"Wilde about Oscar" - Gay and Lesbian London

London has a buzzing gay scene that goes on 24 hours a day! It now has 150 gay venues and an estimated population of half a million gay men and lesbians. So come join the party! You will soon learn that the queen doesn't just dwell in Buckingham Palace!


"Wilde about Oscar" - Gay and Lesbian London

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by actonsteve on August 31, 2001

Oscar Wilde, Ian McKellern, Edward the Confessor, Dirke Bogarde, Dusty Springfield, King James I, John Geilgud, Edward II, Virginia Woolf, Noel Coward, Gordon of Khartoum, Kenneth Williams, Somerset Maugham, Laurence of Arabia, William II, Boy George, Quentin Crisp, Piers Galveston, The Emporer Hadrian, George Michael, Christopher Marlowe, Richard the Lionheart and Elton John.

What have the above got in common? They are all gay Londoners....

${QuickSuggestions} London can now confidently claim to be the gay capital of Europe. It now beats Amsterdam and Berlin in gay population and number of venues and the annual gay and lesbian pride march now attracts over 200,000 people. It can confidently now be on a par with San Francisco and New York. There has always been a small gay scene in London going back to Tudor times. The 'Molly' houses around Holborn and Chancery Lane had a thriving scene. It has always been a city of tolerance and has taken in refugees and those looking for a different life for hundreds of years. As in most big cities people can live their own life without persecution and have a bloody good one at that. It now attracts from people from all over Europe and the world with as many venues as the paralell straight scene. We now have Reggae, Latin and Bhangra (Indian) clubs each with different clientele. So, come on, get yourself on that plane or ferry and come and enjoy the show .

${BestWay} The thing which separates the London scene then say Milan, Sydney or Los Angeles can be summed up in two words: The Music.

People go out in London specifically for the music and the club scene is second to none. The clubs are so big and famous that they attract people from all over Europe. Clubbers from Paris and Brussels used to come here for a night out and then catch the Eurostar home in the morning. There is no specific gay village in London although Earls Court, Islington, Vauxhall, Shoreditch and Hackney (for lesbians) have massive populations. The heart of the monster is Old Compton Street in Soho which is full of pubs, clubs, cafes and streetlife. A walk down here in the early hours gives you access to 24 hedonism and some of the best peoplewatching in the world....


Balans - alfresco food with style

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by actonsteve on September 1, 2001

Probably the most famous gay restaurant in London and one that doesn't cater for exclusively gay clientele. Balans now has three branches with the most famous down Old Compton Street, but also down the Brompton Road in Earls Court and Kensington High Street. One of the reasons for its fame is that it is almost open around the clock from 8.00am to 6.00am. So if you can't be bothered to hit the clubs after the pubs shut, come here, pull up a table and order a beer.

Of course like most Soho places it is very pretentious with waiters who look like models and the interior is decorated with marble statues and modernist art. It opens out onto Old Compton Street where you can get a pavement table and watch the world go by. The food is excellent and the place excels at salads, grills, pastas and roasts. I would recommend the char roast chicken with teriyaki sauce. The best pastas consist of black ink tortellini with basil, scallops and wild mushrooms. Delicious!

So the next time a visiting American friend makes remarks about English cooking. Bring them here and watch them eat their words as well as the delicious food.

Balans
239 Brompton Road
London, England, SW3
+44 20 7584 0070

North London: The William IV and the Black Cap

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by actonsteve on September 4, 2001

I still think the best pubs and clubs are off the tourist trail and outside the city centre. The two featured below are very enjoyable pubs with friendly atmospheres both in deepest north London. North London is much more trendy than other parts of the city and has a massive gay population. Get there before they are discovered.

The William IV, Hampstead High Street (normal pub hours, 12.00pm to 11.30pm)

The 'Willy' as it is affectionately known (I wonder why?) doesn't belong in north London but in a far off English county. Hampstead has a rural feel and this pub is so rustic looking that you expect farmers with muddy boots to step over the threshold. To reach it take the northern line to Hampstead and head south out of the tube station. The pub is 500ft away to your left.

It stands on fashionable, expensive Hampstead High Street with its designers shops and restaurants. Inside is just as rustic and cosy as you'd expect with pannelled walls, oak beams, velvet curtains and even a stuffed fox above one of the doors. But it is wonderfully friendly and if you strike up a conversation here you can have a good night and meet new friends. The ale is good with Theakstons, Ruddles and Speckled Hen on tap, and in the summer there is a beer garden out the back.

The William IV is worth the trek from central London if you fancy a bit of quaintness and Englishness. And Hampstead Heath is nearby to work of all the calories you received through drinking good ale.

'The Black Cap', Camden High Street, (12.00pm to 2.00am)

Camden is well and truly on the tourist map due to the famous market. But if Italian teenagers in flourescent back-packs get to you there is always 'the Black Cap' to retreat to. South of the market along the High Street (tube:Camden town)'The Black Cap' is a hidden treasure. It was an old coaching inn and was notorious for highwaymen in the 18th century (as you enter there is still a mural on the wall) and still contains the old 'long bar', it is now famous for its entertainment. And you are almost guaranteed a good night out.

It consists of a downstairs stage, dancefloor and bar where the main entertaiment occurs. This gets very busy at night and there is a mixture of gay men and lesbians who both seem to lap up the atmosphere. The acts are nearly always good and audience particpation is nearly mandatory. Upstairs is a traditional bar with wood panelling and a lovely garden out the back where you can relax with friends.

Well away from the tourist trail, you will actually meet Londoners at the 'Black Cap'. Get there now before it gets discovered, fashionable and ruined. Enjoy.

North London: The William IV and the Black Cap
Hampstead High Street and Camden High Street
London, England

Central London: The Old Compton Street experience

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by actonsteve on September 2, 2001

There are over 40 gay bars and pubs now in central London. Most are grouped around the energetic, bubbly Old Compton Street in Soho. Gay Londoners usually meet in Soho for a night out. I think some of the best venues are actually beyond the Circle line but as the city is so massive it is often easier to come into the centre to meet up for a drink.

It also is one of the few parts of London with 24 hour nightlife and I shall be telling of the best places to go. The cafes down Old Compton Street itself are open all hours and cater for the after-clubbers and some of the restaurants have very late licences allowing you to sit outside and watch the show.

To reach it the nearest tube stations are Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square. Walk north or south along this artery and turn west into Soho at the 'Molly Moggs' pub.

The Edge, Soho Square (closes 6.00am)

Approaching from the north you will hit the Jacobean Soho Square and its lawns. In the north-west corner, on four floors, is the stylish Edge bar. Barstaff are helpful and food is good, music is techno and on summer nights the crowds spill out onto Soho Square.

The Village, 81 Wardour Street (closes 1.00am)

This is the bar which started the ascendancy of Old Compton Street. And is still one of the best. Music is classic trash, beer is very good, especially the Boddingtons and Tetleys. And the decor very stylish. Downstairs is a very classy basement bar.

The Yard, 57 Rupert Street, (closes 12.00am)

Tucked away in a courtyard on Berwick Street market is an oasis in Soho. A cobbled courtyard decorated like a garden is open to the air and the bar has good beer and music. On summer nights becomes very popular and is well known for being friendly.

Comptons, Old Compton Street (closes 11.30pm)

The pub that the street was named after in 1632, this is a traditional British pub with Victorian exterior and lots of wood pannelling (see photo). The clientele is somewhat older and the beer especially the Tennants and Greene King is exceptional. Upstairs is a DJ and music.

Ku Bar (closes 11.30pm) and '79 Charing Cross Road' (closes 2.00am), Charing Cross Road.

Both are just south of Cambridge Circus and are worth a look. The Ku bar is very pretentious with under 25 posing with their bottled beers. Though the upstairs is very nice. '79 Charing Cross Road', is a another good'un, and a balcony, late licence and draught beers costing £1.50 makes it very popular.

The above are not exhaustive. Also worth a mention are Kudos, Mantos, Rupert Street, Escape Bar, Bar Code and the famous Admiral Duncan - victim of a hate-bombing in 1999. Worth a look just to see the memorial to those who died through the action of a lone bigot.

Old Compton Street
Old Compton Street
London, England

The superclubs - Heaven, The Fridge and G.A.Y.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by actonsteve on September 1, 2001

London's gay clubs are colossal and attract about 100,000 people each weekend. The big three are Heaven, The Fridge and G.A.Y.(Good as You)and each visitor to London should experience at least one. They are very addictive and you may find yourself scanning the press to find out which one outdoes the other on one particular week.

Heaven

Heaven is the most famous gay club in London and is still going strong after twenty years. It is situated in the arches under Charing Cross Station, just south of Trafalgar Square. While busy in the week, at the weekend it really takes off and the queues stretch into Villiers Street. Admittence is £12, £8 with a flyer from Kudos or another bar and is open from 10.00pm to 500am.

Spread over three floors the place is huge with stage, galleries, three restaurants and four bars. But it is the music that draws people in. This is the club which invented techno in the eighties and the music is cutting edge as well as full of old classics. Just come and enjoy!

The Fridge

The Fridge is alot more hardcore and is a real find. For my money it is one of the best clubs in Europe. Their music is so successful it has spawned 12 bestselling CD's. Part of the attraction is where it is which is in the gritty borough of Brixton. To reach it from central London take the tube to Brixton and head left and it is opposite the Palladian town hall.

The most expensive of the clubs £14, £10 with flyer and is open to 6.00am. The Fridge is now only gay twice a month so check the press to find out which days. Inside is a colossal theatre turned into a nightclub complete with stage and curtains. One warning about the Fridge is that it is very drug orientated. But the music is some of the best in the world.

G.A.Y.

Of the three this is the cheesiest and most poppiest of the nightclubs. The place where you can bring your sister for a good night out. It is also the most popular and holds 5,000 people. All ages are represented but most seem to be under 25 who thoroughly enjoy the top-twenty music.

It's also the cheapest at £7 with flyer and Mondays and Thursdays are only £1 entry. It is housed in the Astoria theatre on the Charing Cross Road and starts at 10.00pm and goes on to 5.00am. But the big attraction at G.A.Y. apart from seeing thousands of men dance to Geri Halliwell are the Personal Appearances. Every pop star is Britain does G.A.Y. at one point. For a couple of quid we have seen The Human League, Marc Almond, Samantha Mumba, Craig David, Mel C, Sonique, and many more.

There are plenty more nightclubs to choose from and when the above close TRADE just opens at 4.00am and goes on to 1.00pm. Just pack those dancing shoes and enjoy.

Heaven Nightclub
The Arches
London, England, WC2N 6NG
+44 20 7930 2020

The East End: 'The Royal Oak' and 'The White Swan'

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by actonsteve on September 5, 2001

"Gor Blimey Gov'nor!", "Lord Strike a light!", "Would you Adam and eve it....?"





Are the above phrases gobbledigook or the ancient language of cockney? Or a bit of both? If you really want to get away from the Harrods bags and Hard Rock Cafe souvenirs of tourist London - then head to the famous East End. Home of cockneys, jellied eels and corner pubs you will not get a better feel for the soul of London then this area stretching from the Tower to the Essex border. This is one of the poorest parts of London, but is in no way dangerous, and the people here are more natural and down-to-earth then the showy West End.





The old East End of narrow alleys, corner pubs and music halls is going. The area was decimated in the Second World War. For ten months the entire German airforce came over every night and its dropped bombs. It was rebuilt and the small corner pubs and markets remain, but more importantly so does the soul for this is the London of Jack-the-Ripper, The Kray Twins, and of course 'Eastenders'. If you venture in, you can congratulate yourself for being so intrepid as you will probably be the only foreigner there.





The Royal Oak, 24 Colombia Road, (usual pub hours)





The 'Royal Oak' is a stereotypical East End pub. Even its location at the end of Colombia Road flower market gives it that extra-special cockney kudos. The exterior is Victorian and hasn't changed for years, it has doubled in television dramas for a 1940's pub. Inside reeks of Old London - sawdust on the floor, dartboard, mohoghany panelling, wooden tables and a wide range of ales, beers and stouts. If it wasn't for the drag act on the stage and the clientele you wouldn't know you were in a gay pub at all.





'The White Swan', Commercial Road, Stepney, (hours 10.00-02.00am)





The 'White Swan' is about fun. Hundreds of gays and their straight friends come here every week from as far afield as Kent and Essex. If you are a foreign visitor then you will be something of a novelty for these lads - as not many head out this way. It is very hard to find and is along walk from the tube (Stepney Green), so a taxi from central London is best at only £10.00.





Inside is a darkened nightclub with stage, disco and enormous bar. The music is unpretentious, usually consisting of the top-twenty, and there is a beer garden out back. But the people are friendly, and after a few drinks you will be dropping your 'aitches like the locals as well.





If you want to see the most famous pub in the East End - head for the 'Blind Beggar' on Whitechapel High Street (tube: Whitechapel). This is where the Kray Twins shot George Cornell in 1966. When the police investigated, no one in the full pub claimed to have seen anything. Hence the irony of the name 'The Blind Beggar'...


Alternative Cabaret at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by actonsteve on September 8, 2001

London isn't just famous for its beefeaters, bobbies and red telephone boxes it also has a real alternative music heritage. This was the city that spawned punk rock and such groups as the The Smiths and the The Clash. These groups are celebrated at the famous Royal Vauxhall Tavern which is regularly voted by TIME OUT and the music press as one of the best night outs in London. It does not feature in many guidebooks, it is rather a secret, but if you enjoy something different, want a good laugh, and love alternative cabaret - then come here. Or check out its website on www.duckie.co.uk

It is situated in South London and is an old music hall situated on Kennington Lane. To get there take the tube to Vauxhall and take the south-eastern underpass or walk across Vauxhall Bridge from Victoria. It is not in the most picturesque of areas but you know you are in the right place when Terry Farrells ziggurat-like M.I.6. Headquarters looms over everything, as featured in the last Bond film "The World is Not Enough". In fact the area is on the up and The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is under constant threat from demolition leading to lots of final parties. In fact, I have been to three final parties in the last year. It's that living on the edge of oblivion which gives the tavern its kudos.

During the week it holds entertainment (this was the pub which started the career of Lily Savage (probably not known outside the UK, but a dragqueen known as the 'blonde bombsite'). In fact you must have a sense of the ridiculous for the RVT which is a club that doesn't take itself too seriously and expects its patrons to enter in the fun. Upon entry there is a main club area with stage and a bar. You can see its old music hall roots by ascending tiers and wooden pillars. The toilets are fun, usually covered in white paper with pens inviting patrons to scrawl on them with questions like "Margaret Thatcher: woman or android? Discuss."

But its best night is Saturday night for the famous "Duckie" hosted by larger-then-life American lesbian Amy Lame. The music is indie, retro and alternative with the The Smiths, Sex Pistols, Blur and Blondie featuring heavily but it is the cabaret that brings in the punters. And what a weird and wonderful bunch they are? There is Lorraine Bowen who describes herself as a sexy, modern, socialist,bicycle enthusiast, 'Delightful Delores - a lesbian belly-dancer from Cricklewood, 'The Divine David' a scary, mascara covered comedian and 'Helena Goldwater' who is billed as 3 parts Shirley Bassey and 7 parts Auntie Margy. To quote Helena "Auntie Margy had offers from Hollywood but decided to stay with her knicker shop behind Walthamstow market" It's that kind of place and that kind of humour - very stange, very British and very perculiar...

RVT/Royal Vauxhall Tavern
372 Kennngton Lane
South London, England

West London: Earls Court and 'Bromptons'

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by actonsteve on September 8, 2001

Earls Court is not my favourite part of London. It's very pretty, full of Victorian houses and terraces but it is a tourist colony and lives now primarily on that trade. As you wander the Earls Court Road you will see every nationality clutching backpacks and suitcases heading off to their cheap hotels - but where are the Londoners? It's like the Khao San Road of Europe. But there are a couple of gay venues in posh West London that are worth a look - including the excellent Bromptons.

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.

West London: Earls Court and "Bromptons"
corner of the Brompton Road and Warwick Road
London, England

Brighton: Oh I do like to be beside the seaside....

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by actonsteve on September 8, 2001

Brighton has been called the San Francisco of southern England. Not because it has a huge red bridge or cable cars climbing hills but because it has a laid-back tolerant atmosphere welcoming all creeds, sexualities, and lifestyles in its embrace. It is most famous, of course, for being London's beachside playground and thousands of visitors descend from the capital each weekend and along with a huge foreign-language student contingent makes a bubbly international atmosphere. I would recommend it just to view one of the most unusual buildings in Europe - the Royal Pavilion. Which looks like someone built Moghul Indian palace in the middle of town. But most people are here to have a good time and with its hundreds of pubs, restaurants, clubs and shops you will have that. It has a saucy, naughty feel, and as someone said, Brighton put the sex into Sussex.

Brighton was the sleepy fishing village of Brightonstone for hundreds of years. It became fashionable when the Prince Regent took an interest in (If your history is rusty and you need to picture him, remember Blackadder III, Rowan Atkinson was butler to the monarch). He built the famous kitschy Royal Pavilion built and where royalty went the beau monde followed and Brighton became very fashionable. The cities beautiful white Georgian terraces date from this period. It's popularity lasted up to the present day and it has now been given city status and its student population has given it a youthful air.

To get there take the train from London from Victoria or Waterloo stations. Or the bus at Victoria Coach station which is about £8.00. The city itself is set along the famous beach and its focus is probably the enjoyable garish Palace Pier with the Royal Pavilion a few minutes walk away on Old Steine. The beach on a hot day gets packed but is rather pebbly, sandy beaches are about a mile eastward around the marina including a nude one. But between the seafront and the station are the lanes which are an intertwining maze of narrow alleys and narrow streets lined with shops. If you are not careful you can get lost and your credit card will get a pounding.

It has a massive gay population which is mainly based east of the Pavilion around Kemptown or 'camptown' as it sometimes called. The locals are very friendly and welcome tourists especially if you are nice about Brighton. Below are some of the pubs which are good places order a pint of ale. There are plenty more (about thirty in all) and the best place to look is Brightons copy of the free magazine BOYZ.

'The Bulldog', 112 Church Street, (normal pub hours)

Cosy seaside pub with wood panelling and long bar. Full of Brightonians who come here each week and can be very friendly. Piano in one corner and also entertainment in the evening. Good place to meet before a night on the town.

'Zanzibar', St James's Street, 1.00pm-200am,

This is a basement bar a few yards away from the beach. Rather trendy and youthful it pulls in the disco-dollie who swivel away to the latest top-twenty. Has video screens, bottled beers and a disco pumping away. Wear your best gear for this place.

'Club Revenge', 32 Old Steine, opposite the Palace Pier 10.00pm-2.00am, £5 entry

Right in the centre of things between the Palace Pier and the Royal Pavilion (which looks spectacular lit up at night)this is a Brighton institution. A massive place with three dancefloors, four bars and a huge stage. It pounds to techno music and also top twenty and women are very welcome. The views of the pulsating Palace Pier through the dancefloor windows are worth the admission price on their own.

So there you are, there is no excuse for not having a good time in Brighton. A suggestion might be if you are doing a tour of Britain to come here first, follow it with Bath, Oxford and Stratford and leave London till last. Whatever you do - you will come back - probably whistling "Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside..Oh I do like to be beside the sea....."


Manchester: "There's nowt so queer as folk.."

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by actonsteve on September 8, 2001

I bet you have never thought of having a holiday in Manchester? Well, you would be missing something - it's an extraordinary city. Of all the cities in Britain that have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps (and thats going against much-applauded renaissances in Glasgow, Leeds, and Cardiff)- Manchester has to be the most successful. It makes a fantastic base for touring Liverpool, north Wales, Chester, the Peak and Lake District and even the Yorkshire moors. And you can come back after all that quaint scenery and hit some of the best nightlife in Europe. It's where the groundbreaking drama "Queer as Folk" was set and the "gay village" is now massive and is based around Canal Street and its trendy bars. Rather then giving it a miss - you will be cursing yourself why didn't you discover it sooner.

Of course I am biased, its where I went to university, and that institution gives it a youthful feel and much more tolerance than other cities of its size. Accommodation is cheap and cheerful and as it doesn't get many tourists you will be more of a novelty then in jaded London or York. Train connections with the capital are fast and frequent and direct flights from America and the continent means it is now very easy to get there. But you are asking yourself what is there to do? All I have seen are pictures of back-to-back terraces and smoky chimneys. Well, I shall tell you...

Manchester, there is no denying it, is a child of the industrial revoloution. It did not evolve naturally like Oxford or Salisbury and so it has thousands of tiny back-to-back narrow streets and a cityscape of chimneys. If you have ever seen the longrunning soap 'Coronation Street' you will know what to expect. But it is a very wealthy city and the designer shopping down St Anns Square is worth a look. A colossal IRA bomb ripped the guts out of the city centre and allowed them to redesign it with a huge plaza, major shopping centre and wide vistas - Manchester town centre now looks rather modernist and attractive. But the city is probably best used as a base to visit the surrounding area, buses from Chorlton Street bus station head in every direction

Apart from the Science museum I would make for the Grenada Studios tour and theme park. Its rather small by American standards but is wonderfully inventive and friendly. Grenada makes some very popular dramas including 'Coronation Street' where you can wander the set and poke your nose into the 'Rovers Return' inn, but also Sherlock Holmes, The Jewel in The Crown and the like. But most enjoably is a recreation of the House of Commons where you take up the seats of the MP's. You are involved in a mock debate where you are either the government or the opposition - and the result can be hysterically funny.

But most importantly it is a massive gay centre especially around Canal Street. Due to the success of the television series the area has become very trendy amongst straights as well as gays. And summer nights sees crowds of hundreds of people moving between the bars. There are countless bars and clubs; below are some of the most popular.

'Mantos', 46 Canal Street, Sat-Sun 4.00pm-6.00am

The bar which started it all. Very stylish multi-level bar with bottled beer and up-to-the-minute music. Patrons look down on others from a balcony and the food is very good including Cajun chicken breast and speghetti al pesto.

'Velvet', 2 Canal Street,12.00pm - 11.30pm

Velvet outtrends the trendiest. The place has had a fortune spent on it. The staircase has a fishtank embedded in it and in the toilets are the QVC shopping channel. The rest of the bar is full of red curtains and pink and blue chairs. It's surprisingly friendly and that Manchester speciality, Boddingtons is on tap - what more could you want?

'Via Fossa', 28-30 Canal Street, 11.00am to 2.00am

My favourite bar in Manchester. Its decked out on many levels like a German gothic cathedral with lots of nooks and crannies. The place does tremendous business and several scenes form 'Queer as Folk' were filmed here as the evening warms up the crowd gets friendlier and local office workers are often here to join in the fun.

'Paradise Factory',112 Princess Street, 10.00pm-6.00am.

In the fickle world of Manchester clubland 'Paradise' may have gone already. But if is still there then you are in for a good night. Housed in an old warehouse and on five levels each with a different type of music - house, techno, handbag, rave etc - the place is amazing! It gets very packed and sweaty and if you aren't into drugs maybe not worth a look. This place was one of the instigators of the Madchester craze in the early nineities - and after a visit you can see why the city is so well loved...


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