Late Night / After Hours


Camden Town

Known as one of the north side's best nightspots, Jazz Café books both established performers and promising up-and-comers each week. Young professionals and more "experienced" aficionados make up the crowd, although seating can be a little snug when a big name is fronting – but what more can you ask? Food is served in the balcony overlooking the stage. Take note, however, that dining reservations are essential. TUBE: Camden Town

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Leicester Square
Café de Paris
Photo courtesy of Cafe 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

Local Expert tip: Check out their website for themed evenings relating to events happening in London and plenty of burlesque.

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King's Cross

La Scala is a nightclub, music and arts venue situated in an old cinema, hence the name, in London's King's Cross area. This area used to be very down at heel and not a little bit scary, but the area had a total revamp and is now busy, vibrant and on a saturday night attracts huge queues of people trying to get in to a brilliant club. Again, La Scala doesn't just do electronic dance music, as it hosts great live shows too, but spread over several floors and with that decadent faded glamour that the old cinema location lends, you're bound to have a great time, and will be dancing around until the early hours of the morning. TUBE: King's Cross

Local Expert tip: There are some great bars around here too, but make sure you either have tickets or get in the queue early to avoid being left outside as the music starts.

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With some sleuthing, you might deduce that this basement bar is one of Soho's best places to down cocktails and rub shoulders – especially if you want to escape touristy watering holes. After operating for years as a private club, Player is now open to all, until 11pm or so on Fridays and Saturdays, when it becomes private again. Agent 007 would fit well in these sleek digs and be pleased to discover so many deliciously potent cocktails. TUBE: Tottenham Court Road

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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

Local Expert tip: You can peruse their website before you even land in London to check out which night will suit you best, by tickets, listen to sample music and just enter into the Ministry's community to get the most out of your clubbing experience.

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With sharp angles and alcoves bathed in contrasting shades of green, pink, orange and violet light, this hotel bar certainly doesn't lack for modern flair. In each section of the bar, the ceiling opens wide to reveal humorous facial close-ups photographed by renowned artist Jean Baptiste Mondino. Indeed, the scene is chic, and the clientele does its best to dress the part. DJs are featured each Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Non-members and non-residents should call ahead to make a reservation. TUBE: Covent Garden

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Met Bar

Billed as one of London's most exclusive hotel bars, the Met certainly enjoys a primo address, located in a hotel that's a favorite of the rich and famous. In fact, you can expect to find everybody from millionaire jetsetters to A-List celebs enjoying drinks and basking in the distinctly chic scene that is the Met Bar. If a bite to eat is in order, award-winning Nobu serves fabulous contemporary Japanese cuisine. Unfortunately, members and hotel guests are the only folks allowed to enter The Met Bar. TUBE: Hyde Park Corner

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Cargo is most definitely a new Millennium club. It was founded in 2000 and has been going from strength to strength since then. It has bars, restaurants, roof terraces and a big club area. Built into existing railway arches it caters for everyone and hosts both live music and DJ nights. Finally, the performance area boasts one of the loudest sound systems in town and has been declared a top live-music venue by several local rags. Always packed, Cargo brings in a varied lineup of bands each week, from unsigned jam bands to established local rockers. TUBE: Old Street/Liverpool Street

Local Expert tip: Cargo has a bit of everything, if you want to eat, drink, and be merry. And a great outside terrace for the summer During big football tournaments they put up big screens so you can watch the games and party at the same time.

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This legendary Soho nightclub has been featuring some of jazz's greatest names for the better part of 50 years now. Indeed, Ronnie Scott's caters to lovers of the art, and its decor is that of a consummate jazz dive, from dim lighting and intimate, candle-lit tables to photographed mugs decorating the walls. Each night, music kicks off around 8pm, and bands continue to chill the cats in attendance till closing time. An à la carte menu is available. TUBE: Tottenham Court Road

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China White's is all about exclusivity. Beloved by celebrities and Premiership soccer players and their so called WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends) you can not only dance in China White's listen to some great live music, but also lounge around, if you have the money, on the plush sofas or hire your own private room. If you gain access to the VIP area then you'll be in a seventh heaven of celebrity spotting. Just make sure you don't betray yourself by being excited. People in here are VERY cool, and you need to be too. Dress upscale and smart but trendy to even have a chance of getting in. Apart from celebrities, this club attracts money or those who are fascinated by it. If that atmosphere is not for you then head east to King's Cross and the Scala for a grittier evening with less exclusivity quotient. TUBE: Oxford Circus

Local Expert tip: Dress up, be a celebrity, or very rich and you can't go wrong here.

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