Picture this: It’s the day after Valentine’s Day and London’s much loved Broadway Market is quite literally overflowing with cute lesbians and it’s all down to a tiny inconspicuous basement bar: La Camionera. In Spanish, this doubly (and perfectly) translates as 1. ‘female truck driver‘ and 2. ‘butch lesbian‘.

Nobody was quite prepared for the outrageous grand opening of London’s newest lesbian hotspot. By 7pm it was swarming. The bathroom queue was so long that people ventured elsewhere to pee. Ladies of all ages spilled out onto the street outside ‘Off Broadway’, the esteemed cocktail bar that La Camionera hides underneath.

It’s not surprising that La Camionera had such a tremendous turnout. Up until now, London pitifully boasted one single lesbian bar throughout the entire city. The crowds on Broadway Market only proved how much the queer women of London have been longing for a place like La Camionera. But that’s not the only reason why the bar has become an instant hit.

 

La Camionera: London's hottest new lesbian bar. Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.
Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.

 

La Camionera: the new london lesbian hotspot. Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.
Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.

 

The stairway to heaven

It seemed to be standard procedure for attendees to treat themselves to one boujee cocktail at Off Broadway before making a beeline for the narrow stairway round the back of the bar where the real fun began. La Camionera is almost solely lit by candles; the space is dark and the ceilings are low. There are white tablecloths, vases of shadowey red tulips and small, visceral photographs lining the walls.

In one corner is the bar, where where a caña (a small beer) costs £3 and other staple Spanish drinks like a ‘yayo’ and a ‘vermut’ are under a fiver. Drinks are served with crisps and banderillas (pickled cocktail snacks). Artists like Smoky City and Sade vibrate sultrily on the speakers. Bartenders wear cropped football shirts and skintight mesh dresses.

Women with pink hair, women in suits, women with buzzcuts, women with tattoos – sit shoulder to shoulder on one long seat, 10 people gather at tables for 2, girl groups flirt with girl groups, all in a manner of total freedom and unselfconsciousness. La Camionera has the ruleless feeling that only a yet-to-be established establishment can truly possess. There’s a sense of blasé decadence more commonly associated with a forgotten era. Everybody’s here: the artists, the engineers, the actors and the activists. This is a perfect example of London’s revival (!)

 

Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright. La Camionera. Lesbian bar in East London.
Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.

 

La Camionera: london's sexiest lesbian bar.
Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.

 

Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright. La Camionera opening night. Lesbian bar in London.
Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.

 

La Camionera isn’t scared to be sexy

Somewhere along the way, did it become cool to be sexless? La Camionera differs from many other ‘hip’ joints in London because it effortlessly leans in to sensuality without fear. A bar, not least a lesbian bar, should feel flirtatious. Many other bars fail in this area because they’ve got the style but lack the substance. La Camionera has the guts to be sexy, so much so that there’s no need to shout about it- we can do that part for them.

Who is master behind the masterpiece? We may never know. La Camionera remain anonymous, ‘so [their] ex-girlfriend’s girlfriend still comes’. They describe the bar in 3 faultless words: ‘sewing circle mafia‘.

As an online sensual space, Sensuali supports all other sexy endeavors. Especially those for the girls and the gays. This is what the lonely lesbians of London have been crying out for! Let’s hope La Camionera sticks around.

 

La Camionera lesbian bar in london. Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.
Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.

 

The crowds at the opening night of La Camionera, lesbian bar in London. Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.
Photo by Winifred Hewitt Wright.

 

Follow La Camionera on Instagram to discover more. 

Discover all queer sensualists on Sensuali today.

Culture
london
queer
Iso

Iso

Author

Iso is a writer and filmmaker based in East London. She is passionate about all things erotic and leads a sexy, shame-free life in hope that she can inspire others to do the same. Originally from a Northern seaside town, she is naturally drawn to the best things in life: candyfloss, trashy karaoke bars and heart-shaped sunglasses.


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