London's best nights out ever!

  • From dodgems to dancing and boxing to bat-watching – London offers a smorgasbord of nocturnal delights. Time Out suggests some inspiring ways to enjoy a night on the town. Now, get out!

    Watch a film lying down

    For £30 you can hire one of the ‘sofas’ – actually a big leather-covered bed with room for two people – at the back of the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road. Buy a bottle of wine at the bar first, and then settle down for the film; the only problem you’ll have is getting up at the end. Afterwards, you can eat in the Brasserie next door (book ahead for both).
    Electric Cinema, 191 Portobello Rd, W11 (020 7908 9696/

    Drink in some culture

    The National Gallery is open until 9pm on Wednesday nights and has a great bar overlooking Trafalgar Square. Go along and enjoy the latest exhibition then get tipsy discussing it.
    The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2 (020 7747 2885/

    Party like it’s 1949

    London’s vintage retro parties are where it’s at right now. Head to the West End on a Tuesday for the Rakehell’s Revels (we’ve sworn never to print the secret location, but the internet is full of info on it) where the boys wear smoking jackets and vintage tuxedos and the girls wear lashings of red lipstick, pearls with everything, and know how to sip cocktails. It’s all about dancing (properly) to early jazz and blues, and getting wild later on.

    Dive then dine

    The heated outdoor pool at the Oasis stays open until 10pm on weekdays, so it’s perfect for an invigorating evening swim. In the winter, steam rises above the bath-temperature water, and you’ll forget you’re in central London. Afterwards, nip to Canela for some tasty, cheap Portuguese food.
    Oasis Sports Centre, 32 Endell St, WC2 (020 7831 1804). Canela, 33 Earlham St, WC2 (020 7240 6926).

    It’s great when you skate

    The unashamedly kitsch pastime of rollerdisco really took off in 2005, and you can now strap wheels to your feet every Thursday and Friday at Canvas. There are plenty of (pretty hunky) skate marshals on hand to pick you up after your inevitable early tumbles, or show you a few ‘Xanadu’-inspired moves once you’re past whizzing around and around. Three rooms play funk and disco, hip hop and classic house disco bangers; and thankfully there are plenty of comfy sofas if you need a breather. Canvas, Bagley’s Studios, King’s Cross Freight Depot, York Way, N1 (020 630 6625/ Tickets £10 Thur, £12.50 Fri including skate hire.

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