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Great club - but make an effort boys

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11:42 CEST+02:00
Tipping Point: Kathleen Harman gets a taste for the glamorous side of Stockholm gay clubbing, but is disappointed that in dress-down Stockholm, her efforts with leopard print are not matched by an abundance of well-oiled, shirtless, six-packed torsos.

I can't remember the last time I had quite so much fun. I think it could have been well over a decade ago and may have involved gratuitous nudity and alcohol at some point in the proceedings.

While alcohol did indeed feature last Saturday night, the world can breathe a huge sigh of relief in that the wanton removing of clothing in a public place did not take place. But as this is Sweden, who would have noticed anyway, especially with the entire nation glued to the Eurovision Song Contest?

But where better to watch this great cultural event than at a gay nightclub? Now, seeing that I am a heterosexual woman who likes an early night, it is fair to say that the whole gay nightclub scene has somehow passed me by. I am however delighted to say that this monumental oversight has now been rectified, thanks to an absolutely fabulous evening at the Lino Club.

The club bills itself as a venue for ‘champagne and mingling', and I can see where they're coming from with that description. It has several bars and although the place was jam packed, everyone seemed to be in great schlager spirits. Spontaneous banter even broke out when I was waiting to buy a drink, such a rare thing in Stockholm I feel it's worth a mention.

I chose to spend the most of the evening in the less crowded outside terrace area. I could wax lyrical about the breathtaking view of the twinkling lights of Gamla Stan, reflecting against the black pearliness of Lake Malaren. I could mention the beautiful Art Deco wrought ironwork that surrounds the terrace and how I was drawn to the tasteful topiary that surrounds the garden area but I feel that this might perhaps make me a big fat fibber – the real reason for being outside was so that I could feel the thrill of having a sneaky ciggie and a drink at the same time.

The DJ was playing 80s funky disco music, so I spent a happy couple of hours shaking my groove thing. And my groove thing was clad, rather appropriately I thought, in super-duper leopard print.

Sadly, however – and this was the downside of Stockholm gay clubbing – I was the one only one who seemed to have made an effort, sartorially speaking.

Every day is dress down Friday in Stockholm and I get so fed up with the herd mentality jeans/ black polo neck/cream polo neck jumper unisex look. I had hoped for more from the gay clubbing community but no, I could not spy a single shirtless-well-oiled-six-packed-small-leather-shorts-wearer amongst the whole lot of them. Disgraceful.

However, it really was so much fun, and fun, like flamboyance, can be a bit thin on the ground in these here parts. So, if you want to party like it's 1999, treat yourself to a night out at the Lino Club and be sure to watch the sun rise across the water from the terrace.

The Lino Club is open every Saturday evening from 10pm to 3am. The entry fee is 100 SEK and drinks were the usual Stockholm prices of around 50 –70 SEK.

The Lino Club, Sodra Riddarholmshamnen 19, www.linoclub.com

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