Earlham Street Clubhouse, Covent Garden
Earlham Street Clubhouse is not like a regular club house, because it’s not hard to get into. Thank god for that, because it’s pretty fantastic. Located on Earlham Street, just off Seven Dials, this brand new bar has more in common with an American gas station than a Hamptons clubhouse. This is largely down to the retro American adverts and truck license plates which adorn its exposed brick walls – the gas pumps also help. The place is carefully thought out, with clever detailing and a juke box in the corner, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s surprisingly cavernous, with lots of private booths and alcoves for the drunks to pass out in.
The main focus is the drinks, which all reference 90s teen gems such as Sweet Valley High (Grand Marnier and pomegranate) and Cruel Intentions (coconut vodka and guava). All drinks are priced around the £7 mark, except for the postmodern Show Me the Money (apple liqueur and Mountain Dew) at £9.50. If you go overboard on the spirits too early on, sober yourself up with a 12″ pizza for a tenner. The pizzas strike that rare balance of being light enough to prevent carb comas, but stodgy enough to satisfy. What’s more, they too are named after 90s shows, which means even more nostalgia driven highs.
Dismiss any plans for in depth conversation – this is definitely not the place. Instead, get more drunk than you should, and spend the night making inane teenage jokes and fighting over the pizza. If the visual stimulation and 90s nostalgia begins to wear thin (unlikely), bear in mind that you can sync your iPhone to the jukebox and play DJ for the night. Cue another hour of unbridled fun.
The service was inconsistent on our visit, but that may have just been teething problems. When we left, a man claiming to be a friend of the owner (but probably was the owner) challenged us to criticise the place, and I struggled to think of anything.
3. This place is built for drunkenness, and for most Brits, drinking and sex are symbiotic.