London Olympics strip club guide


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I don’t know how many strip-magazine readers are thinking of coming over for the Olympics this summer but I thought it might be an idea to update everybody on the London club/pub scene and how it’s looking with the new laws being introduced. The actual main Olympic site is in Stratford {left that’s East London not Shakespeare’s birthplace !} which is around 8 miles to the east of Piccadilly Circus though some events take place at other venues including Greenwich, Horseguard’s parade, and Wimbledon. I have therefore concentrated on the clubs either in the very centre of London or those on the Eastern side in the direction of Stratford.

Stratford is well served by railway connections both underground and network rail and I understand that a ticket for the games includes free use of public transport for the day it is valid.

Types of venue

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I should start by saying that compared to many countries in Europe strip venues in the UK are very tightly regulated and despite the recent introduction of the tantalisingly named “sexual encounter license” you are highly unlikely to encounter any sex in a visit to a licensed venue. All the UK in theory operates at “no touching” rule but in practise many provincial cities don’t enforce this very much but in London they do and I suspect that this will be particularly true during the Olympics. Full contact lap dances are available in London but only at private parties which are by their nature secretive and I can’t discuss the ones I know on this site though you can find some listed on www.ukstripclubs.com where it also has the addresses , web links etc to all the mainstream pubs and clubs mentioned .

That really leaves 2 main sorts of strip venues in London that is to say lap dance clubs run on the US style Spearmint Rhino lines and strip pubs the best known of which is probably Browns in Shoreditch. There are fundamental differences between the 2 and understanding this will be important as to where you might chose to go. Taking clubs first, they all charge entrance fees, normally have very expensive drinks prices, stage shows generate the girls no money so they are normally very half hearted, there is a high degree of hustle for private dances, and with one or 2 exceptions they only open in the evening . On the other hand although they are expensive they are{mainly} not rip offs , they have lots of attractive girls on, they are plush and safe, some do food, and all carry on until very late at night.

The pubs are normally free to enter but require a £1 contribution to each dancer’s stage show which as a consequence means the stage shows are much better. They are usually open all day, drinks are at normal London pub prices, they are safe, and have less girls on so the hustle is normally less. On the other hand the venues are less plush, have less girls on, and tend to shut earlier in the evening.

Central London

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If you are on a big budget {and it will need to be big while the games are on based on noises being made !} the most famous 5*hotels in London are in the centre in areas like Mayfair, Bloomsbury, Covent Garden etc. This is also the main entertainment area of London with lots of theatres, restaurants etc and it also contains the most famous lap dancing clubs in the UK. The most famous of all is probably “Stringfellow’s” which operates 2 clubs one near Leicester Sq tube and the other in Wardour Street, Soho. Peter Stringfellow is the best known nightclub operator in the UK and his clubs attract all sorts of celebrities, it has an excellent restaurant and I’d recommend booking a meal there as it gives you free entry and a base for the evening. The rivals for the title of top club in the centre are “Spearmint Rhino”, Tottenham Court Rd which is very large and was at one time the busiest club in the UK and newcomer ”Platinum Lace” which has opened just off Leicester Square and has quickly established itself as one of the trendiest places in the capital with lots of regular special events. The chain of “Secrets “ has 6 high quality clubs in London 3 of which are either in th

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e centre or to the East, “Sophisticats” is located just off Oxford Street, “Mayfair” just off Piccadilly, and the “Red Rooms” in Covent Garden. All the above clubs operate to the same sort of format and suffer from the same pros and cons.

A further option is the “City Burlesque” which is near Smithfield meat market and offers burlesque performances early in the evening before converting to a more conventional club later on. Strip pubs are thin on the ground in central London but 2 that do exist are the “ Griffin” in Clerkenwell road near the Hatton Garden diamond area which I would recommend, and the “Flying Scotsman” near Kings Cross station which I would not, unless you have a taste for the bizarre!

 

 

Soho

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Traditionally the sex industry in the UK has been centred on Soho but that changed 15 or 20 years ago and now this area is dominated by the gay community. There are still 3 places worth looking at, “Stringfellows” {as mentioned above}, the historic “Windmill” {now a conventional lap dancing club though it still has an impressive stage , left}, and the “Sunset Strip”. There are other places advertising girls there but I’d strongly recommend you avoid these as they are rip offs often run by eastern European gangsters aimed at separating the unwary tourist from his cash while providing nothing in return.

East London

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The area to the east of the city financial district had a historic reputation for poverty and crime but in recent years that has changed somewhat. There are now some excellent hotels { I’d personally recommend the Crowne Plaza , Shoreditch and the Hoxton}, restaurants, and the general nightlife scene is bustling. There are some first class clubs here mainly serving the city market including “FYEO” in City road, “Whites” at Aldgate, “Platinum” in Paul Street,  “ Metropolis” in Cambridge Heath, and “Majingoes” on the Isle of Dogs. These clubs essentially all operate like the ones in the centre, “FYEO” is possibly the largest club in London and the closest to the square mile, ”Metropolis” was the first venue to offer private dancing in the UK and “Majingo’s” is the only venue near Canary Wharf and very close to the Olympic park.

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The area though is most famous as the stronghold of the strip pub and there are 3 excellent ones within walking distance of each other {and the Crowne Plaza !}. The first is “Browns” which is at the start of Hackney road, the 2nd the” White Horse” on Shoreditch High Street, and the 3rd the newest the “Horns” on Old Street near the tube. Each of these pubs operates from 1pm until late 6 days a week {not Sunday normally though they may during the Olympics

} and all have excellent stage shows with private dancing available {at a separate venue upstairs called “Blushes” at the White Horse} without the usual hustle. There are other strip pubs in the area but I’d strongly recommend you stick to these 3, they are reasonably priced, clean, safe and have the best stage shows in London. They have also all got big screen TVs and the full Sky package so there is no need to miss anything between acts.

The area is nearer to the main site at Stratford and the hotels here tend to be cheaper than the ones in the very centre, though again rumours of profiteering for the duration of the games may result in much higher than normal prices even here.

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Further East

If the horror stories in the press are to be believed all London hotels are planning to charge “rip off” prices for their rooms during the Olympics so it may be worth considering towns near London which have a direct rail link to Stratford. Here I would like to suggest Southend and Chelmsford which both have regular direct services to Stratford taking about 1 hour and have a selection of reasonably priced hotels. Chelmsford also has a well regarded club called the “Cave” and Southend has 2 strip pubs called the “Forestors” and the “Cornucopia” both sited on the sea front. If you want to watch naked female après games then both can provide options !

 

Tyke