restaurant serves up authentic Mexican dishes, such as spicy chicken tacos, burritos and enchiladas, and the bright and colourful surroundings add a dash of sunshine to your evening. Expect lots of tequila on their cocktail menu but also look out for the traditional Mexican beer. At the end of the evening, dance off your meal to some upbeat retro funk at the Pink Chihuahua at El Camion.
Soho is famous for a particular type of establishment and La Bodega Negra isn’t it: but from the outside, you could be fooled into thinking it could be. This cheeky Mexican restaurant in disguise has been the haunt of many an A-lister, from Paloma Faith to Keira Knightly, and is oozing with character. The candle-lit interior, tempting menu and tantalising cocktails will keep you coming back again and again.
Karaoke is a bit like Marmite; you either love it or hate it. If you’re in the ‘love it’ camp, then warm up the vocal cords and enjoy a night out at Lucky Voice. Gone are the days of passing a slip of paper to a DJ and waiting your turn; at Lucky Voice you can choose your songs and order your drinks from your own karaoke booth at the touch of a button. With over 8,000 songs to choose from and the latest hits uploaded every month, this is karaoke done the modern way but proves that singing with friends is just as joyful as ever.
Since 1953, Polo Bar has been serving up tasty comfort food to hungry Londoners around the clock. Their 24-hour alcohol licence means that, whatever the time of day, their doors are always open. The menu has everything from a full English breakfast to classics such as fish and chips. So whether you’ve just seen a show at the theatre, been dancing all night, or simply want to drop in for lunch, why not give Polo Bar a try?
Billed as one of the world’s most popular jazz clubs, Ronnie Scott’s has been presenting the biggest names in an intimate setting and retains that cool, 1950s vibe to this day. Jazz legends, such as Miles Davis and Count Basie, have played at the club and today, it continues to host up-and-coming jazz talent. The club has a tempting menu so you can enjoy dinner before sitting back, relaxing and soaking up the speakeasy atmosphere of this historic club.
Specialising in carefully-crafted cocktails, Ruby’s is a gem of a bar, hidden away below an old cinema sign. The little details are important at Ruby’s, from the vintage beer mats to the unique glassware, and these details elevate Ruby’s from a run-of-the-mill cocktail bar to something very special indeed. Try one of Ruby’s classic cocktails, such as the Blackberry Mojito or maybe go for a seasonal offering, such as the Picnic Basket, for a taste of summer.
If you love live music, then Scala is the place for you. A wide range of artists have graced the venue over the years including Nine Inch Nails, Rita Ora, Lana Del Ray and Foo Fighters. The club nights often continue into the early hours so there’s plenty of time to get your groove on. Originally built in as a cinema in 1920, Scala has undergone a complete makeover in recent years and its impressive four floors make it a must-see nightspot.
What was once a boarded up Chinese restaurant is now an award-winning cocktail bar with a twist. Their menu of deliciously quirky cocktails with pun-tastic names, such as ‘The Fennel Countdown’, was named as the “Best Cocktail Menu in the World” at the Tales of the Cocktail awards. Callooh Callay was also voted no.1 bar in the UK by The Independent. From its extensive range of drinks to its unconventionally elegant interior, there’s so much to love about this intriguing cocktail bar.
Situated beneath the Aldwych Theatre, this intimate basement bar has live acts performing every evening including burlesque, cabaret and magic. Sample the expertly-made cocktails while texting the jukebox (yes, you can play your requests via text!) in anticipation of the next live act. Its retro feel and lively atmosphere make for a great night out. The bar also boasts some of the most unusual toilets in London. We don’t want to spoil the surprise so why not get your glad rags on and check it out for yourself?
This spacious Victorian pub in the heart of King’s Cross creates the perfect atmosphere for relaxing and catching up with friends. The laid-back feel, thought-provoking art installations and music festival vibes can’t fail to have you feeling, well…chilled! So kick back with a coffee or unwind with a beer and take time out from the hustle and bustle of London life.
Be transported back in time to a 1920’s speakeasy where the gin is cold but the piano’s hot. In fact, there are plenty of gin-based cocktails to enjoy from the prohibition era Marmalade No.2 to the post-war London Mule. You’ll find that the live music fits right in with the setting as jazz, swing and New Orleans blues are thrown into the mix. This is one seriously cool and glamorous cocktail bar.
Get your dancing shoes on and head to the Silver Bullet. This independent music venue’s philosophy is to showcase some amazing talent from the best underground music genres. Since they opened in 2010, the likes of Funkdoobiest, Maccabees and Blak Twang have got the crowd off their seats and dancing the night away. This intimate, lounge-style venue has a wide selection of drinks and you can grab a bite to eat there too if you need to refuel in-between hitting the dance floor.
Looking for a late night snack? Gone are the days of scouring the city to find somewhere half-decent (and still open) at 3am and spending the next morning regretting the night before’s greasy kebab. VQ is open 24/7 and serves classic dishes, tempting drinks and has free Wi-Fi. It’s the perfect place to drop into, any time of the day. There’s a stylish VQ café in Bloomsbury and Chelsea so you can visit either venue to get an all-day-breakfast that really is all day!
With state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, modern design and regular club nights, it’s easy to see how Egg London bagged the ‘Coolest Multi-Purpose Venue’ award at the Cool Venue Awards 2015. The outdoor area with four terraces is the perfect place to watch the sun go down with a freshly made cocktail in hand.
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