Dolan Bergin, founder of The Hydra & Electric Minds, shared with us his best tips to dig fine records, chill out and party underground in London.

What’s to do in the summer when everyone’s gone?

It’s an obvious choice but London has some of the best city parks in the world, more green space than the majority of the world’s major cities.  If the sun is shining, then heading to open space is the only thing to do when you are a two-hour drive from a beach. 

I grew up near Clissold Park in Islington so I’m going to choose this location. Its small compared to the well-known destinations like Hydra Park but it’s a short walk to Stoke Newington & Dalston so plenty of great options nearby if you want to find an independent restaurant or pubs.

 What’s the collective’s HQ when it comes to drinks?

The Ace Hotel in Shoreditch is a fun place to grab a cocktail before going out. It’s hard to find a bar to sit and drink in Shoreditch these days so the Ace Hotel’s restaurant provides a great setting away from the madness outside on the streets.

Photographer Credit : Ed Reeve

Where can you find the best records in town?

Despite some recent closure’s London still has some great record shops.  There are some obscure second hand stores in the outer boroughs if you want to source some early London Garage or perhaps those rare disco 12s.  For something more current Kristina Records in Dalston is a relatively new addition that always has a great hand picked selection of new releases.  Nearby is another new addition called Love Vinyl (also in Dalston) which is run by a highly knowledgeable team, if you are looking for a rare find you cant go wrong here. Phonica Records in Soho is a great location if you want to head to central London with a wide selection of new and old records and merchandise too.

What can you do for a first date?

 It’s a been a while since I last went on a first date, but there are some fantastic options in London if you want to do something a bit different. Most of the museums run ‘Lates’ events one evening each month – where they open the museum for a late-night session for adults only, complete with bars and DJs.

A popular choice is the Science Museum Lates which takes place on the last Wednesday of each month. Plenty of exhibitions, activities and presentations to make for a fun (and educational) evening out.

© Sandra Ciampone

Where can you lose your dignity? 

That’s an easy one, you just have to come to one of our events.   The Hydra is not based at any one venue so between summer and winter you’ll find us between London festivals or a late running party at one of London’s venues and nightclubs.    You can find all the details via our website.

A good spot to go for a sandwich at 5AM?

 Ok so its not quite sandwich but The Best Kebab in Stoke Newington is legendary and offers up a hand made and traditional Turkish Kebab.  It’s a modest shop run by a local family but it’s had its fair share of celebrity visits, all from word of mouth.  If you are in the area and looking for something to soak up the alcohol The Best Kebab is essential!

A good address for brunch?

I have to choose a local option to where I live now and that’s The Catford Constitutional Pub.  It’s not quite Brunch but if you are looking for a London pub with good food this is a nice option for those of us who live a little outside of central London.  The building oozes character, and it’s a friendly local pub that can be rare to find in London these days.

The best plan to chill on a Sunday?

 Soho and China town on a Sunday is a lot of fun. There are many Dim Sum options in China Town and in the surrounding areas, something a little different away from the Traditional Sunday Pub punch.   Just two roads away from China Town is the Curzon Cinema, which houses Hollywood and Independent / world cinema releases so you can find a comfy seat to relax after lunch.

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