After 6 months in London I believe I have come to some conclusion on which the best places are for salsa dancing here, at least L.A. and Mambo style.
Mondays – Bar Salsa on Charing Cross Road close to Leicester Square. Super Mario usually DJ’s here when he’s in town. Usually a good crowd – the good dancers are there between 11pm and 2am (which is when they close and the bouncers come yelling at you, trying to hurry you out).
Tuesdays – never been out yet; does not seem to be a good club night for salsa.
Wednesdays – Bar Salsa, open till 2am.
Thursdays – my friend Jeff has started On2 courses and social dancing at Surya Bar at King’s Cross, open till 12pm. See http://www.salsageeks.com/ for more info.
Fridays – MamboCity event in Ealing Town Hall, open till 1am. This is usually jam-packed, hot and sweaty and a lot of fun.
– Scala at King’s Cross last Saturday of every month (usually open till 5 or 6am) + the night before all Bank holidays (open till 6am)
– Prodigal / Cape on Love Lane (close to St. Paul’s) open till 3am – this is a nice venue with a good salsa DJ and usually there are good dancers. Sometimes this clashes with Scala nights.
– Palladium at Latin Palace in Oval – I have only been there once but it was not good. Irene is trying to build a rep there and get people coming regularly but I really didn’t like the venue and it’s located way off and therefore hard to get home from unless you have a car of your own or can catch a ride.
On Fridays and Saturdays there are also occasional salsa events at Colosseum on Nine Elms Lane in Vauxhall which can be quite nice as a change. These events usually draw a mixed crowd of Cuban, LA style and mambo dancers.
Sundays – Salsa On Sundays (SOS) at the Royal National Hotel at Russell Square. This is the salsa social of the week organized by Leon Rose and Tamambo, and usually all good mambo dancers come here.