Where To Be Mod In London

By Victoria Thomas Last edited 20 months ago
Where To Be Mod In London
Image: Paul Townsend

We're celebrating all things mod. For a subculture that started in the late '50s, from a small nucleus of stylish men, mod continues to hold its place as an image of swinging London and the epitome of teenage cool.

Here are our favourite places to visit if you're feeling mod in London.

Grab a suit like these 1986 Mods. Image: David Zellaby

If you got a taste for fine tailoring after Moses, Mods and Mr Fish at the Jewish Museum, fill your Chelsea boots at Adam Of London. Adam Shener has been kitting out the city since the 1960s and is a suit specialist. His range of tailoring still takes inspiration from the London scene of 1963-65 and a bespoke suit comes in at a reasonable £300. You'll be the finest Face around.

Adam of London, 11 Portobello Arcade, 281 Portobello Green, W10 5TZ

Get your lashes on. Image: Amaryllis Steinweisser

Women's mod haven Biba has been closed since 1975, but you can still make the pilgrimage to its Kensington High Street site at the Derry & Tom's Building (now housing M&S). Or if Mary Quant's mini is more your style, take a trip to Duke Of York Square. A stone's throw from her original store, Bazaar, in Markham House on the Kings Road. It's a make-up emporium —  perfect for creating Twiggy-esque eyes. You can still pick up some Quant designs in the store's limited clothing range — neat monochrome suits, dresses and bags.

Mary Quant, 37 Duke Of York Square, SW3 4LY

Still making music at Ronnie Scotts. Image: mumphalee

Since 1959, Ronnie Scott's has been bringing sweet sounds to Soho, first at Gerrard Street, then Frith Street since 1965. Jazz fiends could catch some of music's finest players, from Nina Simone and Sonny Rollins, to Curtis Mayfield and Ella Fitzgerald. It's still one of the city's best places to catch jazz talent. Tickets for weekend shows start from around £25.

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, 47 Frith Street, W1D 4HT

If you're looking to be in with the "In" crowd for less, head Downstairs at The Kings Head. From 2.30pm, let the jazz entertain you with a collection of artists oozing talent. With sounds that transport you to a smokey sixties basement, this is modernist Sunday relaxation for just £5.

The Kings Head, 2 Crouch End Hill, N8 8AA

Waterloo view. Image: Steve M Walker

A band beloved by many mods, some of The Kinks' most famous lyrics come from Waterloo Sunset. If you're trying to spot Terry meeting Julie at 'Waterloo Station, every Friday night,' take your spot on Waterloo Bridge and see some of the city's finest views while the sun disappears. Ray Davies was right — Waterloo sunset's fine.

Vespa or Lambretta? Image: Mark

In the 1960s, its close proximity to Ronnie Scott's, the Marquee Club and 2i's Coffee Bar, meant that some of world's greatest musicians — including the Rolling Stones and Hendrix — could grab their caffeine fix at Bar Italia while passing through Soho.

Today it retains its mod traditions by being the home of London's only dedicated mod scooter club, meeting on Sundays for "plenty of coffee and scenic rides through London". Feel like letting out your Quadrophenia side? Grab a parka and join the cappuccino cats who meet here to celebrate all things scooter. Ready, Steady, Go!

Bar Italia, 22 Frith Street, W1D 4RF, is open 22 hours a day, from 7am-5am, 7 days a week

Last Updated 03 February 2017