One of the reasons to stay in Southwark was to visit a huge gay club called XXL.
It can best be described as a monumental place. It is a huge dance club that is always interesting to visit. The cover charge is 15 pounds for non-members but we went early enough to avoid the lines.
It is classic men's space with no women in sight and the modern equivalent of a sweat lodge as men dance the night away to loud music and bright flashing lights that transports them into another world. Although, some use chemical transport as well. There are very few places that even come close to this experience. Certainly there are no clubs like this in Denver but San Francisco is devoid of them as well. I don't have any experience with New York but I doubt it. The best comparison is the dance parties at Sydney Mardi Gras where the attendance is limited to 19,000.
It is not much to look at from the outside and I didn't take photos because I didn't want to take my camera. There is a picture gallery
on their website to give you some idea of the scope of the place.
The club is in the arches under the rail lines leading to Blackfriar's station. There are five spaces of about 150 foot by 40 foot making up the space. The entrance is under the railroad bridge on Southwark Blvd. The first arch you enter is ½ administrative including all the ticket booths and coat check stations. The other half is a sort of living room with a bar at one end and 16 leather sofas on wheels. There is a bar at one end and a short movie playing above the bar but later in the evening the fog from the fog machine obscured the picture.
The second arch contains a dance floor and the restroom facilities. As you can imagine, it requires a huge number of stalls and sinks for the number of people that attend. The third arch is another bar with a few sofas but most of the space is a sideline area for the fourth arch which is all dance floor. There are two dozen mirror balls and loud pulsing music with lasers. The DJ booth looks down on the crowd from the far end while on the opposite end is a raised platform
The last arch is a quieter area with sofas and benches upholstered in astroturf. It is by far the strangest stuff to sit on. There are three green trees created out of the astroturf and suggestions of trees on the walls looking much like rejects from a Dr. Seuss book.
I have to guess that the capacity is in the thousands. It is all men and no women. There are all kinds of flashing lights and laser beams. The fog machines work overtime. It is a sensory extravaganza.
I stayed until 3 am and Ron lasted until about 5 am. Fortunately the hotel was across the road. We were not as worn out as it could have been because there were places to sit and we weren't drinking liquor. We were still a little sleep deprived when we checked out of the hotel at 11 am and headed for Ross and Jim's home in Mottingtonham.