Clubs in Soho
Located on Greek Street, Club 49 proves a popular choice with the Soho crowd. Upstairs is a main bar with a VIP area, while downstairs hosts the dance floor with its regular live music and DJ nights. It's mostly about the entertainment here, with cocktail orders keeping the party crowd well-oiled - think classics like mojitos, moscow mules, mai tais and manhattans and you won't go far wrong. There's a varied selection of martinis on offer too, as well as beers by the bottle and a short wine list visiting the old world and new. Those looking to soak up the booze with some food can tuck into bar bites with a Lebanese bent. If you're booking a party then you can pre-order canapés and platters for the group.
For those who enjoy crooning into a hairbrush, but are too shy to take to the stage, Lucky Voice might be the solution. Nine private ‘pods’ allow groups of four to 12 people to belt out a classic without any fear of embarrassment. Pizza and nibbles are basic, but the drinks menu is more extravagant; choose a snifter off the list to chase away any lingering inhibitions. With almost a million songs on the play-list, there will certainly be a tune you know – so no excuses.
Simon Hammerstein hit the scandalous jackpot with his New York club when it opened in 2007, combining flagrantly outrageous shows with high-rolling clientele and tales of behind-the-scenes controversy. Early in 2011, he opened the London branch on the site of the old Raymond Revue Bar to tabloid squawking. So what can you expect? For a start, you won't get in unless you have very deep pockets (table reservations are several thousand pounds) and/or know someone. If you do make it in, you'll see they've remodelled the place a treat, in a decadent-chocolate-box kind of way that seems to be to the taste of the mostly young, bouji clientele. The show is of a high technical standard, with mostly exclusive acts compered by mischievous MC Raven O. Some, especially the skills-based turns, are very strong; others tend to the titillating or have more production values than originality. The stand-out is the extraordinary Rose Wood, a transgendered performer whose pieces – generally heavy on nudity, violence and bodily fluids – aroused spluttering tabloid outrage but in fact bespeak a sophisticated, funny and deeply humane engagement with the context of the Box and the world beyond. Doors open at 10pm, shows start around 1am. Apply for tickets via the website.
There's not a lot you can't play at this Leicester Square gaming complex. You can roll the dice on everything from three card poker, American roulette, blackjack and punto banco to electric gaming, slots and pai gow tiles – a Chinese gambling game played with a set of 32 dominoes. There are restaurants and bars on site too, as well as the Dragon Lounge – a special room for the VIPs to go for the big bucks. Special events and offers feature regularly, too.
Venue says Laurent-Perrier has taken over our Icon Balcony Bar with a summer Champagne garden. Book now for the perfect way to enjoy the British summer
What’s on? Club nights in Soho
'Briefs' comes to Christmas Leicester Square in November 2018. This review is from 2017. Shivannah – the host-cum-ringmaster of racy cabaret-circus show ‘Briefs’ – is so engaging that even his pre-show request for us to turn our phones off is entertaining. And that sort of says it all, because from that moment of usually-nondescript-theatre-admin the ‘Briefs’ boys will have every speck of your attention. In fact, even before the troupe emerge in their pastel morning suits – no shirts, obvs – the tent is in full-on celebration mode, with a party playlist blaring as the audience takes their seats. It’s a welcome return to the South Bank for the Brisbane boys, who’ve sold out their London shows for the past three seasons. With a raid-worthy wardrobe – there’s feathers, lamé and huge beaded necklaces for everyone – this time their exhausting-sounding combo of comedy, drag, burlesque, contemporary dance and circus has a sci-fi spin. They’ve come to visit our grim present from the oh-so-glittery future to show us that things get better (thankfully without the use of a ‘D:Ream’ number) and how to get there (nice manners will help, apparently). There are far-ranging references, going from ‘Armageddon’ to ‘Alice in Wonderland’, with a ‘bunny rabbit’ performing simple-seeming – but actually kind of mind-blowing – tricks with alarm clocks. Meanwhile, Mark ‘Captain Kidd’ Winmill has mouths agog as he flips and twists around in an awe-inspiring aerial display: his trapeze skills are