Windmill International is a late-night gentlemen’s club that offers full nude erotic dancing on stage, an extensive bar and table service. And all this is topped off with the fact that this establishment is one of the mainstays of Soho nightlife – a visit is a step back to the glory days of a decadent and racy past.
If you ask anyone in the know about The Windmill, their response will include one or all of the following points: it’s a grand old feature of Soho life; it was a theatre and a cinema famous for nude tableau vivant for excited theatregoers; and it offered a mixed programme of variety acts before becoming an adult nightspot. Famous as the place that never closed during the Blitz, the Windmill Theatre (as it was known then) launched the careers of many post-war comedians and variety performers. Today, Windmill International (as it is now called) still has a strong reputation as a component of central London nightlife in the form of a gentlemen’s club of some renown, and the venue is full of the finest, friendliest and fittest ladies in all of Soho.
Upon entering the club, after a quick hello with the courteous door staff, you step into a modern club that still has one foot well in the past. This is not in any way a bad thing as the club retains that element that is in short supply in much of London, particularly in the field of gentlemen’s clubs: glamour. The old theatre style is still evident and the stage is set like a scene in a classic black and white musical. You might expect Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to dance down the stairs onto the stage for a quick twirl, but these days you are more likely to see a few of the house girls showing their pole dancing expertise, twirling and writhing at the very top of the poles that rise some 20-feet above the stage.
The floor in front of the stage is bedecked with small tables and chairs, giving the whole place a charming, old-fashioned cabaret club feeling, especially with all the scantily clad ladies walking about. The lower area has an extra bit of stage that can rise up electronically to increase the square-footage, if the ladies are putting on a cabaret or group dance. As the Windmill used to be a theatre, you can spot where the stalls were once located, and up a narrow flight of stairs is the VIP dance area where the balcony seats used to be. In these secluded and discreet nooks, the lady of your choice will dance in a glorious, fully nude manner that’s sure to raise your heart rate.
In the heart of Soho, you could imagine yourself to be in a speakeasy bar, in the cool 1950s or in the hip 1960s, or perhaps you may feel like Dennis Waterman in an episode of The Sweeney. Windmill International has that sort of effect on its punters; it creates a feeling you won’t get anywhere else in London, and particularly in any other gentleman’s club. You feel like something could happen, as if you are living the real life of Soho.
It is impossible not to mention the amazing cavalcade of ladies. The number of girls at Windmill International is in fact a little astonishing. Everywhere you look there is a cluster of beauties, and they seem to be rapidly increasing in number by the hour. The sheer choice of international, gorgeous girls will keep you entertained and coming back for more. You might be suddenly approached by a gorgeously athletic Brazilian lady, by some statuesque blonde from Eastern Europe, or maybe by a coolly seductive girl from Trinidad and Tobago. Any and all of these girls are friendly, attentive and willing to chat, hang out and dance for you. You may prefer to sit by yourself or with your friends to take in the dances on stage, but don't miss out on the upstairs delights, when the lady of your choosing takes you by the hand to lead you up to the VIP section and give you the dance of your life.
Entrance to Windmill international is £15, private dances are £20 each, and the rules and regulations regarding the time that the girls spend with you at your table (separate from the VIP dances upstairs) are printed on cards on each table, along with a drinks menu. Things really start to get busy after midnight, and as you find a table and get settled in, you will be presented with a very nice fresh fruit platter for you and the girls to happily nibble away on. But, you will need to purchase drinks, and with that in mind, the facts of adult entertainment venues come into play. The Windmill International is for alert and switched-on punters only; do not assume that the girls are there for your chat-up lines. You will have to pay if they stay with you for a while.
Windmill International has an exceptional range of drinks on offer, from lagers and spirits to wines and excellent Champagnes. You can order wines, vintage Champagnes and spirits by the bottle if you are feeling very flush, and these will be served to you, and the ladies you may choose to share with, at your table. Then you can enjoy the scene, the on-stage dances and the cool ambience of the Windmill. But, do ensure you are aware of the prices before you buy as you may end up overspending. In fact, it’s quite good fun spotting those punters who have been presented with their bill only to flinch like they’ve just been slapped. Look before you leap.
The Last Word
With its friendly door and bar staff, its welcoming Maitre D’ and its amazing location, reputation and atmosphere, Windmill International is quite an experience. Anyone keen on London’s adult nightlife should visit, if only to see a truly classic venue still operating at the peak of its powers. It may be long-established, but it stays relevant thanks to a bevy of lingerie-clad beauties and a sophisticated, old-school atmosphere of decadence.