ICA, The Mall see pp6 Occupying a regal John Nash terrace, the Institute of Contemporary Arts is a wellspring of the avant-garde within a stone’s throw of Buckingham Palace. Two tiny cinemas feature art-house and foreign-language films. There are talks and music events in the evenings, and a lively bar that stays open pretty late. Glamorous, cultured, raucous, seedy… After dark, the metropolis pulses with nightlife in many guises. Soho is the nocturnal epicentre,with a high concentration of places to eat and drink. Pubs are packed to capacity, spilling out onto the narrow streets, and all-night cafes offer a ringside view of unfolding dramas.The pubs may close early 11pm, but, if you’re prepared to pay a cover charge, the evening doesn’t have to end there. Soak up the cool vibe at a quintessential jazz joint, catch a risque cabaret, or head east for switched-on nightclubs. Londoners often counteract alcoholic excesses with a fiery curry, or a salt beef bagel at the all-night bakery in Brick Lane. For more refined entertainments, the arts complex on the South Bank may not be aesthetically pleasing, but it is unrivalled for cultural events.
Cutting-Edge Culture at the ICA Photo Gallery