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Strip clubs - not sleazy?

Maryland
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Strip clubs - not sleazy?

Not sure if this is the type of crowd to ask this question (you seem to know much more about pubs and museums and culture)...

My friend and I would like to go to a strip club -- heard there are a lots in Soho, Chelsea...

Anyone know of reputable places to take him that aren't too sleazy or disgusting, or total ripoffs? Strip clubs are NOT my usual entertainment, so I am clueless on this. My friend is pretty much a "country mouse" for whom the trip to London is like a gateway to an exotic wonderland.

I was hoping a nice middle eastern restaurant with belly dancing would be enough, but he's really interested in going to a strip club.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Rick in Maryland

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Strip clubs - not sleazy?

Raymond's Revue Bar may have been the only acceptable peeler bar in Soho, but I believe it's closed now. The few places left are sad, drab and awful, where the first drink costs £5, the second £100, the third £200 - avoid at all costs.

Brighton, United...
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2. Re: Strip clubs - not sleazy?

Maybe take a look at this article about Burlesque type shows which may be less sleazy - no idea having not been to any!

…timesonline.co.uk/article/…00.html

Brighton, United...
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3. Re: Strip clubs - not sleazy?

And this would be different, although not one for our TALF regular afternoon tea afficionados.

Afternoon Tease at Volupté

The unassuming location, tucked behind Chancery Lane, was an odd choice for Volupté, a venue that's been dubbed the latest neo-burlesque opening (its neighbours tend to cater to a post-work suited crowd). But passing traffic is unlikely to fill the place - it will rely on the burgeoning network of burlesque blogs and grapevines to attract its customers.

The intimate bar upstairs, which is party to feather-fan dancing on some nights, is used as a reception area ahead of the Afternoon Tease where innovative cocktails, such as a Japanese Slipper (tequila, fresh lemon juice and Midori) are served. Downstairs, the décor screams girly boudoir, with stylish printed wallpaper, chairs draped in lustrous fabrics and a folding screen in a space cleared between the tables from which sultry performers with names like Tallulah Mockingbird emerge during tea.

The champagne is a good start to set the tone, and is followed by delicate finger sandwiches and patisseries, then sweet-smelling fresh scones with jam and clotted cream and teas, served by "Teasmaids" in the traditional housemaids' black and white outfits, but with a sexy twist (fishnet tights and plunging cleavages). Performances range from husky singers belting out Nina Simone to bold burlesque strip tease acts. It's a perfect girly outing - women make up most of the audience - although the three couples who were there also looked like they were having a good time.

Need to know: Afternoon Tease is on the first Saturday of every month 2.30-6pm, and costs £6 on entry and £18 for the full menu or £10 for a cream tea with champagne and tea. Volupté, 9 Norwich St, tel. 020 7831 1622, www.volupte-lounge.com, reservations@volupte-lounge.com, tube station: Chancery Lane

warrensburg,MO
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4. Re: Strip clubs - not sleazy?

Take heed of what TravellerPlus has said. Go into the wrong strip club in Soho and you'll be fleeced hundreds of pounds for 'drinks' and if you refuse to pay you'll be introduced to a mountain sized bouncer ready to change your mind. One of London's most appalling scams.

Stirling, United...
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5. Re: Strip clubs - not sleazy?

I know nothing about this apart from what I have seen on the telly, but what about Spearmint Rhino? Seems to aim at the stags/hens and corporate night out market, so you might not get mugged on the way out (or in). I don't know if they do "full" strip though.

http://www.spearmintrhino.co.uk/home.php

Note the warning that buying "rhinochips" to pay the dancers with, with a credit card is surcharged at 20%.

England
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6. Re: Strip clubs - not sleazy?

Henneth is right, and don't expect any sympathy if you are ripped off!

I'm sorry, but IMO there's no such thing as a reputable strip club! Many of the employees are eastern Europeans being exploited by ruthless gangsters, but all are being exploited on some level or other.

I'll get off my high horse now, (time for my pole-dancing class, anyway!)

Brighton, United...
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7. Re: Strip clubs - not sleazy?

Rick, the 'Shoreditch Mile' is where he need to head to. There ae are a number of "gentlemens sporting clubs" on Shoreditch High street up near Old Street....so i am lead to believe ;-)

Londinium born and...
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8. Re: Strip clubs - not sleazy?

If you're that near Covent Garden then you could go to Stringfellows. It's been there years and is a bit more safe for tourists than the dives you'll find in Soho, which can be dangerous.

http://www.stringfellows.com/split/index.htm

Spearmint Rhino clubs are safe enough too and having met some of the girls who work in the Wapping one (in the pub they frequent) I can tell you they are definitely not forced into anything, in fact they seem to be quite a mercinary bunch.

somewhere out there
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9. Re: Strip clubs - not sleazy?

>>Strip clubs - not sleazy?<<

Oxymoron?

Orange County
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10. Re: Strip clubs - not sleazy?

I can say from personal experience that I was shaken down in a Soho strip club. The following story is all true, and it happened to me.

It was 10 years ago, I was a fresh-faced 18-year-old American tourist, and the name of the place was The Compton Club, on Old Compton Rd, in the shadow of the Palace Theatre.

I paid a 5 pound "cover charge" at the door. I was led into what looked like a waiting room of sorts, and introduced to a flabby woman in lingerie who sat me down on a couch and asked me if I'd like a drink before the show started. I said "sure" and ordered a Jack and Coke. She asked if she could sit down. I said sure. She asked me to buy her a drink, I said, all right. We made small talk for a while, I mentioned where I was from, what I was looking forward to seeing in town, what hotel I was staying at, and what shows I was seeing, things like that. 5 minutes later, it was announced that the show was about to start, and that I should settle the bill before I entered the showroom.

I was presented with the bill. It was 330 pounds.

I was charged 50 pounds for my drink, 80 pounds for the lady's drink (some fruity-umbrella-adorned thing called the Screaming Orgasm), and 200 pounds for "The Company of a Lady." I said I couldn't afford that, and my female companion disappeared and was replaced by a man who can best be described as Jason Statham on steroids. His name was JOCK.

He immediately made me take out my wallet, and show it to him. He took all of the cash I had, a 50-pound note, and, because he made me empty my pockets, too, about 5-10 pounds in change. When I told him I had no credit card, nor ATM card, he kept repeating "Have another look in your wallet, sir." Like a mantra, almost. He just wouldn't stop. I was near tears as I explained that I didn't know what was going on. Meanwhile, he took my hotel key from my pocket and wrote down the room number.

The woman whose company apparently cost 200 pounds appeared again, and listed all of the information I had given her in the conversation: which shows I was going to later that week, on which days, WHICH HOTEL I WAS STAYING AT, and how long I'd be in town.

Jock have me until the end of the day to come up with the money I owed, or he would have his friends drop into my hotel room for a visit. Or they would be waiting for me outside the theatre. He said that my entire visit had been captured on hidden suveillance video, and that his associates would have my picture, and they would not be as polite as he was.

And then they let me go.

The whole way back to the hotel on the tube I was a nervous wreck - partly because I was scared to death, and partly because now I had to tell my mother, who had been off sightseeing by herself that afternoon, that I owed money to a leg-breaker named Jock for sharing the company of a lady.

As difficult as it was, I told her, we called the American Embassy, and asked what we should do. They told us to switch rooms, or switch hotels if it made us comfortable, never to go to the club again, and not to give them any more money.

The rest of the week, I was looking over my shoulder constantly. At each play I went to (including Les Miserables at the Palace, just a stone's throw from the Compton Club), I ducked into the doorway whilst sweating bullets and getting increasingly paranoid. And, ultimately, nothing happened.

But what a frightful experience. Rick, if, after reading all of that, your friend STILL wants to go to a strip club, well, all I can say is...

Stick to the Spearmint Rhino?

Well, that, and... If you see a guy named "Jock," just run. FAST.