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Thursday, June 20, 2024

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London Bars

Admiral Duncan 

Admiral Duncan will always be a triumph of brash fun over basic flirting. This Soho stalwart attracts a party-orientated crowd to its one-room bar in the middle of Old Compton Street. 

Known locally and internationally as an accepting, fun, and embracing venue, it has a myriad of entertainment options through the months, offering something for all, most nights of the week. 

Adam’s Bar

Dalston locals might be familiar with the cafe Snackbar and its Insta-friendly sandwiches, but, as of early September, a pop-up LGBTQ+ bar will be taking up residence in the venue during the hours of 5.30pm and 11pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The eponymous figure behind the venture is Adam Caddy, who has worked at iconic addresses across the capital, including Brasserie Zedel, Annabel’s and Quo Vadis. Motivated by the loss of queer venues in London over the past decade, he is hoping to create a relaxed place to catch up with friends or act as a starting point for a big night out on Kingsland Road. Booze is sourced from local suppliers, including Two Tribes Brewery and East London Liquor Company, while artwork from fashion designer Samson Dougall adorns the walls and is available for purchase. Although it’s only planned to be open until early December, we recommend wrapping up warm and taking a seat out in the garden decorated with festoon lights.

Address: 20 Dalston Lane, E8 3AZ
Website: www.adams-bar.co.uk

Bunker Bar 

If it’s dark corners and something a bit more raunchy Bunker Bar is the place for you. Hosting a number of events along the more racey theme it’s one of The capital’s premier cruise clubs. With Various zones and areas to play in. Plus a brand new recently refurbished bar area plus more! Check their website for all the most up-to-date event information.

Central Station

Central Station has stood strong in its corner, serving the gay community near Kings Cross station for many years.
Spread over three floors, it has something for everyone. In a much evolving area, surrounded now by redevelopment, it’s been able to cater to its new lunchtime audience, with a fantastic food and drinks menu and a busy terrace over summer, through to its LGBTQ+ programming, hosting everything from karaoke to fantastic drag shows.
Very much a traditional gay venue, with a downstairs play space with a separate entrance, suited for those looking for something a bit more niche.

Comptons of Soho 

“Our Bar, in the middle of our street” Right in the heart of Soho’s ‘Gay village’, Comptons has been an integral part of London’s gay scene since June 1986. Famous for its outside drinking with a view up and down Old Compton St.

Once inside you’ll find a busy downstairs bar, with regular Dj’s and a cruisy vibe, with the option of heading upstairs to their quieter, opulent lounge to have a relaxed drink and with friends. 

The Duke of Wellington 

Situated on the Gay Village border, right next to Theatre Land, this friendly local bar has a vibrant and friendly team, with tender toned decor over two floors, the Duke offers great ale and drinks offers and a great place to socialise with friends. 

A very busy spot for after-work drinks, with a fantastic covered and heated outdoor space to cruise and see the bustle of Soho, very popular with the Bear crowd with regular pub quizzes and events in the upstairs bar. 

The Friendly Society 

Open the door and walk downstairs, to a crazy and fabulous space. Quirky in every sense, this small little gem in the middle of Soho, hidden away but it’s one to find. 

With friendly and helpful staff and a range of great cocktails it’s a great place to grab a midweek drink and a natter, or come down on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday for a more underground disco vibe, with regular DJs and drinks offers. Make sure you check out the ceiling covered in dolls! 

G-A-Y Bar

Get your booty to this music video mecca, popular with a young, poptastic crowd, enjoying music videos streamed across all 3 floors, fantastic drinks offers with welcoming and friendly bar staff. 

Usually busy across the evening until its sister venues G-A-Y Late and Heaven open their doors. Get your discounted G-A-Y entry bands here! 

Halfway to Heaven 

Renowned for being a great, lively, and friendly venue for the LGBT community of London. Situated between Charing Cross Station and Trafalgar Square. 

Upstairs is a friendly pub, serving great cask ales and lagers, while downstairs is their center-stage bar, with live entertainment, cabaret, and karaoke seven nights a week. Resident to some legendary drag queens. Well worth a look. 

The Kings Arms

Probably the most famous “Bear Bar” in London. Bears flock from all over the world to Poland Street. Serving Ales, Beers and fantastic drinks offers seven days of the week. 

The Kings Arms hosts regular Karaoke with “Jivin Julie” on a Sunday and regular DJ slots on Fridays and Saturdays. With beary patrons often spilling out over the street outside in summer, if you like beards and hairy chests, this is the place! 

KU Bar 

One of London’s award-winning venues, a jewel in the crown of the Ku Group, sat on the edge of Chinatown, within easy reach of Charing Cross. You can always guarantee lots of hot guys, VERY hot bar staff with fantastic service and bubbles flowing most evenings. 

Serving Beers, Cocktails, and fantastic drinks offers in a glitzy, bougie venue that’s always busting most evenings and extra busy on a weekend. Go check it out! 

Retro Bar

Set just off the Strand, the Retro Bar is famous for its entertainment schedule, from Cabaret to Quizzes, its a bar with a fantastic vibe, it has that plush lounge feeling, always red and cosy with proper stools at the bar. 

Enjoy daily drinks offers, real ales, beers, and a selection of bar snacks. Popular with a wide range of after-work regulars, definitely a place where they will end up knowing your name. 

Rupert Street 

A self-proclaimed, premium gay bar in the heart of Soho, open seven days a week. famous for friendly service, great cocktails, and fabulous people-watching location. 

Don’t forget, there is also weekly DJs on rotation, offering everything from cosy bar vibes to pumping house. 

Get yourself along and enjoy great drinks deals every day, including legendary happy hour, noon–8pm. You can also hire the Snug area and be your own VIP!

She Soho

Part of the vibrant KU Group, A modern venue for women and their male guests in the heart of Soho, operating as both an LBTQ+ community hotspot and after-hours club!

SHE is the only women-priority venue in London, drawing a great variety of LBTQ+ individuals all year round.

SHE’s modern basement bar operates both as a community hotspot, and vibrant after-hours club, showcasing the hottest DJs on the scene, alongside regular drag king cabaret, burlesque, and social events.

With a prime location, in the heart of Soho’s Old Compton Street, She, attracts a wide range of women, of various ages and backgrounds and with the fabulous drinks offers, they keep em coming! 

The Yard 

Soho’s most unique gay venue. Nestled in an intimate courtyard tucked away off Rupert St. The Yard is a welcoming retreat for the hustle and bustle of busy London with a heated, beautiful garden courtyard bar and comfortable balconied loft bar. Perfect for spending long summer or cozy winter nights with friends or loved ones. Tables and VIP areas can be reserved, free, for special occasions and The Yard also boasts one of the most comprehensive cocktails menus in town! Make sure you check out the tasty barmen too!

Taco Queer

While many of London’s LGBTQ+ venues are bars or nightclubs, Taco Queer is a rare exception. As the name suggests, it’s a taqueria that specialises in Mexcian cuisine, although you can order a pretty mean frozen margarita here as well. Throughout the week, there are special offers, including bottomless tacos on Wednesdays and bottomless margaritas on Thursdays. Add to that a drag night every Friday during which local queens entertain diners and you’ve got a buzzy queer space in a corner of Lewisham that has been short of one for quite some time.

Address: 26 Loampit Hill, Lewisham, SE13 7SW
Website: www.tacoqueer.com
Tel: 020 8694 0899

Circa Soho

In its 8th year, Circa continues to be one of the places to be seen. Shouting about the hottest mixed crowd and best DJs, fulfilling both your aural and visual pleasure daily. Party bar where the volume goes up across the weekend, with fantastic drinks offers, up for it atmosphere and disco ball DJ booth! Go check it out! 

The Alma

A cult favourite in North London, The Alma is famous foremost for its eclectic collection of movie posters and paraphernalia that cover almost every available surface. However, it’s long been known as an especially welcoming place, so much so that it was named an Asset of Community Value by Islington Council in 2014 to ensure that it would remain safe from unsentimental property developers. Today, punters will find a menu full of classy pub grub, pizzas and roast dinners on a Sunday, as well as a schedule full of live folk music, DJ sets and a weekly quiz. During quieter hours, you’re just as welcome to play board games or work on your tan in the beer garden.

Address: 59 Newington Green Road, N1 4QU
Website: Thealmaislington.com
Tel: 020 7226 3531

City of Quebec 

If you’re looking for somewhere with a lot of Gay History, the Quebec has it in spades. Established in 1946, from the outside, it looks like a typical provincial pub, inside you’ll find two floors, upstairs serving beers, ales and drinks offers as well as a substantial food menu. Typically attracting an older crowd, mixed with a few younger guys. 

For a more lively vibe, head downstairs, where you’ll find regular cabaret and DJs on rotation playing the hits of the ’80s, 90’s and beyond. 

Freedom Bar 

Freedom is a stylish and sophisticated Bar and Club, located on Wardour Street, in the heart of Soho. 

Freedom is the destination of choice for many West end Performers and had a uniquely theatrical atmosphere, reflected in their extensive cocktail list and gorgeous luxurious decor. Home to the wonderful, fresh, fun, and funky people, Freedom is the beating heart of Soho. 

Fresh flowers, friendly professional staff, stunning visuals, Dj’s and dance poles come together to give a unique fun vibe. Hosting regular cabaret and alternative nights, from comedy to burlesque. Get on down! 

“Little” Ku Frith Street 

Ku Group’s naughty sibling venue. Just off the main stomp of Old Compton St, Frith St, in the heart of Soho, normally sporting some lovely flags on its outside, you won’t miss it. 

Standard Ku Glamour across both floors, with beers, wines and spirit offers plus some fabulous cocktails. One of the best places to catch up for a gossip over a G & T. Look out for the huge open windows across summer in the upstairs seating area. Lush!

The Lord Clyde London

 Anybody fond of some of London’s raunchier club nights may be familiar with Mitch Winn – he’s the man behind popular events such as Paunchy, Bold and Come to Daddy. In 2022, he decided to take the big step of opening his very own cruising venue and The Lord Clyde London is the end result. Spread over two floors, you’re greeted by a laid-back bar as soon as you walk through the front door, but the steamier action takes place down in the basement, complete with a darkroom, sling and play areas. Some of Winn’s own events will now be happening in the newly fitted out space and there are also new parties intended for students and the trans community, as well as those into spanking and corporal punishment.

Address: 9 Wotton Road, Deptford, SE8 5TQ
Website: meetup.com/thelordclydelondon

The Cock Tavern 

The current owners of The Cock Tavern were once in charge of the much-loved Nelson’s Head close to Columbia Road, but they made the jump across the Thames in 2017 and took over a 200-year-old tavern around the corner from Vauxhall. This isn’t your average Georgian boozer, though – the previous occupants ran a tiki bar and many of the tropical remnants have been kept in place. There’s no kitchen, so the focus is very much on the booze with a fab cocktail menu and choice of local beer. As such, it’s fair to say that there’s no such thing as a quiet night here and DJs take to the decks on Fridays and Saturdays to keep the dancefloor pumping until the early hours.

Address: 340 Kennington Road, SE11 4LD
Website: www.thecocktavernlondon.com

The Village 

The Village is Soho’s original gay venue and although it’s been around since 1991 it’s still as youthful and flamboyant as ever with a perfect combination of party and unique, laidback spaces to relax.

On the weekends, check out the gorgeous Go-Go boys on the bar along with their fabulous sassy resident DJs who will provide the soundtrack to your night. 

The Village really does offer something for everyone all under one roof.

Get yourself down there and experience the Soho of the past and the future!

The Honor Oak 

There’s thought to have been a pub on the current site of The Honor Oak for more than a century, but it’s safe to assume that the drag brunches and showtune singalongs are more recent innovations. This is the South London establishment at its campest, but there are also standup comedy nights, live jazz music and DJs at the weekends to tempt you down to Forest Hill for a visit. The menu of burgers, brunches and Sunday roasts is another reason, as is the large garden with a few heated booths ready and waiting for the winter months.

Address: 1 St Germans Road, Forest Hill, SE23 1RH
Website: honoroak.pub
Tel No: 020 8690 9222

Vault 139 

The Ultimate cruise bar. Head through the discreet front door, downstairs to a basement, guaranteed to get you in the mood. Offering something horny 7 days a week, from Cruise to Stripped, a naked event to underwear only. 

If your thing is fully-clothed, not clothed at all, or you want to sport and show off your newest jock or crisp new calvins or something even less, this is the place for you. 

All of that plus daily drinks offers, lockers to change and leave belongings in, and welcoming and friendly staff, if you’re around central London it’s one to not miss

G-A-Y Late 

The middle sister of G-A-Y’s London family of venues, let the party carry on with a late license and loads of video screen pop playing. Popular with both the Gay and Lesbian crowd, dancing and partying to pop tunes until the early hours. 

Typical G-A-Y high standards, with friendly and helpful staff, fantastic drinks offers plus entrance offers to G-A-Y at Heaven. Well worth a visit!

The Old Ship

Hetro-Friendly, Old school gay pub on the edge of Limehouse. Open 7 days a week with a warm and welcoming vibe. Real ales and drinks offers daily, plus regular entertainment most nights, with exceptional cabaret and DJs throughout the week. Perfect for an after-work midweek drink or party time at the weekend. 


As anybody who paid attention in their English classes will be able to tell you, Oberon was the King of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s also the name of a new bar in Elephant and Castle that shares much of the play’s whimsy and mischief. Take a peek at the cocktail menu and you’ll find a selection of Shakespeare-themed tipples that are practically begging to accompany a second date, while there’s also an eclectic list of events that happen throughout the week, from boozy painting sessions and live Latin bands to queer DJs laying down banger after banger at the weekend – a perfect evening sesh to get you in the mood before heading off to one of the nearby late-night haunts in South London.

Address: 16 Draper House, Elephant and Castle, SE1 6TH
Website: oberonbar.co.uk
Tel: 020 7403 8124

The White Swan 

One of the most famous bars of East London, The White Swan is a busy East end boozer and club, with spaces that cater for drinkers and dancers. From excellent cabaret shows throughout the week to independent clubs on a weekend, with something for everyone. 

Situated not far from the Troxy you may often see a Rup Pauls drag race star visiting after their shows. Enjoy drinks offers and friendly welcoming staff every day of the week.

The Glory 

The Glory is East London’s famous gay bar, drag hothouse, LGBTQ+ performance venue, nightclub, and curators of major events and festivals. Proudly owned by iconic London drag queens Jonny Woo and John Sizzle, plus legendary party-starter Colin Rothbart. 

Many of their staff are influential East London creatives, and their regulars are like family. Head to the Glory for drinks, buy a ticket to a show, go for a dance in our basement club at the weekend, and help them celebrate nearly 6 glorious years!

Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club 

Historic club hosting a huge range of live music, comedy, burlesque, and art performances. With daily entertainment from some of London’s Top drag family as well as regular DJs and other special events, it’s a fantastic place to enjoy drinks, cabaret, and all the dancing. 

Available to visit or to hire out for your own event too. A friendly and warm welcome guaranteed each visit, it’s a place you’ll always come back to. 

Dalston Superstore 

Dalston Superstore is one of East London’s premier pleasure palaces. Functioning in equal parts as a thriving queer club, cabaret spot, cafe, gallery, and community space. The venue proudly caters to London’s diverse LGBTQI+ community, famous for its club, drag shows, and legendary drag brunch, if you’re in East London it’s well worth a look. 

Vogue Fabrics 

An originator and incubator of queer arts and entertainment in Dalston, VFD has hosted, promoted, and nurtured emerging and superstar LGBTQI performers, acts and nights.

VFD supports queer cultural endeavors, Social revolution through partying, Sweaty disco dancing, The local and worldwide Queer community, A basement of dreams. An art space, A hub of queer London with the very best in music, performance, and mayhem.

The Backstreet 

The Backstreet is a world-famous bar for gay men who are into leather or rubber. Based in Mile End, London E3, the Backstreet has a long history going back to 1985. Home to the very best of rubber and leather nights and of course the very popular Brew Hunters Mastery. 

The Bridge 

The Bridge has become one of Clapham’s most popular gay venues, famous for its fantastic cocktails, regular pub quizzes, and any Clapham gay worth their salt will vouch for the sun trap that is their large picnic benched beer garden in Summer.

Now very well placed next to the new Fetch Shop and Arch Bar & Restaurant, now is the time to get your pastel vest n flip flops on and get down to The Bridge

The George & Dragon

The George & Dragon is a late-night bar in the traditional British pub style, offering a variety of the best drag cabaret at weekends and on special occasions. During the week, they’re open until 2 am for a late-night tipple and a game of pool, and whatever night you choose to visit, you can be sure of a friendly welcome. Watch our for amazing performances by the Queen of the George, none other than “The Duchess”

The Two Brewers 

Proudly serving the gay community of Clapham for over 30 years. One of South London’s most famous cabaret venues, with cabaret on offer 7 days a week, karaoke and pub quizzes throughout the week, and separate VIP areas for party bookings. 

Friday and Saturday nights, their very own nightclub is open, so whether it’s a weeknight after work drink or a party weekend, the Brewers has it all. With very warm and friendly bar staff and fabulous drinks offers daily. Mines a Mojito! 

The Cock Tavern 

A free-spirited Free House, with a well-curated selection of beers, wines, and cocktails, that are as refreshing after work as they are at 2 am!. First established as the Cock Tavern, the Georgian era pub was transformed into a tiki bar in 2003 and known as the London South Pacific bar until it was taken over in 2018. Respectful of the Cock’s colourful past, its been brought back to the original name and reworked the Tiki interior with a nod to the Georgian legacy to create their very own Georgian Tiki style. Fantastic south of the river drinks offers and cocktails daily. Very popular gay spot in the heart of Kennington. 

Eagle London

An iconic landmark on London’s club scene, Eagle London stands proudly as London’s most eclectic and inclusive venue that the city has to offer.

Whether it’s dancing, drinking with your mates, shooting pool or watching a show in the new Eagle Theatre Garden, or listening to live artists, Eagle has something for everyone. Home to the Sunday night internationally renowned Horse Meat Disco and a host of Saturday night parties (Debbie, Athena & SOS), Eagle aims to cater for every taste and to give their visitors a good time, right in the heart of Vauxhall.

Since 2003, Eagle London has stood out as a destination of choice for London’s nighttime crusaders, Vauxhall locals and for visitors to the city. They welcome all to join them and have a fantastic time with the best live entertainers, DJs and performers that the capital has to offer.

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern

ICONIC… !! We don’t really need to say anything else. We do really, I’m not sure any other venue has as much history as this corner of Vauxhall. 

Former victorian music hall turned gay mecca, host to cabaret mosts nights of the week and clubs on a weekend, from Sunday social to Beefmince, Bar Wotever to live performances from stars like Sonia, Liberty X, The Dame Edna Experience. 

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern has been known as an LGBTQ+ cabaret venue since the 1980s and since October 2005 has operated exclusively as a performance venue providing cabaret shows, live music, panto, dance performances stand-up comedy, musicals, club nights, and more from every area of the LGBTQ+ community as licensed premises. In short, many people have the best memories of the time they spend here. It’s a magical place and one we couldn’t recommend enough.

West Five 

What looks like a traditional pub and car park from the outside, actually hosts a 450 capacity specialist live performance venue. Regularly hosting stars from Ru-Pauls drag race as well as special events throughout the week. Dj’s on rotation plus live special guests, West 5 boasts a list of A-list drag performers to be jealous of, with friendly and smiley staff with drinks offers daily. Always popular with the student and young queer scene of West London. Go check it out!

William Morris Bar

Named after the Walthamstow local famous for his involvement in the Arts and Crafts movement, The William Morris Bar is a neighbourhood gay pub for the residents of E17, but the vast and varied range of events happening throughout the week means that it’s well worth anybody making the journey to the end of the Victoria Line. This ranges from karaoke and bingo to live music and life drawing.

Address: 807-811 Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 4JD
Email: pixiepresents@yahoo.co.uk
Tel: 020 8527 1712

Teds Place 

A small and perfectly formed, long-established Fulham hot spot. Hosting everything from T-girl events to more cruisey men-only events. 

Always offering fantastic drinks offers as well as plenty of dark corners to get up to mischief in, popular with a wide range of guys always up for a horny time. 

If you’re feeling frisky, it’s well worth a pop down to W14

Zodiac Bar 

One of the newest kids on the block. Zodiac bar has quickly established itself as the go-to venue in its Camden borough. With a full weekly program of everything from karaoke to pub quiz nights, with the recent addition of CLUB Z, a cool new basement club, you can dance into the early hours every weekend.

The team behind Zodiac Bar have a fantastic ethos.

ZODIAC Bar is an independently owned, LGBTQ+ Bar & Events Company. ZODIAC’s mission is to create a welcoming, safe and inclusive venues & events for the LGBTQ+ community; create jobs and opportunities for staff & performers, and raise awareness of LGTBQ+ issues.

If you haven’t been for a visit its about time you did! 


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