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|Address:||68-70 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UL|
|Tel:||020 7627 2726|
|Wine: £13.50||Champagne: £50.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 5pm-2am (Fri-Sat -3.30am)|
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Clapham High Street needed another new bar like a hole in the head. Needless to say, an alternative late licence venue to Infernos couldn’t be sniffed at and as a group of mid twenties Claphanites, we decided to head down just after the bar opened. It was ok but nothing special. Aquum is designed how you would imagine lower league footballers and z list celebrities (your typical Big Brother “star”) might design a bar if they could concentrate long enough to write the following words on paper – white, crystal, blue back lighting, VIP area.
Unfortunately, due to the cheap design and ideas above its station (it is on Clapham High Street, not South beach) the venue attracts a clientele of cheap designer clad posers. Nobody here was having a good time when we arrived. The atmosphere can only be described as cold and unwelcoming, not helped by a few wannabe gangster types in the corner.
A couple of months later and I was persuaded to give the place another go for a friend’s birthday. After all, it is usually the people you are with rather than the venue that influences a good night out. A fatal error.
This brings me to Aquum’s door policy. Things looked ominous when the group of lads in front were forcibly ejected from the queue for not having any girls in their party. Nothing wrong with that, however, the manner in which it was handled was more Sopranos than what you would expect in Clapham. We were greeted by an attractive group of no necked hired muscle and the standard questioning.
“Mixed groups only”. We were in a mixed group, which I pointed out; the next 10 in the queue were all friends and an equal mix of boys and girls. I was asked to leave the queue for no reason other than no neck #1 felt like flexing his flaccid muscle. When I asked why, no neck #1 came into my face and barked obscenities, which was a little unpleasant, as I was getting covered in his spittle. Without raising my voice I asked him to stop spitting on me. He then spat directly into my face, stating that he hadn’t spat on me the first time round. At this point I was taken away by a much calmer no neck #2, who explained that his friend didn’t necessarily deal with things the right way and he would have a word with him and I would be welcome if I came back another time, just not that evening. Great. I will avoid this place like swine flu and I encourage you all to do likewise.
As an aside, I ended up crossing the road to The Loft, a much better venue for a plethora of reasons. Not least to start with I was greeted by an attractive girl with a clipboard rather than 5 or so thugs. A quick chat and despite not being on the guestlist, we were allowed straight in. I completely forgot about the earlier events and had a great time there. Great service, in house DJ, impressive cocktail list, good range of beers (bottled and on tap) and shock horror, everyone was enjoying themselves.