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London pubs we love, Royal Vauxhall Tavern
Rob Greig

So you've never been to… Royal Vauxhall Tavern?

Freddie Mercury and Princess Di once frequented this historic London gay bar and venue

Written by
Nick Levine
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In a nutshell…
It’s south London’s oldest and most iconic LGBT venue. 

Where is it?
As the name suggests, a short walk from Vauxhall tube. You can’t miss this grand Victorian building occupying a prime spot on Kennington Lane. 

What’s the vibe?
Royal Vauxhall Tavern (The RVT to regulars) opened as a music hall in the 1860s and started hosting drag shows shortly after the Second World War. Nowadays it prides itself on offering first-rate entertainment to ‘confirmed bachelors and friends since long before Kylie was born’. Regular nights include Duckie’s glorious performance art, Push the Button for superior pop music and a chilled mix of cabaret and DJ sets at Sunday Social. 

Royal Vauxhall Tavern

What’s the booze situation? 
A great selection of wines, beers and ales chosen by the manager, plus our own Tavern ale,’ says the venue. Come to The Big Bingo Show on Mondays for the best drinks offers. 

And finally: what happens to all the coats left in the cloakroom?
According to the venue: ‘We keep the coats for a couple of months and then anything unclaimed is given to charity. Someone once checked in their grocery shopping and a 15kg suitcase, so we do our best to be accommodating.’

Previously: So you’ve never been to… Troxy?

What's on at Royal Vauxhall Tavern

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