Cafe de Paris
The name is borrowed from France but Cafe de Paris has in fact been at the centre of London's nightlife for over 80 years. The opulent 700 capacity venue currently hosts a slew of events of the r'n'b, funky house and hip hop variety. However it's the Cafe's rich heritage which sets it apart.
It opened for business in 1924 and almost immediately became a favourite with Europe's raunchy royalty.
Edward Prince of Wales, overly sociable and lover of experienced women, was a regular visitor. He occasionally arrived and departed via a secret staircase, which was also used to evict undesirables and the excessively inebriated.
The Prince enjoyed the innovative cabarets accompanied by Fred Astaire, among others. The twinkle-toed dancer performed there, as did the playwright and songwriter Noel Coward.
The fun was halted abruptly when the venue was bombed in World War II. Tragically 80 people died including Ken 'Snakehips' Johnston, on stage at the time, and the maitre d', who had earlier claimed the four solid stories of masonry above would provide adequate protection.
Happily however the building has been fully and lavishly restored. It offers several VIP areas, bars and a mezzanine floor which overlooks a bustling restaurant that becomes a club as the evening progresses.
A range of corporate clients have made use of the facilities in recent years including Agent Provocateur, who celebrated their 10th birthday on the premises.
Cafe de Paris also features in films Absolute Beginners, the Krays and Scandal, a fictionalised account of the Profumo affair.
Please note you must 21 or over to attend events at Cafe de Paris.
Cafe de Paris
3 - 4 Coventry St London
nearest tube Picadilly Circus