A familiar story: London. Piccadilly. Almost midnight. Craving dancing and cocktails you are surprisingly welcomed by darkness and quietness. Turn to our Oxford Street nightlife guide – we know the places to have fun in the area.
Named after Sir Christopher Wren's assistant, architect Nicolas Hakwsmoor (legend has it, he was an alchemist and a warlock), the place is at the heart of Piccadilly. A fancy art deco entrance facing Regent Street leads inside a not so expensive restaurant (though, it is not a cheap place either). As you are in the West End theater district go to see a play after dinner – they have a special two-course offer for theater-goers (check the website). The food is English-style fish, meat and seafood shipped directly from the famous Devon Market, so top quality is guaranteed.
This two-floor pub paneled with oak is half-empty during the day, but turns into a fun spot by night. Go inside for the interiors – it is a British pub par excellence – squeaky floorboards, wooden tables and carpets soaked with lager and ale. Sounds nasty but is, indeed, authentic. Red Lion also boasts a real fireplace, which actually functions. Beer is quite cheap, keeping in mind the location.
Phoenix Pub is a hip and trendy venue that regularly hosts the 1960s mods parties and vinyl nights. It is frequented by famous DJs and musicians (some come incognito), like The Horrors. They offer a nice selection of beer, wine and cocktails – Bloody Mary is pride of the place.
Ronnie Scott’s is a jazz mecca that opened back in 1959 and quickly become the major jazz venue in town. Its stage saw Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, hosted the last concert by Jimi Hendrix and the first night of Tommy rock opera by The Who and Pete Townshend. The entrance is 5-8 pounds. Check their website – usually the club offers 2-3 concerts a night.
The place is kinda all-are-welcome, embracing everyone who found himself in the city center at night and wants some dance but wants it cheap. Climb a spooky stairs up to a tiny and packed space emanating fun. It is a usual London story – the 1960s hits and dancing "like nobody’s watching". Ideal option for wild dances.
Experimental Cocktail Bar is at the heart of Chinatown. Despite its location, the bar has nothing Oriental about it and rather looks like the famous London exclusive private clubs. A no-sign door opens when you ring the bell. Once inside, you'll see a typical bar though it is vertical – 3 floors up with tiny rooms and narrow corridors. Get a seat in one of them and try their extravagant cocktails.
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