If any nightlife scene deserves to be known as 'legendary', it is London’s.
The clubs in the British capital are as diverse, inventive and ever-evolving as the city itself and ideal places to indulge in a bit of mischief.
Some shining stars in the nightclub solar system, though long gone, left legacies that still burn brightly to this day - The Roxy, The Blitz, Madame Jojo's, The Astoria. London clubs are cultural institutions in and of themselves and in new RTÉ Player show 'Jen’s Weekend: London', airing each Monday, we get a grand tour of the highlights.
Fresh off her Aer Lingus flight, presenters Jen Zamparelli and Joel Dommett get right to kicking their heels up as they hotfoot it to a prison cocktail bar, jump into a supersize ball pit and then get ready for your night out in the most incredible setting you've ever seen.
So get your silicone insoles out and pack some extra concealer - here are our picks for the great clubs in London.
1. Salon 64
When you’re fresh off a flight, no matter how long or short it was, you might want a chance to freshen up, especially if hitting the town is high on your agenda. Look no further than Salon 64, a revolutionary and luxurious new way of socialising.
Think about all the fun you've had getting ready before going out for the night. Now multiply that by 10 and add professional cosmetologists, a fully equipped bar and fire pit/makeup stations. Yes, you read that correctly.
Designed as a space where all manner of people get ready for important events - meetings or a night on the town - Salon 64 offers full beauty services on site in a stunning modern setting. Charge your phone, get your hair and makeup done and then hang out at the bar living out your 21st century Barbie fantasies before taking to the streets.
Sure, you’ve sang a few ballads with your mates down the pub. You might even have got a round of applause or two and rode that wave for a week. But have you belted out Aretha Franklin classics to a 15-strong backing gospel group, for one vainglorious moment becoming Aretha? Yup, I thought not.
At Gospeloke, you can live out your performing dreams at an uplifting event that combines the soulfulness of the congregation with the bombasity of belting out your favourite funk, soul, hip hop and RnB classics.
London loves a theme. At Alcotraz, you are the prisoner in what’s billed as London’s only immersive cocktail event.
Here’s the set-up: manage to smuggle your liquor of choice past the Warden on duty at the club door and present it to the barman to be mixed into your favourite cocktail. Drinks are served up in polished tin cans, while orange jumpsuits are mandatory. We bet Jen and Joel looked thick as thieves in their matching jumpsuits.
Entry is by booking, which nabs you roughly four cocktails from your spirit of choice and one hour 45 minutes inside the prison. Don’t worry though, you can always become a repeat offender.
4. Ballie Ballerson
What is clubbing but an attempt to get back to the wonder of childhood play? Skip the messing and jump into pure joy at Ballie Ballerson, London’s ball pit cocktail experience.
With retro sweet-inspired cocktails, private ball pits and one million balls, this is the stuff of childhood dreams come to life in all its LED glory.
Circled by a 70 metre UV mural, there are three pits to choose from: the glowing main pit, a nostalgic multicoloured pit and an exclusive gold pit reserved for only VIPs. Maybe that’s where Jen and Joel ended up?
5. Bounce Ping Pong
Ping Pong is the game of choice for all sessions, something the Americans perfected with beer pong. Leave it to London, though, to make an unforgettable nightclub out of it.
Built on the location where ping pong was patented by John Jacques III in 1901, Bounce is officially the "home of ping pong". Whether you challenge your friends to a ping pong dual or watch others hit a few balls around, a night here is sure to be one to remember.
Already an iconic nightlife institution, Fabric is one of London’s most beloved clubs and a must-see when in the city. Having escaped closure in 2016, there’s a sacred vibe to the club and devotees are many.
Refusing to stick to one genre of music, each night has a different artist and style in the spotlight. Each week you’ll find the next big acts on the scene, grime and dubstep nights and famous DJs.
Aer Lingus is proud to sponsor the new series Jen’s Weekend: London. Just like Jen, you can enjoy great four star service on your weekend away to London with Aer Lingus. Choose from up to 50 flights departing daily from Dublin, Cork, Knock, Shannon and Belfast. Fares are from €27.99 one way. Smart flies Aer Lingus.
Watch Jen’s Weekend now on RTE Player.