Holland Park - gay area of London?

Old May 3rd, 2002, 07:06 AM
Mark Morgan
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Holland Park - gay area of London?

My partner and I are going to London for the first time.

Does anyone know of an upmarket hotel in this area? I was told it is very gay friendly by friends. Is there another area to stay where we would feel more comfortable?

We would also appreciate advice from anyone who knows the Holland Park area and could recommend gay friendly bars and restaurants. We are discreet, just want to enjoy our trip without being harassed.

many thanks


Old May 3rd, 2002, 07:14 AM
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I live about a mile away in Chelsea. Don't know of any hotels first hand, but can tell you the park itself is lovely and gives a real sense of a typical English garden without the heavy tourist element.

Also, on Kensington High Street (the other side of Holland Park), there is a restaurant called Balans which is very gay-friendly and has good food. They have a few restaurants under the same name in the city, two of the other ones are in 'gay friendly' areas as well: Earl's Court (area in between Kensington High Street and Chelsea) and Soho (Old Compton Street has several gay bars). I have heard many gay tourist enjoy the Earl's Court area due to the 'friendly' attitude and there are many restaurants around, it's also on the Picadilly line which is quite central. I heartily recommend a night out in Soho. It encompasses Dean St., Old Compton St., Wardour St. and Frith St. and is packed with great restaurants of all ethnicities and price ranges as well as fun bars.

Good luck!
Old May 3rd, 2002, 11:15 AM
Patrick Wallace
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None of the main tourist areas is likely to be particularly 'gay-unfriendly'. While I second amy's general information and advice as to concentrations of the gay scene (though I would think Earl's Court may be a bit passé nowadays and Old Compton St a much busier gay village), most businesses are not in business to harrass their customers, and most of us Brits are brought up to mind our own business, after all <g>. Why would two people of the same sex having a meal or a drink be likely to be harrassed? They might be relatives or business colleagues.

The British Tourist Authority has a special section of its website for gay and lesbian visitors

Time Out, the major listings magazine, has a gay section (but I don't know if it's on their website) and once there are several free listings magazines in gay venues - one called Boyz has helpful maps as well.

Old Feb 8th, 2005, 09:53 AM
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scene-OUT.com is an interactive GLBT community website serving up complete daily gay & lesbian scene news & listings for London, interactive gay & lesbian club, music and book reviews, plus a huge photo archive of people enjoying the clubs and Pride events across Europe.

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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 10:13 AM
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If your are from the USA, be advised that Europeans are very open minded, liberated and mind their own business...no one is going to look at you weird or say anything nasty. Just behave like any other normal person and everything should be fine. Respect to respected.
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 11:26 AM
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Relax, I have yet to see any areas of London that are the least bit unfriendly. Even the skinheads in Soho could care less about the overtly gay scene there!
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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I'd say that London is much more open minded than most parts of the US. I can;t think of an area of central London that you'd need to avoid.
For example it's much more common for people to refer to their "partner" than boyfriend. girlfriend or spouse. Gay or straight.
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 12:13 PM
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You might also post this question on the GLBT forum in the "travel and dining" section of flyertalk.com. Lots of opinions, lots of good advice from frequent travellers.

One hotel I haven't been able to afford but would love to try is the Charlotte Street Hotel. It's a little bit east and slightly north of the West End, adjacent to the University of London student district. Very upmarket, with some great cafes etc nearby. Very close to Soho, West End shopping and theatres, British Museum etc, and very close to several tube lines.
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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Patrick LOL, I think you'll find the skinheads in Soho are gay!
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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My thoughts entirely...although Elton lives in Holland Park, and that well known straight man, Simon Cowell!
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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Learn something new every day. Even the skinheads with the Nazi tatoos, and their arms always around some tart with 5 pounds of metal through her face? I guessed those were straight skinheads. No?
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 04:29 PM
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the original question was asked in May 2002
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