Whether you opt for a pub quiz in London with your mates or co-workers, prefer a night in a themed bar, or love going to see a show or some live music, this is the time of year when it’s absolutely imperative to get out of your house and office, and seek out the good times.
Why? Because as the nights start drawing in and the mercury plummets in our thermometers, more and more of us end up feeling a bit down …
Seasonal depression is a very real thing, and it affects more people than you would think. The problem with living and working in London, of course, is that the darkness and greyness we experience at the end of the year seems all the more overwhelming in the big city, meaning that Londoners get a bad dose of seasonal depression (also known as SAD or seasonal affectiveness disorder).
Nights Out In London: The Ideal Cure
It’s important to remember, however, that this city isn’t all darkness and bleakness. Far from it, in fact! The big city provides a wealth of options to combat the blues and fight seasonal depression..
Indeed, once you start scratching beneath the surface, you’ll uncover a glittering array of venues, pubs, bars, activities, and events going on… the perfect cure for a nasty case of the winter blues!
In this article, we at Venueseeker decided to tackle seasonal depression head on, not least because we’ve all experienced thelow vibes of the grey winter at some point or another.
We’re lucky enough in this company to know all the coolest venues and happenings in the city – from the smallest and most intimate London pub quiz to the biggest parties in town – and we reckon the best cure for the misery of winter is to put on your glad rags, head out of the house, and check out some fun activities going on at beautiful pubs, bars, and venues across the capital.
Believe us, there’s more than you’d imagine to choose from, and whittling this list down to just a handful wasn’t easy!
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into our favourite venues right now in London offering the kinds of fun activities, experiences, or atmospheres that are sure to blow the blues away, get you socialising, and forgetting all about the unending rain and icy winds.
Ready? Of course you are!
The Sindercombe Social
Sometimes, all it takes to blow away the cobwebs and get you back to your old self again is a night out with your friends or co-workers, enjoying a few drinks, plenty of lively conversation, and maybe a pub quiz in London or an evening of dancing.
In all of these things, The Sindercombe Social really comes into its own. This versatile venue is beautifully laid out with edgy exposed brick walls, and a handful of function rooms which range from the spacious to the intimate.
The fully stocked bar offers a wealth of craft beers, real ales, wines, and European lagers, and with its 400 person capacity, has plenty of space to throw a rollicking party if that’s what you’re after.
Thanks to its spaciousness, versatility, booths, and tables, The Sindercombe Social is a particularly popular venue for corporate quizzes and games nights.
What could be better than getting together with your team, staying warm in a beautiful venue, and challenging yourself to a fun night of trivia? You’d easily forget your seasonal lows, and leave the pub on a real high.
The Hoxton, Shoreditch
Seasonal depression and adulting seem to go hand in hand. When we were kids, we just got on with it whatever the weather,,-we still need let go and have fun when needed.
So why not indulge in some childhood nostalgia and play board games Board game take us back to simpler pleasures, when we can escape into carefully-crafted fantasy worlds, or apply our mastermind way. Board games are engaging, fun and also bring out a competitive side to lift your spirits.
If you’re looking for a great pub or venue at which you can enjoy a quality range of board games, then The Hoxton in ever-trendy Shoreditch is definitely the one for you.
Not only does it have several comfortable rooms in which you can kick back with a nice drink, shutting the wind and rain outside, but it also features a library in which you can relax, read, or catch up on work, and a dedicated playroom, packed full of free board games you can enjoy with your friends, or alone.
The perfect solution for when you want to escape into a bit of innocent fun!
All Star Lanes, Holborn
One of the best ways of beating the blues that come with the changing of the seasons is to exercise your competitive spirit, and enjoy a bit of sporting fun with your co-workers, friends, or with complete strangers.
While some people might like the thought of playing a game of five-a-side in the howling wind of late autumn, that doesn’t quite sound like our idea of fun. Bowling, on the other hand, will do very nicely indeed!
All Star Lanes in Holborn is a fantastic vintage diner, famous for its retro menu and 50’s Americana-inspired parties. It’s also renowned for its excellent bowling alleys, which allow guests to sip at an ice cold beer while knocking down skittles at the end of a long day.
Live out your Big Lebowski fantasies (they do serve a mean White Russian, after all), and put a big cheesy smile back on your face at this superb central London venue!
It might seem a little strange to try to escape seasonal depression by heading into London’s coldest bar… but there’s method in our madness, believe us. Icebar London isn’t just a pub with the air conditioning turned up to the max.
It’s a unique concept bar, inspired by the original ice bars in northern Sweden, where you really can escape from the dreariness of everyday London life, and head into a whimsical winter wonderland which is, frankly, completely unforgettable.
At Icebar, pretty much everything you see is made from the purest ice carved from the Torne river in Sweden. Ice seats, ice tables, a wide bar made from a block of ice… even the glasses you’ll sip your clear and delicious vodka cocktails from are made from pure ice.
The effect is utterly stunning and completely magical; the cool blue lights and quirky atmosphere of the place is sure to snap you out of even the foulest mood!
From the arctic circle to the tropical rainforest, London really has no shortage of fantastically quirky and unusual themed pubs and restaurants. When you’re feeling low, going somewhere which is more than just bar is pretty much essential.
You want to go somewhere which snaps you out of your comfort zone, immerses you fully into a new world, a theme, or a concept, and allows you to forget about whatever’s going on outside the door for at least a few hours. In this sense, the Rainforest Cafe really does hit all the high notes, as – trust us – there really isn’t anywhere else in the capital quite like this!
It might be in the bustling heart of central London, but stepping into the Rainforest Cafe really is like going on a mini safari into the depths of the Amazon. Huge stuffed animals, a synthetic thunderstorm experience (complete with rumbling thunder and flashing lights) and an exotic ambience awaits.
Whether you’re out for a corporate dinner or an intimate date, there’s no doubt that a meal or a drink at the Rainforest Cafe will leave you grinning from ear to ear!
Lights of Soho
A wise man once said that art is whatever makes us happy to be alive. If that’s the case, it surely makes sense when you’re feeling low to spend your free time surrounded by as much art as possible.
Enter Lights of Soho – central London’s most cutting edge cultural hub, hip bar, and art gallery, all rolled into one. In this stunning and secretive bar, you’ll be faced with wall after wall of mind-blowing artistic creations, with a particular emphasis on neon art and light-up displays… the perfect solutions for snapping you out of a dark mood caused by seasonal depression!
Not only are there regular new displays and exhibitions going on at Lights of Soho, it’s also a great place to see some weird and wonderful performance pieces, the odd impromptu gig or full-blown concert, and meet some interesting characters for some lively conversations.
It’s hard to think of a more vibrant venue in the city, or a better place to spend your time when you need a boost of colour, light, and energy in your life!
The legendary 100 Club has hosted more than its fair share of musical greats across the decades. From when it opened in the 1940s, music fans have flocked to this underground venue to get their fill of the latest hip sounds, and it became something of a mecca for those seeking excitement during the revolutionary punk years in the 1970s.
Today, it’s still going strong, and it’s an absolutely brilliant place to get your dancing shoes on, or enjoy a corporate party or an intimate night out.
The great thing about the 100 Club is you really get a sense of that historical and cultural significance just from the atmosphere of the place. To share a space with some of the all-time musical greats is a thrilling experience, and this venue has an ambience which simply blasts away stress or depressive moods like you wouldn’t believe.
It’s impossible not to feel cool and sophisticated sipping a beer or a cocktail at its plush and shadowy bar, and we’d struggle to think of a more iconic and vibrant venue in the city. Perfect for when you really need a change of scenery and a night out with a guaranteed brilliant soundtrack!
Beating The Winter Blues With London’s Best Venues
Well, there you have it: some of our absolute top picks for the kind of nights out that are sure to blow the blues away. From board games nights or pub quiz in London to iconic music venues, and from the arctic circle to the tropics, nothing beats exploring exciting venues which really snap you out of your funk and get you feeling alive.
Isn’t it time you starting heading out and seeing what this city’s all about, and stopped letting the inevitable changing of the seasons spoil your mood?
Here at Venueseeker, we love staying on top of all the best venues that London and the UK in general have to offer. There’s always something new to uncover, and we’re proud to have the cream of the crop on our bookings lists.
If you’re looking for more information about the best, most interesting, and most versatile events venues, bars, halls, blank canvas spaces and more, get in touch: we’d love to hear from you and reveal some more of our best-kept secrets!