Guardian Travel: The Rivoli Ballroom. Read here or below.

 © Claire Oldman

© Claire Oldman

The Rivoli Ballroom is one of only two ballrooms remaining in London. Beyond the slightly insalubrious exterior is one of the city's most enchanting sights. Flock wallpaper, red velvet padded walls, chandeliers, Chinese lanterns; all authentic décor from 1912 onwards, piled decade upon decade. It has been a ballroom since 1959 when the maple sprung dancefloor was installed. You could call it a relic of a bygone age - except it's not a relic at all.

Most weekends see scores of dressed-to-the-nines jive enthusiasts descend, and the International Gay Ballroom Dancing Championships are held here. Last June the White Stripes performed a semi-secret gig here to an audience of 200.