The Soho Hotel is the perfect hideaway for a full Soho experience. After checking in, go for a casual walkabout in the area. With an enormous variety of book shops, artsy stores, bars, restaurants, clubs and sex shops, walking around here is never boring. Soho Square is literally less than five minutes by foot and a great place to start your expedition. In the summer it becomes a bee's hive for the gay community.
From there, walk down Frith Street towards Old Compton Street. The Nero coffee on the corner of Old Compton's and Frith is one of the most flirtatious points in town. Grab your skinny latte and sit by the busy floor-to-ceiling glass windows for some prize people watching. The outside seats are busy year-round.
Old Compton is the 'high street' in the area, and here everything is gay. Compton's, the pub, has been around long before the LGBTQ community arrived. In its darker days, it had tinted windows to stop curious people peeping in. Nowadays it is a fave among bears and muscled blokes.
Balans opposite is open until 6 am on weekends and serves up breakfast, lunch, happy hour snacks, supper and late dinners. Ideal for a pre- or post-party grub, grab a table near the front windows if you can, to see and be seen.
G-A-Y Bar next door to the Prince of Wales Theatre, is the cheesy one, with pop music and cheap drinks. Good for a warm up session, don't plan on staying more than a couple of hours here or risk being trapped with Kylie in the basement for the rest of the night.
The Village attracts customers with gogo boys pole-dancing on the bars. The music and the views on the ground floor can get slightly overwhelming, so head upstairs for a more relaxed vibe or downstairs if you fancy a bit of underground music.
SweatBox is a gym/sauna on Ramille's Street right on the edge of Soho, near Carnaby and Oxford Streets. Upstairs an unusually empty gym, downstairs a packed shower area, saunas, steam rooms and a large jacuzzi. Another floor down and the labyrinth of dark rooms, private cubicles and erotic cinema reveals where the guys are really hiding here.
The gay attractions in London go well beyond Soho, so for an iconic nightclub, head to Charing Cross, and find Heaven in the cellars of the station near Trafalgar Square. The entrance is under the arches accessible via Villiers Street. With a varied schedule, past performers include Madonna, Gaga and Adele.
But if only one iconic club is not enough, then better take a 20-minute rickshaw ride across the Thames. On the river's South bank, Vauxhall gay village has it all. A collection of bars and pubs, super clubs, after hours parties, a sauna and the appropriately named Pleasure Gardens (an actual public square).
With different events each day of the week, check out which parties are happening during your visit. Obviously, the weekend nights are the best and busiest and when places like Fire getting going in full swing.