London is not a 24 hour city by any means. There are precious few places where you can grab a beer and a natter till the sun rises, even less where you may be able to satisfy a peckish appetite in the early hours.
When the licensing hours changed in 2005 to allow for round the clock drinking, Londoners breathed a sigh of relief; the night would no longer have to end at 11 pm and the days of last orders panic-induced buying would be over. But something rather curious happened. Rather than take to the newly relaxed laws like our European cousins have been doing for years, venue owners worried that the 24 hour licence would encourage acts of violence, despite the fact that other countries seem to manage it without having developed a particular trend for late night rioting. A 2008 government survey found that pubs were taking advantage of the new law by closing a whole 30 minutes later, so in a bizarre twist of fate, despite the government’s best efforts finding a spot to carry on when you’re not ready to go home is as tough now as it was before.
Hopefully these ideas will prevent you from roaming the streets aimlessly in search of the action.