Streets of London
London, United Kingdom


Let’s get the DJ-geek stuff out of the way. Soho is especially good for browsing. Forget museums, there are shops and landmarks which are museums and galleries in their own right. Phonica Records (best record store in the world, bonus points if you’re still spinning vinyl) is the jam. Then check out Bang Bang, a vintage designer clothes store, that’s cooler than Brick Lane Market because it’s actually unique in its location. I also love VinMag (although many say it’s a little bit of a tourist trap) for old magazines and vintage poster art – a great place to let those creative juices flow.

But as I’ve said before, London has so many hoods and boroughs to explore. I currently live in Vauxhall, right next to the infamous Eagle. Every Sunday, London descends to its small dancefloor, the home of the now global phenomenon, Horse Meat Disco. Depending on how your night goes there, there’s a brilliant place to have breakfast or afternoon tea in Vauxhall Park called the Teahouse Theatre.

“Once you’ve engaged someone, they will direct you to the best night of your life. Or to their apartment…”

But there is no doubt that East London is where it’s at – good times guaranteed. I love to start my Eastie experience by having herbal tea and cake with my mates in Broadway Market. I’d then take a pint or two at The Nelsons Head, hidden amidst the residential streets off Hackney Road. Dinner at one of the many Vietnamese places on the Kingsland Road is a must. One, in particular, deserves a mention, because of its name – Viet Hoe. I love it! Just tell them to hold the garlic if you plan on doing any kissing later in the evening.

The George and Dragon is the pre-club hangout. Bijou in all senses of the word, this is the place to rub shoulders, asses and groins. It’s not ideal for a claustrophobe, but this is where to gather information on the night ahead, and proximity (no garlic, see?) will give you the opportunity to strike up a conversation.

But almost as a rule, the East London dancing experience happens when you jump into a cab for the short ride to Dalston. The Dalston Superstore (yes, they never changed the name or fascia from the grocery store it used to be, much like other hangouts in the area – Vogue Fabrics, Jaguar Shoes) is where I’m headed tonight. Incidentally, I’m showing a couple of celebrity guests around – the lovely Kim Ann Foxman is visiting from NYC and Silvia Prada from Barcelona – so I’m really putting what I preach into practice. If there were more hours in the day, I would have taken them to Voodoo Rays (who, in my humble opinion has the best pizza in London and an underground dance tunnel that always impresses with a line-up to rival any Ibiza club) and if jetlag isn’t (or perhaps if it is) an issue, you won’t ever go wrong with the Old Street late-night den of iniquity, East Bloc. You’ll find me on the decks there from time to time, especially on my own night DISH, every second Saturday of the month. Say hi. I won’t bite. Or smell of garlic.

Photography by Cathal O’Brien