How To: Go out in London

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Now I may not have learnt the cockney slang, picked up a posh accent or know how to battle my way through rush hour on the Piccadilly line, but going out in London I’m getting quite good at.

Especially since only four months ago I was a country bumpkin finding the tall buildings scary.

If you’re used to other places or have never been out in the capital before, there are rules, things you need to know about and other best bits.

Transport

Tubes stop at a certain time of the night.
Usually around midnight and yet people do seem to forget this.

This means you have to get the night bus home.
This is a scary, often double decked thing that goes to places you haven’t even heard of and takes longer than it would to fly to Spain to get you home.

The advantage of this is that you can fall asleep, that is if you don’t mind missing your stop, conking your head on the metal seat in front of you or drooling on someone’s shoulder.

The other advantage is that person who you chose to take home who looks like, a cross between Susan Boyle and an elf that’s been run over, then you’ll probably sober up enough to get rid of them once you’re off the bus.

Heaven Bar

This is a mysterious place near Soho that you never remember going to and takes all your money, replacing it with Jaegerbombs.

This is the late night club you go to when you know that you should be heading home and sleeping before work, but instead you decide to put more caffeine and alcohol in your body and grind on inappropriate people because someone has just shouted YOLO in your ear.

If you wake up with glitter in your ear, S club Seven’s Reach stuck in your brain and your head in a bag or candyfloss, chances are you went to Heaven.

Drinks

In London, drinking is like lingerie shopping.

You have to flash a really special smile in order for someone to buy you some and the smaller they are the more expensive they’ll be.

A big fancy cocktail that looks like someone’s whipped up a drinkable dragqueen will come under the two for one special deal things, where as a tiny shot of tequila will cost you more than a weekly supply of cat food.

Sometimes though if you catch the right place on the right night at the right time you can get very cheap drinks and wake up in a skip somewhere.
Only if you’re lucky.

GAY late has £1.70 drink offers on selected drinks on a Thursday night which is why every Friday, if you need me, I’ll be puking up a wine-vodka covered blue wicked delight in the stationary cupboard.

Dress code

Some places have dress code.
This is serious.

You can’t go out dressed as a bumble bee with a yellow tutu and covered in honey and expect to get in everywhere.

And sometimes they won’t let you in with you converse and Toms on.
A catastrophe when it comes to the lesbians.

I would suggest getting to know some bouncers pretty well because they will often turn a blind eye to the footwear.

Or the ink covered jeans where you got a bit distracted with your hot boss in said stationary cupboard.

Receipts

I haven’t found this is any other place apart from London.

When you get your drinks you get a lovely little piece of paper to tell you how much you’ve just spent on slowly destroying your liver.

And the next morning you’ll wake up and do the whole smug nod thing where you think because you’re not hungover, you haven’t drank that much.

And then BAM you go into your bag to get your keys and 43 receipts tumble out.

Admittance

Set the scene.

You’re with your new love interest, you’ve had a few drinks, you’ve finally plucked up the courage to pucker up, you emerge from the kiss happy and giddy, and then you turn to see a hen party gawping at you.

It’s like some of them have never seen a lesbian couple before and good God they actually exist.

Some gay clubs in London will stop the twelve straight women dressed as fairies from going in after complaints that many laughed at gay couples, pulled faces at them kissing and always brought in a gaggle of straight men in their wake who did the same things.

Not having people who don’t know what a lesbian is can really make you feel more relaxed.

Pub Crawls

Now a pub crawl is a proper pub crawl in London.

You can start at noon and finish at midnight if you so wish.
You might be dead by the time it gets to the end but you would have done the whole twelve hours.

It’s disappointing when you’re somewhere else in the country, it gets to six am, you’ve got a feather bower on and you’ve just drank four bailey-vodka-banana shots, and you have to go home.

In London you don’t have to, you can just take that feather bower straight into work and attempt to work the printer drunk.

Before Eleven clubs

You can’t get to a good club after eleven or you have to wait a million years to get in and pay a billion pounds on the door.

Something like that anyway.

Effi Mai writes at FemmeFace, she wears stripy and spotty dresses a lot of the time, loves tequila, unicorns and dancing with glitter. When she’s not busy writing, she’s one half of event organising duo MissFit.

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