You know, once you start doing some research, you soon discover the UK capital isn’t the enormously expensive city everyone reckons it is. If you’re coming to London for a short-break and looking to enjoy yourself on a budget then there’s many a thing in the next few weeks that, yes, are well worth giving a go and’ll barely cost you a penny (relatively speaking)…
Supreme cult cinema showings
(The Grand, 21-25 St. John’s Hill SW11 1TT)
To be fair, few visitors to London would probably consider going to the flicks for a night out (you can do that home, right?) and cinema prices in the Smoke aren’t the cheapest, but hold on… an evening spent with friends at this Clapham theatre when it transforms into a movie playhouse is something very different. First, it puts on fantastic, old-school cult favourites and, second, it’s cheap as chips – if you arrive early enough, it may only cost £1 for your whole a group. Yes, really!
Laugh yourself silly for eight quid
(170a Drury Lane WC2B 5PD/ Friday nights)
Going by the moniker ‘Top Secret Comedy Club’, this weekly offering of chortles has – in addition to the chortles – the added attraction of being a wee bit exclusive. Is it really a secret? Well, its unassuming venue’s hardly a household name even though it’s located slap-bang in the heart of the West End (so albeit perfect if you’re staying at one of the Shaftesbury Hotels Collection’s properties, like the Park Grand London Paddington hotel), but don’t be deceived; the bill’s regularly filled out by big-time TV comedians and Edinburgh Fringe on-the-makers – in other words, the funniest of the funniest.
Thank goodness it’s (Tiger Rag) Friday!
(The Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street E8 3DL/ Friday nights)
Jazz bands, twirling dances, drop-dead gorgeous dresses and an irresistible atmos; that’s what this Dalston venue offers every weekend thanks to its vibrant 1930s-themed shindig that invites punters to throw themselves into a dance class before hoofing it up something proper for hours on end.
Roll up for retro gaming – Hawaiian style!
(Kanaloa, 18 Hill House, Wine Office Court, Shoe Lane, Chancery Lane EC4A 3BQ/ Friday 5 May 2017)
If you’re the sort who can’t resist a spot of retro video-gaming, then this is verily the event for you. It’s an absolute must for those who fancy reacquainting themselves with classic Sonic, Golden Axe and Out Run and then quaffing cocktails a plenty in the on-site Tiki hut, as you party like it’s a pixelated 1999 late into the night.
Soak in the sounds of the blues in Shoreditch
(Blues Kitchen, 134-146 Curtain Road EC2A 3AR)
Although starting out as a quality American cuisine- and wonderful whisky cocktail-serving restaurant, this Shoreditch institution has also established an esteemed reputation for itself as a dynamic live music venue. Regularly offering punters acts of the revered likes of Soul Exchange and Ephemerals, it’s the place to head to in the capital if you’re after some truly fine blues sounds. Indeed, between now and the end of June, it has at least 16 live dates lined up!