10 Best London Clubs Where You Can Dance the Night Away
By Emyr Thomas
London Local Expert
I feel like dancing might have been a disco anthem a few years ago, and Dance music is light years away from that now, but if you feel like moving, London has some great clubs on offer, constantly changing, constantly evolving. With a wealth of top DJs to tempt your ear drums and tease your feet into dancing, book in, dress up wait for the rhythm to build, and prepare for a total release of energy as the waves, the lights, the music, the crowd wash over you in a euphoric anthem of pure dance. Whether you want to party with the A-list at Boujis, enjoy some burlesque at Cafe de Paris or party like no other at GAY at Heaven near Charing Cross, London has something to tempt everyone.
Started in 1991, Ministry of Sound is still a mecca for serious clubbers today, or you may wish to visit The Box, one of the most talked about new clubs in recent years - with regular A-list stars visiting and a reputation for debauchery, this is one for the daring! If you prefer your clubs with a view, then visiting Kensington Roof Gardens, especially in the summer to enjoy the roof terrace.
Either way, 10Best will make sure you know the best places to dance in London.
This huge, enormously popular gay club attracts folks from all over the world. The main-floor dance space stretches endlessly and stays packed through the night with gyrating bodies. A level higher, go-go boys take to their pedestals, and a more relaxed mood prevails. Up again, a busy bar takes care of liquid needs and invites socializing. Plus, everywhere are niches where patrons can meet discreetly when they need a breather. Fabulous dance music is standard, acoustics are great, and the party seemingly never ends. Heaven is now the new venue for iconic gay club night GAY - what a club! (020-7930-2020)
Boujis has set the standard for luxury and style. The epitome of exclusivity, this Kensington club is super stylish and the only place to be for an evening of A-list glamour. Attracting the hottest crowds in London, it is a members' club however non-members can gain entry providing they are on the guest list. And the music? The club attracts a world-class selection of DJs, which keeps the faithful clientele returning week after week. Boujis operate a very strict door policy so to avoid disappointment, dress your best and you may be lucky enough to bump into one of the Royal Family! (020 7584 2000)
Libertine is the new venture from the founders of the renowned Chinawhite club. Sleek, suave and stylish, Libertine caters to a fashionable crowd in the heart of Fitzrovia. The club attracts the cream of the London and International DJ scene playing music that will keep you moving until the early hours. If you prefer to lounge, then head for the speakeasy-style cocktail bar, Reason & Mankind, for a cocktail served up using the latest molecular mixology or reserve a spot in the truly exclusive VIP area. Dress up, smart and trendy for a highly memorable and original clubbing experience. (020 7291 1480)
7 The Box
Daring, decadent, and debauched; welcome to the Box! Whispers about the legendary Box have been passed across the Atlantic since the original club opened in New York in 2007. Now a sister club has opened in London in Soho and it has already garnered a following among Hollywood stars and Royals alike. Dark, mysterious and excessive, the point of this cabaret club is to shock. Hedonistic and explicit, the cabaret is like no other show in town and is not a place for the faint-hearted. For an experience like no other however, the Box will not disappoint on London's club scene. (+44 20 7434 4374)
6 Kensington Roof Gardens
A night at the Kensington Roof Gardens is a must visit! London's very first rooftop bar and club and a glamorous space to party. Complete with four resident flamingoes, it mixes style and relaxed sophistication perfectly with unparalleled views over London. Classic tunes, pop hits, and party anthems ring out as party-goers throng to the spacious dance floor. Avoid the crowds and book a 'Pre-Club Party' between 7pm and 10pm on a Friday or Saturday night, then dance the night away until 3am. You could even arrive early and visit the restaurant for dinner to make a night of it. (020 7937 7994)
No expense has been spared at DSTRKT. For an evening of decadence and indulgence, this is the place to be. This multi-million pound venture is the result of a collaboration between the people behind the London clubs Mahiki and Whisky Mist. Need we say more? The elegant restaurant serves beautifully prepared food, accompanied by an assortment of fine wines and precious bottles � the choice is endless. And this is just the start. The high profile DJs who command the decks play pounding beats from the state of the art sound system that keep the chic and glamorous clientele on their feet to the early hours. If money is no object, then an evening at DSTRKT will not disappoint. The restaurant, bar and club is a stone's throw from Piccadilly Circus. (+44 20 7317 9120)
4 cirque le soir
Awarded 'Best Night at London Club' award for four consecutive years, the members-only club Cirque Le Soir has a reputation to live up to. It certainly does not disappoint! Cirque Le Soir is one of the most fun and exciting clubs in London. Hidden behind what appears to be an unremarkable black door lives a world of debauched pleasure where indulging in the sinful, the sexy and even the shocking is encouraged! The d�cor may be unexceptional but the same cannot be said for the cabaret performances. The club guarantees non-stop, jaw-dropping entertainment from exotic and erotic dancers, fire eaters, aerial, burlesque and circus acts. It's a place where anything goes and highly recommended for a more unusual night out. (+44 20 7287 8001)
This Shoreditch venue makes it on to our list thanks to the discerning way it selects its DJs, bands and producers. Ignoring genre, their booking selection focuses solely on quality making it a venue that is a cut above others in the area. The decor is simple but stylish and the club's split level layout allows you to roll with either a dark, laser-aided, bass-thumping dance floor or opt for a more chilled evening in the bar-centric area. XOYO offers a great night out in Shoreditch and you can return time and time again to try out different styles of music. (020 7354 9993)
2 Café de Paris
Heritage abounds in this upscale London dance club / night club. Opened in 1924, with its parisian cafe chairs and crystal chandeliers, this place says flappers, twenties glamour and pure unadulterated enjoyment. It's as though it is a secret members only club in the height of prohibition, where once through the doors, a glittering smokey world opens up before you, glasses chink and everyone is enjoying themselves. After the war, it reopened as a theatre club and still does caberet, and burlesque nights, as well as providing the location for some great films. This is not so much booming dance electronica as showgirls, feather boas and corsets, but if you come here, you'll have fun all the same. Strict age limit of 21. TUBE: Piccadilly Circus (20-7734-7700)
1 Ministry of Sound
You can't get more dancey than the Ministry of Sound. Opened in 1991 to emulate the American 'Paradise Garage' club, The Ministry has been spinning New York, Chicago and detroit house tunes since then. Like many of the other mega clubs in London and beyond, it's involved into a lifetyle, and has sister clubs around the world, particulary in Berlin and Sydney. The Ministry fields the best DJ's and pounding beats for your listening pleasure all night long. After more than 20 years in the business, some of its first generation are now moving on but it's still a destination club for anyone visiting London, especially if you're a devotee of House Music. TUBE: Elephant and Castle (20-7378-6528, 87-0060-0010)
About Emyr Thomas
Emyr founded London-based luxury travel and concierge service Bon Vivant in 2009 and it’s his business to know London inside out: the city’s best hotels, restaurants, bars, sights and activities are all second nature to him.
Emyr arranges vacations and trips to London, recommends and books restaurants and bars, sources tickets for the theatre, concerts and VIP events, and advises his clients on a range of lifestyle services.
His day job involves living and breathing every aspect of his favorite city, and he can now pass on his wealth of knowledge to you. Follow him on Twitter at @BonVivantLiving
Read more about Emyr Thomas here.