London is suddenly teeming with night time bar clubs offering anything from burlesque to call home music as entertainment as the Licencing Act forces councils to allow bars to spread out later. How though may be the casual bar goer to select the wheat from the chaff? This is when Club Insider is available in providing unbiased reviews of what's hip and happening working in london
Soho and the West End continues to be place for celebrity driven bars. Although for that casual drinker to locate yourself rubbing shoulders with a celebrity you will need to get into the VIP area first. Of the celebrity bars Punk and Kabaret remain the daddies even though the real celebrity action is incorporated in the clubs like Bijou, Chinawhite's Soho House and Movida. On the drinks front Lab remains the cocktail daddy although comparative newcomers like Milk and Honey, CellarDoor and specialist regional bars like Floridita are nipping at its heels. Club Insider also likes every one of the Match Bars and the much derided hotel bars such as the Lanesborough and Met bar. Overall though Westminster's notoriously tight licensing rules have effectively position the block on new late licenses in Soho stifling the scene particularly with the chain bars continuing their onslaught gobbling up independent venues every time they can. Additionally lots of Soho's bar activity has migrated for the private members clubs like Soho House and Vanilla which makes it much tougher for the casual drinkers. Club Insider also only recommends Soho weekdays as at weekends its much too touristey since the bridge and tunnel brigade descend.
East London is when encounter is on the new bar front with Shoreditch and now Brick Lane since the place where well moneyed hipsters want to available to open new venues. Leaders with the pack must be Lounge Lover and the humongous (but 100% private) Shoreditch House but the like of Home, Last Events of Decadence and Hoxton Bar and Grill have the ability to their very own charm too. Actually along Brick Lane or Shoreditch Traditional achingly cool bars are actually a dime a dozen. All of these amusingly has established a back lash with lots of hipsters now declaring their passion for their tired old local within the flashy charms of the style bar(s) nearby. A honourable mention for Cargo and 93 Feet East too although both are really more music venues than bars. Anything missing? Well possibly some more live music venues for starters.
For North London read Camden with as numerous music pub clubs per square mile with there being style bars in Shoreditch and members clubs in Soho. In the achingly cool Proud for the rather run down but ever popular Monarch Camden may be the home of the indie bar (or rather pub) club...... and nothing else. Actually that's not quite true Camden and it is environs also house several excellent gastropubs (the Enterprise is the best) plus a number of style bars too that Fifty Five is our favourite.
West London unfortunately is affected with the deadly RBKC (that is the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) disease who inside their wisdom have effectively place the kibosh on new late night venue openings. Club Insider however likes the electrical Cinema (part private) Paradise in Kensal Green and Notting Hill Arts Club.
That leaves South London? A mix of laxer licensing laws and cheaper property prices has created a ripe environment for bar entrepreneurs attempting to try something more important. Cue Lost Society and Lost Angel with their glitzy 30s themed take on d�cor and cocktails not forgetting The Loft in Clapham. All of these venues happen to be picking up numerous bar awards from Break as well as other magazines much to the annoyance of these North of The River London rivals. Recently Peacock Bar in Clapham Junction continues to be making waves using its clever mix of burlesque and cabaret early with retro 80s and 90s Djs later. Having found pretty much every award there is certainly for burlesque and cabaret Club Insider hears they may be planning to so something big in the western world End very shortly. Watch this space.