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So you’ve never been to... The Queen Adelaide

Check out Cambridge Heath’s super-vibrant LGBT+ venue with its own maze-like basement

Written by
Owen Myers

In a nutshell...

It’s a former lapdancing bar helping to keep the LGBT+ flame burning bright in the East End.

Where is it?

Sandwiched between a handbag shop and a plant ‘conservatory’ on Hackney Road. Helpfully, it’s just a Toto’s whisker away from Savage, the riotous LGBT+ dance party at Metropolis.

What’s the vibe?

Kitsch, camp and cosy. The whole place is festooned with fairy lights and car-boot-sale treasures. There’s even an animatronic, carrot-chewing horse head that looms over you while you sip your spritzer.

What makes it a great venue?

While beloved venues The Nelson’s Head and Joiners’ Arms have gone shutters-down, The Queen Adelaide joins Haggerston’s The Glory in offering an authentic slice of LGBT+ life in the area. It’s run by the same folks who helmed local institution The George & Dragon.

Who hangs out there?

Expect to see local art students and members of the fash pack, plus bar staff who look like extras from Boy George biopic ‘Worried About the Boy’. Romantics love it here too: the dimly lit booths have led to a fair few cases of first-date pash-rash. The maze-like basement still has mirrored walls from the venue’s strip club years, so it’s perfect for a tipsy slutdrop. Recent weekend club nights have ranged from sweaty R&B dance parties to a fantastique celebration of French pop divas.

What’s the booze situation?

Your standard east London prices: £4.60 for a pint of Estrella, £4.40 for a medium house wine.

Finally, what happens to coats that are left in the cloakroom?

There’s no lost property box, exactly. It’s more like a lost property closet, stuffed with drag queens’ discarded wigs. Staff find so many dropped glitter earrings that there’s a spangly display of them behind the bar. 

483 Hackney Rd. Cambridge Heath Overground. Visit

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