London is a thriving cosmopolitan hub. With the largest population of any city in Europe, it has almost nine million residents, and they want to be entertained.
Frequented by the young and ambitious, the UK capital attracts people from all walks of life, and all of them want to have fun.
This makes it a mecca for bars, restaurants, and a host of popular entertainment venues, from bowling alleys and bingo halls to axe-throwing bars and more.
The south west, known for its vibrant denizens and lively communities, certainly has its fair share. We take a look at some of the best to help you beat the boredom and brighten up a rainy day.
The Sound Lounge
Located on Upper Tooting Road, the Sound Lounge opened in January 2017.
It was a community hub from day dot, having been launched via a crowdfunding initiative that covered its initial start-up costs.
With the capacity for 250 visitors inside, the live music venue mixes an assortment of local beers with a roster of up-and-coming artists and a delicious vegetarian menu.
With its achingly cool vibe, it’s frequented by all of the south west’s bright young things, but its doors (and arms) are open to everyone.
The Hippodrome Casino
In the last few years, the popularity of casinos has soared.
This has largely been driven by a boom in the more accessible online market, which has given players a taste for its offline counterpart too.
These have become so popular that directory sites like VegasSlotsOnline have entire pages dedicated to new casinos, which are continually expanding in number.
For those who enjoy land-based play as much as they do its virtual cousin, the Hippodrome Casino is a hugely beloved venue.
Featuring an assortment of games as well as live shows and gourmet cuisine, this is the biggest and busiest gambling venue in the UK.
Located across three floors, it houses seven bars, an underground casino, and 24-hour food and drinks service.
Situated in south London’s party hotspot, Clapham, Fu Manchu is a genius marriage of cocktail bar and late-night dim sum restaurant.
Tucked away beneath the railway arches, everything about this venue is cool, from its brickwork interior to its opium-den aesthetic.
With the capacity for around 300 guests, it nonetheless manages to maintain an intimate air, so visitors feel as though they’ve stumbled across a hidden oasis in the heart of London.
The 606 Club
If you’re a fan of soul and jazz, the 606 Club is somewhere you need to visit.
Managing to showcase the very best new talent, it has an electric atmosphere that will infuse you with the same passion and appreciation for the music as its on-stage performers.
This restaurant-jazz club mutant has been in business for over 40 years, and, by this point, it understands its product perfectly.
Offering a unique retro experience, it hosts the most amazing live performances every night of the week.
Hope and Anchor
Located between Brixton and Clapham, the Hope and Anchor offers something a little different for south west residents to enjoy.
Mainly situated outside, it sprawls across two floors, with the most enchanting garden for summer soirees and al fresco dining.
As well as two outdoor bars, it boasts individual heated huts, so you can mingle with your favourite people in a paradisiacal and private setting.
While it’s centrally located, it still feels like you’ve stumbled across a hidden Eden tucked away from the busyness and bustle of London.
The Assembly Hall
The Assembly Hall is hard to define, and that’s because it never takes the same form twice. Alternately used as a boardroom, theatre, cabaret, and setting for private events, it has some great shows on offer for those who know to keep an eye out.
Decorated in the most amazing art deco style, The Assembly Hall has both an adjoining reception area and a ticket booth, and with seating for up to 1,000, it has also been known to host live music.
The space was restored by Islington Council in 2009, in the hopes it could once more take its place at the heart of this bustling community.
The Book and Record Bar
We love multifunctional spaces, and the Book and Record Bar is certainly that.
Located only a short distance from West Norwood Station, this book-cum-record shop also has a bar installed in its roomy interior.
Most of the titles it sells are second-hand, which means purchasers have the boon of knowing they’re buying sustainably.
A popular venue for live music events, it has plenty to offer if you find yourself drawn to its open doors.
When it comes to staying entertained in south west London, there are hundreds of fun and quirky venues to choose from.
Those listed above are a mere handful of our favourites, but there are so many more to discover for those who go in search of a fun way to spend a day. Where will your wandering take you?