The city of London is a popular family holiday destination for people from all over the world, with its parks, museums, playgrounds and attractions such as the London Dungeons, but there is another side to the city which marks it out as a destination for grown-ups. There are few places in Europe that can boast nightlife to rival London’s, whether you’re looking for a club, cabaret, restaurant theatre, pub or something which manages to combine elements of them all into on unforgettable package.
For many people the perfect night out in London consists of a meal in a West End restaurant followed by a visit to the theatre to take in one of the many hit plays, musicals or comedy performances to be found there, or perhaps taking in the show first and then discussing it over some delicious food. Amongst the best restaurants within easy walking distance of theatre land are Le Garrick, Imli Street, Café des Amis and the Menier Chocolate Factory. The last of these is actually a theatre and restaurant combined, built inside a renovated chocolate factory. The menu is changed throughout the year to suit the show being performed and they offer a special Meal Deal which includes food and a ticket. Of the others, Le Garrick is situated close to Covent Tube station and serves fine French food in a convivial atmosphere, Imli Street, in Soho, offers an innovative Indian tapas menu, whilst Café des Amis is tucked away in Covent Garden and offers affordable French cuisine including delicious bar snacks.
Of course, a meal and a show is a traditional night out, and that’s exactly what many people are looking for, but one of the most intriguing things about a city the size of London is that it offers plenty of what might be termed ‘alternative’ nights out, in venues which have been designed to be more than a little bit unusual. Below you’ll find just a couple of these wild and wonderful places:
The Ice Bar London – 31-33 Heddon Street,Mayfair
The Ice Bar, unbelievably, is exactly what it sounds like, a bar where everything – the walls, the bar, the tables and the glass you’re drinking from, is made out of pure ice. The temperature is maintained at a constant -5 degrees and guests are supplied with their own hooded cape and gloves to keep out the chill. Sessions in the Ice Bar itself are limited to 40 minutes with the price including a specially themed cocktail, but you can then retire to the more conventionally heated Below Zero, the venue’s lounge bar and restaurant.
Evans and Peel Detective Agency – 310c Earls Court Road
The novelty of this venue hits home before you even enter, as you first have to locate the secret doorway on Earls Court Road. Once inside, a ‘detective’ will guide you into a recreation of a 1920’s Prohibition drinking den, complete with cocktails in tea cups and beer served in brown paper bags. A truly unique and ward winning experience which will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.