Recently, fellow CUB editor (and flatmate) Josie posed me a question. She asked if I had any recommendations of places that she could take her visiting friend. Of course, I could have suggested the Tate, the Rainforest Café, or even Madame Tussauds, but we all know how much of a tourist trap they are. With the whole city of London on your doorstep, why would you want to restrict yourself to the same places? Why not venture out a little further a field?
So, listed below are four slightly different places that you may not have been to, and that you might want to take your pals when they come to visit. Or why not visit them with friends already living in London, as opposed to sticking to the norm?
For example, you could begin your day by visiting Viktor Wynd’s Cabinet of Wonders, a museum full of curiosities located in Dalston. It is home to a whole host of: Occult paintings, fairies, medical instruments and much much more- do not be deceived by the exterior of this little building, for it handily houses a cocktail bar too! (11 Mare Street, London E8 4RP)
Next, if you are desiring intellectual stimulation, then head to the Intelligence Squared website to see what debates and talks they have coming up. The events are held all across London, and cover a wide range of topics. Upcoming events include: “Queen Elizabeth I vs Queen Victoria”, and a talk provocatively titled: “Terrorists Should be Starved of the Oxygen of Publicity”. Talks are generally £15 for students and can be booked via their website.
If the thought of listening to people talk at you is not appealing, no matter what the topic, then how about trying something crafty instead? Drink Shop Do is a ‘café by day, bar by night’ and hosts a wide range of cool events. Located in Kings Cross, the venue holds sessions ranging from belly dancing to board games, to weaving, mug decorating, and yoga- have you ever known of such variety? In a light, open space, with cute brunch and hot drinks on offer, it is the perfect place to get your arts and crafts on. You can access their full range of events and workshops via their website. (9 Caledonian Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9DX)
In the evening, Drink Shop Do becomes a bar, hosting groovy nights full of glitter and cocktails. Some- but not all- nights boast of a theme, and entry is free before 10pm, or it is £3 entry after this time. These prices, I am sure you can agree, are not too bad for London! It is a great place to go if you do not fancy a big night out and would prefer a cool, low-key place to hang out with your mates.
Finally, for something that bit more raucous, head down to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a place which prides itself as being a purveyor of progressive working-class entertainment. The Tavern is well-known for its Saturday nights called ‘Duckie’- full of DJs, dancing, and the main cabaret show. Expect drag queens, drag kings, queer performance art, and experimental theatre. You will love it. I mean, what is not to love? They also provide bingo every Monday night, hosted by Timberlina, if you want to skip Monday’s Calling at Drapers Bar, for something that bit more outlandish… (372 Kennington Ln, Lambeth, London SE11 5HY)