A night to remember: Five ways to spend a south west London evening

We’re blessed with an awful lot to do in our area. We have some of the world’s best attractions, and bars and restaurants that unwittingly urge you to spend all evening in them.

So much so that it’s a little hard to decide how and where to unwind when it comes to Friday evening.

From casinos to clubs, and bowling to BBQs, there’s a vast array of things to do. But don’t fear we’ve whittled down five exciting ways to spend an evening in south west London, whether you’re visiting for the day or a resident getting to enjoy our borough every day.

Wimbledon dogs wombling along


There’s something incredibly exciting about a night at the dogs. And Wimbledon Stadium is the place to watch it.

Perhaps the most famous greyhound stadium in the country, it’s home to the English Greyhound Derby, and sees hundreds of revellers head for a flutter every week.

It’s the perfect place to seek a few thrills on both Friday and Saturday nights, and with it being the only dog track in London, you won’t find a better night anywhere else.

The track itself dates back to 1928, and to this day it still exudes some of its old charm, a charm which is almost infectious.

It isn’t just greyhounds you’ll see going round the track at apace however, with banger racing also offering a great night out.

Win a mint at the Mint


A wizard in the virtual casino? Taking all the spoils from the online casinos? Then why not head out into one of the gambling capitals of the world?

London is awash with opulent casinos, and making a special occasion on the green velvet is about as luxurious as you can get. And when it comes to the south west, you can go all in for the Mint Casino just a stone’s throw from the V&A.

It’s the next step up from the virtual tables, which are perfect for learning the trade, giving players a good understanding before sitting in the pressures of a live casino.

Mint itself offers a traditional casino experience, meaning you can put all those hours on the bus playing on your smartphone into practice, and maybe even turn a few heads at the same time.

It’s the perfect place to take a partner for an opulent night of excitement, and with a restaurant inside offering up some fine dishes, there’s somewhere to spend your winnings too.

It’s just one of a host of casinos in the area which roll into Knightsbridge and Mayfair, with the infamous Crockfords, The Colony Club, and The Palm Beach.

Friday late at the V&A


But if gambling isn’t for you, then you don’t even have to leave Cromwell Road, with Friday Late at the V&A opening up its doors for something extra special every last Friday of the month.

In March, the Victoria and Albert Museum celebrated Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibition, with talks and workshops going on throughout the evening.

Branding itself as the original contemporary late night event, the museum regularly welcomes live performances, special DJ sets, and cutting-edge installations, running from 6.30pm until 10pm every Friday Late.

This month saw the opening of All of This Belongs to You, which has seen the V&A be reconceived as a space for prototyping public life, and Friday Late is bound to throw up a few interesting surprises.

It’s free to enjoy, however all events are met on a first come first served basis.

A song and dance at Brixton Academy


Almost everyone has passed through Brixton Academy over the years. The Sex Pistols, Bob Dylan, and The Smiths have all played there, whilst today its welcoming some of the biggest acts in music including Sam Smith and Jessie J.

One of the biggest non-arena venues in London, it opened in 1981 and has grown into one of the hottest places to play in the capital, regularly seeing sold out performances from comedians and rock stars both old and new including James Bay, Brandon Flowers, and Jimmy Carr all lined up to play over the coming months.

It’s a venue perfect for a night out all week, with the venue rarely having nothing for you to enjoy, and is certainly the best place to listen to great live bands without leaving SW.

But what’s more, is that it’s in the very heart of a vibrant area, with Plan B bar just a moment away from the Academy, and the Prince Albert, which not only offers great beer, but keeps the party going way beyond the curtain coming down.

A night at Battersea Arts Centre


However, a step away from a loud, heavy night at the Academy is the Battersea Arts Centre just two and a half miles to the west.

A great place to meet whether there’s a show on or not, the centre is alive with great acts and even young performers looking to make their way in theatre.

The centre offers the chance to enjoy unfinished shows where you can give your feedback, established stand-ups such as Jenny Eclair, Katherine Ryan, and Simon Munnery all are lined up to play.

But its bar alone is simply worth a visit. Scratch Bar won best Theatre Bar in SW London from the West End Awards last year, and serves up fresh, handmade food, and a great range of locally brewed beers as well as live music often serving as the backdrop.

The building itself has long been a landmark of Battersea and lies just down the road from Clapham Junction station, and was once the area’s Town Hall.

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