Recently we embarked in a leisure trip to Europe. Tango was part of our trip as we visit milongas at London and Madrid. In this blog I share some information and personal notes about them. Continuining with the spirit of previous articles written for our blog we hope this may be of help to future tango travellers from Australia going overseas. In this case bound to London.
London – Carablanca Milonga
This milonga is located at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn. It is about 25 minutes’ walk from King Cross/Saint Pancras underground station, and it is well served by public transport (e.g. bus lines 59, 91). The suburb surrounding the hall is quite and a few bars that open until late along Woburn Pl provide a good option for a late meal.
Conway Hall is owned by a charity and was first opened in 1929. It hosts a wide variety of lectures, classes, community and social events. Among them the Carablanca milonga. The milonga prise to be the longest older running milonga in London (ca. 25 or so years). It runs every Friday from 8 pm to midnight. Your host is Danny Evans who invites different DJs every week. Price of entry to the milonga is 12 pounds.
As I walked in, I notice that the hall has a reasonable rectangular shape dancing floor with a raised backstage. The facility is well lit, and lights are not dimmed through the night. Tables are cover with red tablecloths (matching also the chair colours) and arranged into two rows along the length of the hall. A portable well-equipped bar area is located into one of the hall corners.
Numbers of attendees start to increase past 9 pm. By 10 pm the dancing floor looks full. Although a mix of different ages is observed the average is 40 to 50 plus. It is easy to see that many of them are usual attendees to this milonga and known each other well. The atmosphere is pleasant, and everybody looks relaxed.
Our DJ for the night is a girl by the name of Katerina Stoyanova. Her selection of music followed a pattern of TTTMTTTV, generally mixing Golden Age tango music.
Although still tired and a bit jetlagged from the long journey from Australia we enjoyed this milonga at Conway hall.
Verdict: good dancing venue, well located and served by public transport. Friendly atmosphere.