Before I moved to London, I hadn’t had many nights out here. In fact you could probably count them on one hand and none of them had been outstanding. London is expensive and busy. Finally, my friend took me to The Paradise in Kensal Green. She lives round the corner which meant no waiting around in the freezing cold for the night bus or handing over the contents of my savings account in order to pay for a taxi. This night was looking better already.
1. It has a bar.
First and foremost, this is what you want on a night out- a bar. And this place has one. More than one actually but the main bar downstairs comes with a seating area so you can just sit and chat, if you can hear each other over the noise. The decor has a dark gothic feel about it, with statues, vases, paintings, drapes, chandeliers and leather chairs.
2. It has a dance floor.
A bar with a dance floor may not be anything new but I quite like this one. The dance floor is upstairs and therefore feels separate from the main bar downstairs. So if you want to drink and chat then you can just drink and chat and if you want to dance then you can do that as well.
The dance area is relatively small and so fills up quickly, which is kinda good. No one wants to be dancing alone. But this does mean that if you go in a big group then things may get tricky. I’ve been a few times and the most successful trip has been when I was with just one other person. You might even find some live music while you’re there.
3. It does a mean Sunday roast lunch.
For me the idea of having lunch in the same place that you drink and dance feels a bit weird but then I guess it’s not much different from a pub. Although I don’t dance in my local pub. Often. Either way, weird or not weird, The Paradise has a restaurant area in the back. This area doesn’t seem to be particularly accessible to visitors at night (I’ve walked through it to the outside area out back but never sat down) so perhaps thats how it avoids being grimey the Sunday after the Saturday night before. The decor from the bar follows through to the restaurant, with distressed wood and faded painted walls. It feels weirdly grand.
Sunday isn’t Sunday without some kind of roasted meat for lunch and The Paradise is a great option for that. The service wasn’t bang on point (I seem to recall my meal got a bit lost in translation) and the Bloody Mary I ordered came pre-Tabasco-ed and so just made me feel a whole lot worse in the delicate state I was in on my visit but the food was delicious. The Bloody Mary may not have helped but my meal was exactly what I needed.