Monthly Archives: March 2015

London’s Best Vintage Nightspots

From vintage shops to retro beauty parlours, the vintage scene is flourishing in London. When it comes to nightlife, the capital is crammed full of bars, restaurants and pubs that cater for the retro-minded. Here are five of our favourites:

Ain’t Nothin’ But… 

ain't nothin but

Nostalia seekers will love the bohemian vibe at this late night blues bar, which has live music every night of the week, with a pleasing mix of open mic nights and jam sessions.

The old time-style bar’s walls are plastered with music memorabilia, while cool murals show blues legends such as Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters.

Located just off Regent Street on buzzing Kingly Street, this drinking den describes itself as “the best Blues bar this side of the Atlantic”. Swing by to see if you agree.

The Troubadour 

troubadour

Established in 1954 as a beatnik coffee house, this atmospheric West London cafe is a top spot to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or cocktails in arty surrounds.

Bric-a-brac and musical memorabilia hangs from the walls and ceiling in this laid-back spot, which also has a pretty courtyard garden.

Tucked away beneath the cafe is an intimate cellar venue which boasts a varied music programme. Past performers have included Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Costello and Joni Mitchell.

Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes 

bloomsbury bowling lanes

Strike it lucky at this retro-style bowling alley in London’s fashionable Bloomsbury.

Home to eight stylish bowling lanes and four karaoke rooms, the venue hosts popular vintage-themed nights, that vary from John Hughes movies to retro video games.

The large bar is made from wood from an old New York bowling lane, and the venue’s diner serves classic American fare, including Ray’s 26 Inch pizzas and the Strike Burger.

Wilton’s Music Hall 

wiltons music hall

Situated in the heart of London’s East End, this crumbling multi-arts venue is the world’s oldest surviving Grand Music Hall in the world, offering an eclectic programme of theatre, comedy, music, cinema and cabaret.

The ground-floor Mahogany Bar was built in 1725 as a public house, operating under many names including The Prince of Denmark.

Spruced up in 1828 with a mahogany bar, the pub earned its current moniker and is now a great place to sip a beer or wine. Regular events at this hidden gem include magic shows, yoga nights and vintage fairs.

Nightjar 

nightjar

For a slice of old-school glamour, swing by the Prohibition-themed Bar Nightjar which has a dark and intimate feel thanks to its subterranean setting.

Cosy black leather booths and a soundtrack of live jazz seals the deal for cool ambience.

Vintage devotees will love the perfectly crafted, Instagramable cocktails that are listed under four separate menus (pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, Post-War and Nightjar Signatures).

Renowned for the creativity of its drinks, stand-outs include the Tea Clipper Blazer, which blends tatratea, bee pollen and smoky tea mix, and is served up with a lemongrass ice lolly. Book a table in advance. 

Brook v Dan Tale of the Tape

Live on Sky Sports from 19:30 on Saturday, Britain’s Kell Brook defends his IBF welterweight title against Jo Jo Dan at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena.

Ezekiel Brinsly Reid Brook

  • Born and raised in the Steel City of Sheffield, Ezekiel Brinsly Reid “Kell” Brook turned pro in 2004 and has since amassed a 33-0 (22 KO) record. In terms of titles won, the Yorkshire man has held the British welterweight crown, minor titles such as the WBA and WBO Intercontinental belts and, of course, the IBF world welterweight championship.
  • September 2009 saw Kell ‘Special K’ Brook named as Britain’s Young Boxer of the Year, winning by just one vote – a record. Within this year, Brook twice defended his British title with impressive, early stoppages.
  • After two brutally tough fights with Carson Jones, Brook recorded a notable victory when stopping former WBA champion Vyacheslav Senchenko in the 4th round. Senchenko, famously, had earlier ended Ricky Hatton’s career with a body shot – the same punch that ‘The Hitman’ thrived off using.
  • Taking advantage of his first ever world title shot, Kell Brook defeated the then IBF world champion Shawn Porter on points in August 2014 to become Britain’s first world welterweight champion since Ricky Hatton.
  • On holiday in Tenerife at the time, Kell Brook was stabbed with a machete in an unprovoked attack in September 2014. Requiring 32 metal staples in his left thigh, Brook could have died through loss of blood and had to endure a slow, painful road to recovery.

Jo Jo Dan: 34-2 (18 KO)

Real name Ionut Dan Ion, ‘Jo Jo’ Dan is a 33-year-old Romanian boxer that currently holds the NABA and IBF Intercontinental welterweight titles. After making his debut in 2004, southpaw Dan eventually built up a 26-0 record before losing a controversial decision to Selcuk Aydin on points in 2010.

Jo_Jo_Dan

Three straight wins followed, and Dan- who was twice downed during the bout – again lost on points to Turkish fighter Selcuk Aydin. Since then, and to date, Dan’s most notable victory is his spit-decision IBF world title eliminator win over Kevin Bizier, which set up this clash with IBF champion Brook.

Brook v Dan Betting

IBF champ Brook is offered around 1/12, while challenger Dan is available at approximately 8/1. In terms of method of victory, Brook is priced at 4/6 to win by KO/TKO or DQ, or 6/4 to win on points, while Dan is 12/1 to win by KO/TKO or DQ, or 16/1 to win by a scorecard verdict.

The Brook v Dan Betting Verdict

Whilst he’s never been stopped, Jo Jo Dan’s hasn’t faced someone of Brook’s quality before and this could prove to be telling during the fight. But then, whilst ‘Special K’ will want to make an impression in light of a possible British super-fight with Amir Khan down the line, mentally he might be worried about over exerting pressure on his left leg and could box to a cautious points victory.

However, Dan’s come-forward, in-your-face style should force the Sheffield man into stopping him and I’m willing to take a chance on the bout ending in less than 10.5 rounds at 8/11. Just a small bet, though, as while Brook’s opponent has been picked to make him look good, that leg injury is a concern.

Worth a small punt: Under 10.5 rounds at 8/11

Of course, whether you do or don’t opt for a wager, have a great weekend and feel free to contact me on Twitter via@JCLaLiga if you have any questions or feedback.

Photo credits – Wikimedia (Creative Commons – Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0); Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.5); Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0); Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 1.0))