Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Live Music, Comedy, Art, Film, Wine, Food: Is There Anything London’s Cafe Bars Wont Do?

By James McManus.

XOYO is a notorious East End nightspot for the fun, loose and fancy free. You'd normally associate this joint with sweat-filled young hipsters dancing their troubles away to barely intelligible techno, but that's all changed now.
The much-vaunted venue has launched a new upstairs bar called XO (above) complete with innovative art space which is set to host a wide-range of events five nights-a-week. While the bar acts as a dual purpose venue for both live acts and DJs, as well as the occasional tipple hang out, the creative pursuits don't end there as the avenues of comedy, film and poetry all look set to get their due.

I'm in a sharing mood. Some would call me almost pathologically generous, so here are a few more examples of venues that combine live music, a chilled atmosphere and a bite to eat should your belly be a-rumblin'.
The Troubadour (above) in west London is a superb venue brimming with history and pedigree. Normally when a venue dips its toes into more than one area of expertise, it leaves something to be desired elsewhere. However, this atmospheric cafe serves proper food while acting as a useful conduit to the creative scene that can be found habitually habitating within its four walls.
If it's ambient scuzz you're looking for - and let's not kid ourselves here, what else better is there? - then The Notting Hill Arts Club (pictured above) could be the place for you, with its basement bar, underground scene and and genre-defined nights with a heavy emphasis on the niche.
In a culturally diverse hotpot such as London, there are, of course, many options to pick and choose between, such as the aforementioned venues, as well as Cafe 1001 (pictured above) situated on Brick Lane in east London. It flits seemlessly between chilled bar, live music haunt, and cafe during the day and evening, much in the same vein as XO.

To discover more of London's best bars, clubs, pubs and cafes for live music, click this link

Image courtesy of Flickr user doubleoh2, Simon Archer Hurlstone, and 66james99.


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