We don’t swim in your toilet so don’t pee in our pool. That’s the general sentiment of local lidos and the more affluent of home-owners right? It’d be pretty unusual to hear that in a club now wouldn’t you say? Well not anymore. Let us introduce to you the hipster hangout and club-come-swimming-baths, Aquarium. Based in the trendy district of London’s Shoreditch, Club Aquarium is one of East London’s great after-hours venues causing a splash among radical revellers and curious clubbers alike. With not just a swimming pool but a Jacuzzi as well as a club area, Aquarium has one pretty massive USP, putting an exciting spin on traditional clubbing as we know it- it only makes sense to test the waters!
Club Aquarium opened its doors way back in ’95, participating in the making of the fashionable East London hub that we’ve got today. The venue is broken down into two main bar areas, a VIP suite, the pool and the Jacuzzi, so clubbers needn’t disrobe all the way down to their swimwear if they don’t fancy it; instead choosing to enjoy Aquarium’s super late licence in one of the other spaces available. From the dance floor you can see through to the pool area from a framed glass window, so it’s pretty tempting, and if you are up for a dip, the swimming area offers changing facilities, towels and everything else you’d need to make sure it all goes swimmingly. It’s also worth noting that Aquariums doors usually open around 11pm with free entry for the first two hours, so make sure you arrive early- that way you can put more of your dosh behind the bar!
Music: Commercial, Chart, Pop, Hip Hop,
Dress Code: Smart/Casual
Train Station: Old Street
Address: Aquarium, 256-260 Old Street, London, EC1V 9DD
Aquarium is loving the deep sound of House and Techno but also mixes it up with splashes of Commercial R’n’B and Pop. Catering to the masses who attend so on a Saturday you can expect most of your karaoke classics and nostalgic favourites. They even have certain guest events dedicated to more experimental genres such as ‘Sci-tec’, which we can only assume is a kind of electro spin off with more theremin solos. Heading to the bar you’ll clock all of your nightclub and bar staples such as ciders, beers, wines spirits and a wonderful array of colourful alcopops. Aaah youth. Do make sure to try the toffee vodka shot for some extra dutch courage too, it’s a house favourite. They’ve also recently started hosting comedy events, so if that’s your thing- dive in.
We mean, it helps if you can swim. That’s the probably the main demographic - people that know how to float. Once you’ve got that down, you’re free to join the young, trendy and fun-loving crowd gathering here. Aquarium helps weed out the prissy PYT’s worrying about ruining their makeup, whittling it down to the ones who are there for properly enjoying themselves. Pool parties are somewhat of a US thing, but Club Aquarium brings the fad all the way to mighty Blighty, finally! Aquarium is great for large crowds and/or parties but prepared for a late one, as the peak of the party is usually around 2.30am. Ironically, when you first arrive at Aquarium you can feel a bit ‘fish out of water’ as it’s super unusual to be so exposed in this context- but it’s actually pretty great because there’s not a whole lot of room for self-consciousness after that much tequila.
We did have a bit of a Mum response to Aquarium initially, wondering ‘is that safe after all that alcohol?’, but after having seen it, all our concerns melted away. You’re not actually allowed to take drinks into the swimming area, so you don’t have to worry about wading through Mr Clumsy’s Jack and Coke or anything, plus there’s always an attendant keeping an eye out so it's safe as houses really. Club Aquarium caters to London’s party animals and is not a venue for the timid or tired, but for those who don’t want the good times to stop! So pack your swimsuit, get those drinks on the go, and beware of the chat up lines because they’ll be coming thick and fast. Asking to show someone your ‘breast stroke’ is just asking for trouble.