My first experience of London nightlife was exactly the one you see in the movies—neon lights and miniskirts, hipsters and drag queens. I was in fact one of the drag queens, dressed in my most 80s glamour gear much to the amusement of my more appropriately-dressed companions.
We went to Ku Bar, where the drinks were pricey and the bartenders, in their pastel-pink tank tops, were charming. The atmosphere was great: the place had a calm vibe you wouldn’t expect from one of Soho’s most popular gay bars, and there were people of all ages spending their night out there (we even spotted a couple old enough to be your grandparents). Britney blared on the TV screens and speakers, and I sipped Baileys on ice and conversed with strangers who were soon to be friends.
The evening continued on to G-A-Y. What an experience! Never had I seen so many mirror balls or so much pink in one room, or so many TV screens—all on which a 1980s Madonna performed her heart out. The room was so crowded with people that there was barely room to dance, so after a drink and several 90s bangers, we—the collective LGBTQ Society—escaped for some fresh air. People-watching in Soho at midnight makes for some great entertainment. We spotted men dowsed in more glitter than even I was, and a couple of holidaying Brazilian lads dressed head-to-toe in Versace.
The only negative of the evening is how high it’s set my standards! Can you really have a good night out without costume jewellery and cocktails? When you’re walking to Tottenham Court Road station in the early hours, wearing uncomfortable shoes that you can’t believe you survived a night in and enough glittery eyeshadow that every passer-by stares, you know you’ve had the best introduction to Soho that there is. My spirits were high and my heels higher that night as I realised I’d fallen in with a like-minded group of people, in an incredible university in one of the most exciting areas of London.