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This piece will inspire you to keep going with Dry January

By
Kmccabe
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Events editor Katie McCabe explains why it’s good to change your perspective on going out

When I first moved to London, I thought big nights out happened ‘in town’, so most of them ended with me pissed in Soho bars that served Corky’s. It wasn’t until I stopped chasing the big blow-out that things got better. I found fun that didn’t end in a hangover.

I quickly realised that if you look hard enough, you’ll find something in London every single day that could have been tailor-made in a lab for you, and doesn’t involve shots at all. Want to watch a movie double-bill at midnight? Done – go to the Rio Cinema in Dalston. Need an interactive comedy night that’s dedicated entirely to Angela Lansbury? We’ve got that too, it’s called Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote. Want something that blends circus, drag, disco, queer cabaret and erotic acrobatics? Try Mariah & Friendz. LGBTQ+ Bollywood hip hop night? Got it, it’s called Hungama. Nights out where you can drink, but are so full of life, so enriched with their own sense of community, that you don’t need it to feel at home.

And it’s not just the niche stuff. The 2009 me saw the South Bank as a tourist trap, when really I was missing a place where you can see art exhibitions (Hayward Gallery) go to free literature nights (Southbank Centre), watch late-night Shakespeare (The Globe) and access one of the world’s largest film archives (BFI Southbank). Now those are ways to get a buzz that doesn’t involve apple-flavoured schnapps.

Want a pint glass in your hand? Here's where to drink when you're not drinking

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