8 LGBTQ Events to Make you Feel Proud
Written by: Violet Myers
It’s nearing that most magical time of year. The fairies are out, we’re planning to drink far too much and a big fat man is sure to be making his way into our bedrooms… It’s officially the month of GAY PRIDE!
We’re getting ready for the biggest party of the season; we’ve shaved our legs, bedazzled our eyes and had our hot pants dry cleaned – and that’s just the blokes. We’ve got 8 LGBTQ venues / events to do you proud in North London.
Queer – Stoke Newington
Mascara Bar, 72 Stamford Hill, London N16 6XS
Proving that gay club nights aren’t just about Kylie’s greatest hits, Queer at Mascara Bar presents a monthly event with all sorts of edge. Expect to hear: The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Velvet Underground, Belle & Sebastian, Joan Jett and many more from your teenage grunge phase. Also featuring an impressive collection of DIY queercore, riot grrrl and northern soul.
Central Station – Kings X
37 Wharfdale Road, London N1 9SD
Having been open 23 years, in the hands of many different owners, Central Station bar has emerged from its slightly rough cocoon to a dazzling disco butterfly. With brand new hotel rooms, a restaurant and an underground club the place is bustling with all ages. It’s a popular pub for proper drinking and serious dancing with a weekly drag performer. But be warned, this is not one for the faint of heart, last time we had a boogie at Central Station the walls were plastered in such a vast collection of multicultural penises it rivaled your mother’s bedroom on a Tuesday – way ho!
Bloc Bar – Kentish Town
18 Kentish Town Rd, London NW1
Much like when Mufasa passed down his kingdom to Simba after his tragic death, The Bloc Bar has taken on the challenge to replace Camden’s mighty fallen Black Cap. An intimate venue, this pint-sized club may still be finding its feet, but is packed with partay potential, having hosted Drag knockout and a weekly naughty bingo night.
Egg Club – Kings X
200 York Way, London N7 9AX
Though not technically a gay club, this warehouse-style party venue has regular nights catering to the gay community. With a mix of heavy house, bounce and other ear drum destroying genres the multi-room venue is ideal for ‘got-so-messed-up-I-forgot-my-own-name’ kind of nights.
MissFit – Stoke Newington
176 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 0LH
The brains behind ‘Lesbian Prom’ present MissFit, a club night at The Stokey Stop that treats you lucky North London ladies to weekly DJs and drink deals (the only other double D that matters). Music ranges from week to week and spans the decades. Every Saturday 21:00 – 2:00.
Vogue Fabrics – Stoke Newington
66 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XB
One of North London’s best kept secrets, Vogue Fabrics, are an originator of queer entertainment in Dalston. With a fantastic mix of fun + sweaty club nights and an equal mix of fun + sweaty performance pieces, the club has no shortage of varied events, from cheesy pop to spoken word. Check out ‘Straight Nasty’ and ‘Reduced to Queer’ in celebration of this year’s pride.
Club Kali Party – Kings X
Scala, 275 Pentonville Rd, London N1 9NL
Having been voguing since 1995, Club Kali is one of London’s oldest LGBTQ events and the largest celebration of Eastern and Western classics in the world. Pumping out a mix of club classics, Bollywood tunes and Punjabi covers of RnB and HipHop hits, Club Kali is all about uniting Western and Eastern gay communities and having a bloody good time of it! Check out their Pride party at Scala on the 25th of June for a rousing Punjabi mix of Rihanna’s Umbrella.
King’s Head Theatre – Islington
115 Upper St, London N1 1QN
The King’s Head Pub is home to some of London’s best and understated queer theatre. Showcasing new and old writing in a modest room at the back of the Islington based bar, this grass roots venue is the perfect setting for fringe productions. Although not exclusively catering to LGBTQ shows the pub has premiered plenty in the past and is committed to promoting queer theatre. Check out their latest Strangers In Between from the 21st of June.
Top photo: Ryan Dinham
“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.
Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.
Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.
At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.
Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.
Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.
Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.
Healthy chocolate mousse and sexing up your smoothie with Kate Oates. We have found ourselves a yoga guru in Kate Oates, a healthtastic yogi based in Crouch End. When we met her last year she hinted at a few of her own culinary creations and boy were we intrigued. Asking for an exclusive recipe for you health conscious readers, we received a taste sensation of an idea for chocolate breakfast.
“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.
In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”
The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?
Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).
Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.
Finding myself wandering around Limehouse Basin craving a pint and perhaps even a slice of pizza, I needed to get home to my local Crate Brewery sharpish (they do the freshest craft beers and have award winning pizzas). But how to get there? Stumbling in to Limehouse Station and towards a huge sign saying CLOSED, I consider walking there instead. A short meander riverwards, I reach the canal and begin to notice a group of people donning chunky waistcoats stretching their arms around. I pause for a second, swaying slightly on the spot, watching this mesmerising circle of humans yielding huge double ended spoons.
"Ooh they’re doing a psych night at Moth Club Tina!” "What, again?” It’s a familiar sentence. Fast becoming a buzzword for young musos and Beyond Retro dwellers alike, psych music is no longer just for the suede fringed waistcoat wearing Acid Jazz lovers who curse their parents they weren’t born in 1966. No no. The psych music spectrum has spread it’s bendy wings and shaken off it’s lava lamp skin to embrace a whole host of musical genres. From William Burroughs to Pet Sounds to Thee Oh Sees, the genre’s had a birth, decline and resurgence. Nambucca in Finsbury Park are totally capitalising on this revival with their new monthly night, SIKE! This Thursday 11th May, they’re bringing four different acts who are all covering different elements of the psych scene.
Back in 2014 The Good Egg was hatched, mixing Californian sunshine with Tel Aviv traditions to bring one heck of a menu to Stoke Newington. Food critics, instagrammers and swathes of Stokey baby holders flocked to it’s doors to get stuck in to the Jerusalem breakfast, merguez sausage and indeed eggs washed down with spicy brunch cocktails.