London’s pubs may close surprisingly early by European standards, but the city is in no way devoid of nightlife. You just have to know where to find it. Clubs like Ministry of Sound and Fabric (recently rescued from closure) are famous the world over. Iconic venues Koko and Brixton Academy host more than a few late-curfew gigs. Peckish? Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake, Bishopsgate’s Polo Bar and Soho’s Bar Italia have illustrious histories serving late-night snacks far tastier than the ubiquitous fried chicken. You can even ride the Tube all night on Fridays and Saturdays, these days. So, to save you from nocturnal goose-chases, here are five reliably fun spots for staying up late.
The reigning champion of cheese, Club de Fromage has matured into the capital’s most unfashionably fun night out. Songs are shamelessly singalong-able, there are queue-jumping privileges for anyone who commits to fancy dress and all-round silliness abounds – for less than a tenner, too.
Printworks, as you might guess from its name, was once home to the presses that produced London’s free-sheets. Now it makes headlines as one of Europe’s coolest clubs, hosting an eye-catching array of DJ and live talent in its soundproofed industrial innards. The first-class sound and peerless production values are a draw for punters and artists alike.
This self-proclaimed ‘disco pub’ in Shoreditch injects some decadent dancefloor action into classic East End boozer surroundings. Some notable names have spun here over the years. Soul, funk, disco, boogie, house and hip hop are its mainstays – and there are suitably late last orders every weekend.
Worthy of royal status on the RnB scene, Supa Dupa Fly mixes up throwback beats and slow jams with the now-est hip hop sounds and general good vibes. You’ll find SDF nights popping up all over East London (and beyond) these days, but their third-Saturday-of-the-month basement party at the Ace Hotel gets good and sweaty.
London’s first gay super-club, Heaven has long flown the flag for LGBTQ largesse. While you can find more envelope-pushing clubs, its central location and fun-focused G-A-Y nights mean it will always be a fond favourite. Expect unabashed glamour, unbridled revelry and liberal use of rainbow confetti cannons.