London, United Kingdom
September 8, 2001
West London is the wealthiest part of London and full of Victorian and Regency streets. Some of its areas are legendary - Chelsea, Kensington, Holland Park, Shepherds Bush and Notting Hill. The embarassing neighbour is of course Earls Court. TIME OUT described it as "terminally unfashionable" probably due to its transient community of mainly hard-drinking opinionated Australian and South African backpackers. "On the move" populations generally have no stake or pride in their neighbourhood and Earls Court is rather seedy and sad in places. However, the gay community have made it their home and in Philbeach Gardens and Crescent are a couple of gay hotels, apartments and travel agents. And Freddie Mercurys old house on Warwick Drive is still there and a blue plaque commemorates this.
'The Champion', 1 Wellington Terrace, Bayswater Road, (12.00pm to 11.30pm)
'The Champion' is a traditional pub in an extraordinary location - opposite Kensington Palace gardens and the Russian Embassy in Notting Hill. It is the only gay pub in Notting Hill and so gets very busy with locals, and from the outside looks very Victorian with stained-glass windows, a pub-sign and wooden benches allowing people to take their drinks outside and sit in the sunshine. Inside is what could be called nuevo-Victorian with light woods, gentle music and friendly bar-staff. It is where the international community of West London mix with tourists and Notting 'Hill-billies'which creates a nice atmosphere. Good beer too with Greene King, Boddingtons and Newcastle Brown on tap.
'Bromptons', Warwick Road, (12.00pm to 2.30am)
'Bromptons' is one of the pleasures in life. Very unpretentios and friendly it welcomes everyone within its open doors. It is my local and when I don't fancy a trek into the West End I generally make for here. What makes its special is the sheer diversity of nationalities who come here representing West London in miniature. As a tourist you can chat to Italians, Greeks, Spainiards, Argentineans, Arabs, Poles, Indians, Americans, and South Americans- all here to enjoy themselves. The music is very commercial and it contains the usual stage for acts and upstairs bar. And on a Sunday it has a strip show amusing titled 'Privates on Parade'. If you are staying in Earls Court then you could do alot worse then come here for a night out.
From journal "Wilde about Oscar" - Gay and Lesbian London