Apparently we can no longer go to the pub for a few drinks and be content with going home straight after. The last bell goes and you’re left with that bitter taste of jaeger in your mouth after downing two, three, maybe four, shots in a row before the clock strikes 11. The last bell goes and all you can think about is that it’s too early to go back to reality and sobriety. It’s as if it were nearing the end of time and you needed to be heavily sedated, in a comfortable boozy state of mind to spend the rest of eternity in limbo.
It would probably be sensible to make a quick escape at this point, less money spent, less likelihood of liver failure and the chances are that you’ll manage to get enough sleep to feel relatively fresh in the morning. Problem is, though, that you’re way past the threshold; the tiny you on your left shoulder is being so much more persuasive than a couple of hours ago and keeps egging you on to “have another one” and telling you that “you only live once”, until it’s all you can hear and there’s no turning back. You are now on a mission to get wasted, maybe have a little dance, and probably hook up with someone, which you may regret the next day.
But where to go? The Surrey suburbs don’t really cater for a 20-something’s urge to party. Any place worth going means expensive cab rides and, to be honest, it’s usually way too much hassle because it means leaving the two mile radius around us, which includes our local pub and most of our homes – this is a sort of self-imposed rule that me and my friends tend to follow. Then about a year ago, a place called Aquum opened on Esher high street (within the radius). Word got around, people started going there and getting frisky, and now it’s a prime destination for some after-hours banter.
Sounds pretty cool, right?
Wrong. It’s the most heinous place in the world – or at least in the two mile radius. I don’t really know what possess us to go. The reasons stated above really don’t seem like enough. It’s about the size of a shoe box with tacky all-white décor, rude bar tenders and shit music. Because of its absolutely ridiculous size, the capacity is of about 50 people, so if you get there after 11 on a Friday, chances are you won’t be let in, which in itself defeats the purpose of an after-pub activity. You probably have to skip the pub all together if you want to go.
Walking through the doors of that place you get struck by that stale sweat smell that comes courtesy of all the over excited creepers trying to grind on anything with a vagina. The blue and purple bulbs make for some pretty unflattering lighting, which is probably why the girls are way too over-dressed and heavily coated in makeup and towering in 7-inch heels. As a girl, I love putting my good dress and my face on, but there is a time and a place, and it is not Aquum on Esher high street on a Thursday night. There are bottles of Dom flying around with sparklers. Drinks don’t need sparklers; if you really want some sort of glass wear adornment, get a little umbrella. All you can think of as you sip your drink is, who the fuck hired this DJ? You start getting a little pissed off that you even bothered to come, but as the shots keep coming round, so do you.
The absolute worst thing about this god-forsaken place is that you succumb to it, to the dark side. Before you know it, you’re tapping your foot to a JLS song and as if by magic you know all the fucking lyrics which come to you like word vomit. Shortly after you’re backing your ass up on some cutie in the corner or alternatively dancing on the couches, which you know are meant for sitting, but you’re such a rebel at this point that you just don’t care. Then you shimmy to the bar and you’re ordering a bottle of champagne. Why? Why get a bottle of champagne when you’re on the doll, unemployed and living at home with the rents?
Only in Aquum.
Written by: Nicole McLennan