Wining and Dining in London, England
While there's plenty of sight-seeing, history-reading, cobbled street-walking and museum-strolling in London, more than likely you're going to want to take a time out. What better way than to enjoy a pulled pint in a dark, smoky pub somewhere? You'll feel as if you've stepped into a Dickensian novel. If traditional pubs aren't your style, you'll be glad to know London is home to other types of watering holes, including sophisticated gastro-pubs and the ubiquitous karaoke bar. Bottoms up!
Forget 2 am nights stuffing your face with a plate full of cheese fries. Imagine instead a sophisticated meal of domestic pigeon washed down with a frothy, organic ale. This is the gastro pub, a concept that combines craft brews with inspired, organic fare (Think food for foodies, or beer for beer snobs). Sure to change your idea of what an English pub is.
What is it about a karaoke machine and a microphone (not to mention, alcohol) that bring out everyone's inner rock star? The stiff-collared Brits are no different, and you'll find several karaoke bars around town. True to its Asian roots, British karaoke bars usually serve up some sort of Asian cuisine like sushi or dim sum. Munch on dumplings while watching your best friend do his best rendition of "Love Shack" - the best way to enjoy London.
Wine BarsWhether you're looking for romance from a London local, traveling on honeymoon, or searching for the scene where it's trendy to be seen, London's wine bars offer ambience and sophistication, not to mention a varied selection of European wines. A nice change from your usual California Chardonnay, wine bars specialize in varietals from all over the world. Take this chance to expand your palette and learn something new about the region.
Traditional PubsFound in literature, history and philosophy, the London pub has achieved mythical, almost archetypal, status.A pulled pint of a stout in a dark wooded joint over a plate of fish and chips or shepard's pie. - we all have an idea of what the quintessential London pub is. Experiencing the real deal while visiting the motherland is a must. Finding a pub in London is like finding a fast food joint in an American suburb; throw a rock and you're likely to hit one. (We don't suggest you do actually do that while traveling abroad - or ever). Instead keep an eye out for these recommended favorites:
DJ BarsLondon's dance scene made a splash in the 80's and is still going strong, with an underground scene in London that's alive and well. While the music may have evolved from the technotronic casio keyboard sounds of twenty years ago, the energy is still vibrant as ever, with talented DJs spinning consistently amazing shows. Experience the dance scene for the first time or feel young again on the dance floor of a hip London club. Whether you feel like shaking your booty or want to be where it's trendy you'll find the after-hours, 21-and-up crowd really is the cool place to be.
Late Night BarsYoung people and people young at heart will be interested to know venues in London now have the option of staying open until 5 am - which beats the curfew of major cities like New York and Miami. While not every establishment has taken advantage of the new laws , this doesn't mean you have to follow suit. Find out what places remain open and take them up on a late night, post club meal. It's got to beat a combo meal from the nearest drive through on your cabbie's drive home.
There are also very unique places such as CellarDoor, once Victorian era public toilet now London's cult cabaret bar. A travel addict talks little more about it in one of The Travel Tart posts.