We were only in London from Sunday to Wednesday morning, so our taste of the nightlife was probably a little different than those who take a weekend holiday. But we still tasted the nightlife, and gained a unique perspective on the nightlife in London, a weeknight perspective.
If you are going to visit London for the same time frame as us, you may have some of the same questions that I had about going out, making friends, and consuming alcohol in a far-away place you have never experienced.
My answers to these questions come from my personal experience, hanging for 3 nights in London.
These are the questions I looked for answers to before I went abroad (among others). Go ahead and laugh, it is a little silly. But these were my actual questions! And while I am aware that most people think Americans are over concerned with safety while traveling abroad (YIKES PICK-POCKETS!!*), I wanted to experience London with just a tiny bit of caution, because after all, we were ladies traveling alone in a place we didn't know.
Will people be at a pub on a Tuesday night? Yes, enough to be lively, probably not as many as you would find on a weekend. And that is OK, because London is full of people. I think it is safe to say that Londoners like to drink. Londoners may even love to drink. But drinking seems to be a male dominated sport- so you won't see many ladies.
Will the addition of alcohol make people more friendly towards americans, or less? I found that worked both ways. Alcohol didn't help me understand a thick accent, I had a crotchety english man try to talk to me, get irritated that I couldn't understand a word he said, and then buy me a pint. So the jury is out on that one. I know that people were the most friendly in the pub, but that could also be attributed to the fact that London is so busy, and most people that aren't tourists in the city are there to work, not play. So I would say it was close to the same friendliness as you would experience in America, and maybe slightly better. Some people were quite interested in being our friends. And that made me happy. I was looking to make a connection with someone that I could ask about London, about funny words and differences, and we found these people in our local pub. Not a pub in "the city of London", "inside the walls" as Londoners say or downtown as we would say in the US, but in our neighborhood pub where regular neighborhood people went.
Is it safe for 2 ladies to walk themselves home at say midnight? Honestly, that is too personal of a question for me to answer for you. What I can say is that I felt just as safe as I do walking around in America at night. London appears to be just as safe as you would be in any major city (American or otherwise) that you don't know at all. Wit and sound judgement are paramount here. Stay smart and you'll stay safe.
Our favorite pub was 2 blocks from the flat we were staying at, we walked fast and didn't linger in the street.
Was there a jukebox? YES! And it was funny. It was a modern "internet searching" jukebox, except it was connected to a different internet than we in America are. So there were plenty of options, American and otherwise, and yeah they listen to a lot of the same top 100 music that we do. I checked out the most played tracks on the jukebox before I dove in. Fleetwood Mac and John Denver made the list. A few guys playing pool asked me to play something with a little groove to it, and what they meant was Justin Timberlake.
*I read all the articles about keeping safe while abroad, and the general consensus was to stay away from packed areas and carry all your money, passport and things of value in a money belt, or something else sneaky, and get a very sturdy bag that cannot be slashed open. I decided on my first day that I didn't like my secret money stashing device, and put everything in my purse. Just like a normal person in America. I did pay more attention to keeping zippers closed, and I didn't leave my bag anywhere unattended, which at times was cumbersome, but that's all I would recommend.