Top 5 most scary spots
Alexander Mayor stared into London’s various upcoming abyss-options and reports back for Kaput…
Russian A10 Bar
True, you can have some top times on the dance floor in the basement which plays host to all sorts of arty nights, but the A10 is a Tarantino-esque two-hander. Upstairs seems to be permanently staffed by recovering pole dancers and the clientele skews heavily towards the demobbed from the Chechen conflict demographic. Don’t be too smart at the bar and head downstairs quickly. Update: it’s now a nice house-only disco bar called Shelter. Good old London, always improving. When we find out where the Russian army types have now relocated to we’ll let you know.
267 Kingsland Road, Hackney, E2 8AS, 07809425905
Riley’s Sports Bar
A kind of temple for worshippers of the flickery box, the sports bar on Haymarket is the über location for the sportingly-committed and yet sportingly-promiscuous. An ill-fated field trip to this long-term fixture of central London revealed it to be the perfect spot for lonely men who can’t afford a cable connection to ESPN 6 “Curling from Toronto” who also happen to love mainstream lager. A dungeon of depression that seethes with a heady blend of boredom and anger.
80 Haymarket, SW1Y 4TE, 02079300393
New Docklands Steam Baths
Okay so this is a capricious pick, but bear with me. Stag-do’s are an ever-present danger of the modern world and when myself and 8 other straight men were driven to this steam baths in the name of bachelor-party “fun” the scene it resembled most was something out of Deliverance. Police tape lining the road. Not a living soul for a mile in any direction among the industrial units. A dead bird by the curb side. Let’s just say gentrification awaits in Star Lanes and your own experience will depend on your keen-ness for collaborative soaping.
30A Stephenson Street, E16 4SA, 02074731454
Westfield Shopping Centre
East London’s biggest shopping mall, and so big it’s more or less bidding to replace the grisly London border town it’s notionally located in, Westfield is the latest sad instance of retail-as-entertainment-destination. Friday night sees dressed-up couples vacantly mooching around under a blanket smell of food court frying and sugar-blasting concessions to the collected hits of Calvin Harris. Faux pubs compete with faux restaurants to fill your evening with faux fun. If corporations ran the world, this is what everything would look like.
Stratford Station, 0208 221 7359.
This is general life advice. Despite a historic London layout, the edifying presence of Westminster Library at one end, and a potentially nice garden in its centre, Leicester Square remains a must-avoid horror of touristical photo-taking, ice-cream licking, overpriced film-going and probably the worst nightclub in the city: “Storm”.