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68-70 Clapham High Street
Best known for its cocktails and dance floor, party bar Aquum also has a surprisingly grown-up food offering, available early evening before the club really hits its stride. The Mediterranean menu focuses on classic Greek dishes, including pork souvlaki and grilled halloumi, with the generous meze menu offering seriously good value for money at £22 per person. Spicy htipiti dip made with peppers and feta has a good kick of chilli, served with warm homemade bread; while soft slivers of octopus arrive on a bed of creamy fava peas. Other hits include punchy pastourma (air-dried beef) croquettes and pork seftalia (Cypriot sausage). Flavours are fresh and authentic – you'll even find Greek wines on the list; though crowd-pleasing cocktails like the Twinkle (vodka, elderflower and champagne) are a more popular choice. Weekends meanwhile see a bottomless Prosecco brunch – featuring ‘My Big Fat Greek Breakfast’ of course.
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68-70 Clapham High Street
020 7627 2726
Clapham High Street Station 295m
Clapham North Tube Station 306m
Clapham Picture House 303m
Clapham Common 618m
Mon-Sun 5pm-2am (Fri-Sat -3.30am)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
- Door policy no better. 18 yr old clipboard nazi backed up by thugs – Thugs let their mates in over the guestlist queue
- Full of chavs once inside
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.
Food + drink: 5
I am a regular at this bar and must say I have seen a great improvement with the door staff. They also make a cracking Watermelon Martini and I love the outside space, at least you can talk and drink with your smoking friends! Oh and the Express Lunch is amazing value if you are in the area during the week.
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