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Location: London GB
Website: http://www.rvt.org.uk


Standing alone at the bottom of Kennington Lane and South Lambeth Road, surrounded by a small patch of grassland, is an old Victorian pub. It doesn't look much from the outside. A recent paintjob has smartened up the walls but can't alter the impression that this is the last pub standing, the only venue in the area not to be redeveloped or turned into a Starbucks. But behind these doors lies a wealth of gay cultural history. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is London's longest-surviving gay venue. It endured the Blitz, and the devastating impact of AIDS. It even survived the defection of its greatest star, Lily Savage, to the world of daytime television. And like all true survivors, the old girl is currently enjoying a bit of a comeback. Walk past any night of the week and you'll hear music, laughter and possibly even the sound of a man in a wig singing ‘Maybe This Time' by Liza Minnelli. PAUL BURSTON Time Out London January 2007