The Year of London

With the Olympic Games, WorldPride, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Swinging City is rolling out the red carpet, and we’re all invited.

BY Matthew Breen

May 18 2012 8:00 AM ET

Soho's Green Carnation nightclub x633 | ADVOCATE.COM

Soho's Green Carnation nightclub, above.

NIGHTLIFE

A 10-minute walk from Covent Garden to Chinatown in Soho and one is in the midst of an enormous collection of gay bars. Though the particulars of bar hours elude me, many seem to close at 1 a.m., and from that hour nightclubs quickly swing into gear. A Friday midnight stop at Green Carnation (GreenCarnationSoho.co.uk) took our party into a nightclub that meanders through a townhouse featuring flocked wallpaper, fireplaces, and upholstered armchairs, its decor inspired by the life of Oscar Wilde.

Nearby Ku Bar (Ku-Bar.co.uk) found raucous gay 20-something boys and their best girlfriends smashed together like sardines, drinking beer and singing along to videos of Westlife. The evening continued at Lo-Profile (GaydarProfile.com), quite literally an underground dance club featuring porn star go-go dancers and name-brand DJs for the Playtime party. The dance floor filled quickly, and around 2 a.m. the T-shirts started coming off. Though Time Out London

(TimeOut.com/London/Gay) lists a reliable range of options for LGBT parties, the most comprehensive and descriptive listings are available at Disco Damaged (DiscoDamaged.com), which doesn’t stop with Central London (Shoreditch in East London is especially popular), nor with parties where one is expected to remain clothed.

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