It’s not hard to find something to do in London at night. The city is full of great bars, restaurants, and clubs, all of which together make up a terrific nightlife. Because of this however almost all of the recommendations you see for a night out in London concern the top-rated clubs, the most famous bars, and the trendiest restaurants.

Now, there is most certainly nothing the matter with this. You should make a point of experiencing some of those places, because they’re typically recommended for a reason.

However, it’s fun now and then to find some alternatives that aren’t borrowed from the tops of lists or the highlights of guidebooks. For that, we have some recommendations.

The Cheese Bar

Let’s be honest: when we go out at night for a nice meal or some late night food, one thing a lot of us are looking for is some really good cheese.

It can come in virtually innumerable forms, but there aren’t many foods more comforting, and whether with a fine meal or some after drinking food, it’s a go-to for tons of people.

So why not plan your night around it? The Cheese Bar is one of the more unique establishments in London – a restaurant dedicated to cheese It’s a modern, attractive venue, offering up everything from “ox cheese poutine” to a dark chocolate ice cream sundae with ewe’s milk cheese.

The Empire & Hippodrome

Here’s something a lot of visitors to London might not be aware of: there’s actually a fairly rich gambling and casino culture in town.The history of this kind of activity dates back to Queen Elizabeth who essentially started lotteries after her father Henry VIII banned gambling in all forms.

Now, some 450 years later, London is home to some of the top casinos in Europe, which curiously go without mention in a lot of city activity guides.

The Empire and the Hippodrome, both in the Leicester Square area, are packed with games and entertainment and can serve as full nights on the town in and of themselves.

The Shard

It won’t take up your whole evening, but heading to the top of The Shard can be a remarkable experience.

The sightseeing opportunity that gets the most attention is a ride on the London Eye, and that’s certainly a fun way to see the city (complete with a glass of champagne if you pay a little extra).

But at The Shard you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city below, and you’re at a far higher vantage point than a car atop the London Eye. Perhaps it’s a good place to go as you digest your meal from The Cheese Bar.

BYOC

BYOC might not be particularly appealing to people who just want to go out and be catered to at a nice restaurant or cocktail lounge. If you want a unique experience though, this is the place for a drink.

The idea is to bring a spirit of your choice, from which the talented bartenders will whip you up a range of exciting cocktails crafted to suit your tastes and preferences. You provide the alcohol, and they do everything else, with the ideal result being that you figure out a brand new cocktail that’s more or less customized to you. Throw in dim atmosphere that’s at once vintage and chic, and you’ve got a pretty fun night out.