(West End) Nightclubs – Expectation vs. Reality

(West End) Nightclubs – Expectation vs. Reality

*Probably never gonna be allowed into a West End club again after this but fuck it. I’ve retired anyway*

I’m trying to think of an effective way to open this post but the first thing that keeps springing to my mind is Madonna – Like a Virgin. Which is pretty ironic when you think about it, (and this a very wild assumption) because I bet 98% of the people who enter West End nightclubs are not Virgins. Anyway…  the lyrics apply to what I’m trying to say so I’m gonna roll with it…

“I made it throughhhh the wildernesssss. Somehow I made it throuuUuuughhh. Didn’t know how lost I was until I found youuUuuu”

The ‘wilderness’ being West End nightclubs and ‘you’ being an array of things. Off the top of my head here are a list of alternatives I have found since retiring from going out:

  • Energy
  • My Bed
  • Money Savings
  • Less Face to Face Contact with Annoying People
  • Piece of Mind
  • Interaction with More Interesting/ Genuine People
  • Focus
  • Opportunities
  • A Higher Uber Rating
  • Warmth (risk of catch pneumonia dramatically decreased, due to not waiting in queues outside)
  • Old Age
  • Better skin

Don’t get me wrong, I still go out occasionally. However when I turned 26 the appeal of getting dressed up in a tight bodycon dress to go out and stand on a random footballer’s table with a load of 18 year old girls dramatically decreased.

For most of us, checking Snapchat on a Sunday morning involves an exercise of clicking through a dozen or more videos of bottle shows. You’d be forgiven for mistaking them all for the same one. Don’t let appearances deceive you, said bottle shows could’ve taken place anywhere in the world, at any nightclub. But here’s a little inside secret my friends – THEY ALL LOOK THE FUCKING SAME. At this point, I’d genuinely rather watch a 10 second video of magnolia paint drying.

There was a time however, when I used to go out every weekend without fail. Before I started going out regularly I used to watch other people’s videos and think it looked like the best thing ever. Obviously there are those rare nights where you go out and have a great time. But 8 times out of 10 the expectation doesn’t match the reality.

Take me, therefore, as the righteous saviour, the good Samaritan, the knight in shining armour, the mother Theresa, the… it’s long to keep thinking of examples but basically I’m here to share some of the realities of (West End) Nightclubs. I’ve purposely put West End in brackets because there are some characteristics of nightclubs that will apply to everyone no matter what country/ city they’re in. However I live in London so I’m speaking on my reality, and I also feel as though London is particularly unique/ political when it comes to the nightclub industry.

Without further ado let’s get into it…

Bottle Shows:

Might as well start with this one seeing as I’ve already touched upon it. To be honest whenever I think of nightclubs I envision a bottle show because I’ve seen about 3 million of them on various social media apps during my time.

For those people who are blind or have been living in solitary confinement. A bottle show is when a table in a club pays an extortionate amount of money to have a couple of bottles with sparklers on top paraded through the entire club by girls in lingerie, to a song of their choice whilst they take a 10 second Snapchat on their phones to impress whoever is on their timeline. And before anyone thinks this is not applicable to them… we’ve all filmed a bottle show in the midst of the moment so get off your high horse

There are a few typical groups of people that get bottle shows:

  • Footballers (it’s usually the one that’s in the premiership who pays whilst his semi-pro friends reap the benefits and get to move to girls using the ‘footballer’ tagline for extra chance of success – because the thought of being a footballer’s girlfriend makes me weak at the knees! You’d needn’t say anymore, I don’t care about your dry personality and the fact that you’ve just lied to me, I’m all yours. (Side note: Their bottle song will always be either Tory Lanez or Future).
  • A group of guys that got tricked by the lifestyle and are spending their month’s wages on one bottle of Vodka which they will split. When they do eventually get girls on their table they will ration the amount of alcohol distributed to them for fear that they will have to buy another bottle. These people need to understand that it’s okay to not have enough money to waste (key word) on buying a bottle show in club – just save your money.
  • Inheritance kids. These are the kids with massively wealthy families who can buy anything they want in life and it’s minor. Normally, money has been a source of gaining them attention for so long that they actually have very poor social skills… and what better way to get out of socialising than to distract everyone with a MASSIVE bottle show. These are the types of people who will order a bottle show with 10 bottles just because the table next to them did one with 5 and they need to top it.

The expectation of it all is this magical moment that’s supposed to happen. A moment where time stops and the distant glow of bottle sparklers glistens in the horizon. As the crowd parts ways, just like Moses parted the Red Sea, the deep base of whatever cliché hip hop song is big at the time (probably Bodak Yellow) rings out far and wide. You feel the eyes of everyone in the club fall onto you and in that moment, in that very moment, you feel like you are the dog’s bollocks. The momentous event is shared with all of your best people and you all look at each other and the love is felt, your path to righteousness has lead you to this – and you are all in it together (actually I changed my mind, the song playing is Drake – Started from the Bottom).

The reality is this… the bottle-to-sparkler ratio is always fucked up, so there’s always extra sparklers flying about which in-turn creates a furnace, making you sweat if you weren’t already. No one makes eye contact, everyone grabs their phone and films the event like it’s never happened before. The chosen song gets played for about 45 seconds max, whilst the bottles are waved in their air by the hostesses like some sort of patriotic flag – the west end national anthem. The entire thing is over within a minute at which point everyone goes back to whatever they were doing beforehand like nothing ever happened – all that matters is that precious snapchat moment was captured right?


Arguably the worst part of the night. Queuing outside in the cold for an extended period of time, battling other people to get to the front in order to get inside before the door ‘closes’.

As a female, when you first start going out you’ll probably be invited to a club by a promoter. Promoters can invite girls to clubs, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be let in. Some clubs make you stand on the opposite side of the road whilst they observe you and your girls to see if you’re attractive enough to be let in the club 😊. What a lovely world we live in ey?

Promoter Table:

As a female, clubbing in the West End is a minimal expense if you know the right people. I don’t know the ins and outs of the nightclub hierarchy but I’ve learnt that there are levels.

Somewhere towards the middle to lower end of the hierarchy are the promoter table hosts. In a club, you can spot a promoter table from a mile off, because there’s always about 20 girls crammed into a confined space surrounding one bottle of grey goose. Promoter tables are a hosting space for girls who can get into the club for free, and get free alcohol all night – but at a catch, you have to battle about 4 other groups of girls for 1. Space and 2. Alcohol. And lord knows how bitchy girls are when they don’t know each other.

One of the main times where my resting bitch face has come in handy is when securing a seat on a promoter table. I’d like to thank my parents for passing their genes onto me and creating my grumpy face – means a lot.

Bottle Spraying

One of the most pointless and annoying things that can happen on a night out. Most of the time it’s the inheritance kids that I spoke about earlier who commit this crime – and I honestly think it should be a crime because within a split second it can end multiple people’s nights.


The bottle spray is a direct repercussion of ‘overdoing it’ on the bottle show. It’s all fun and games showing off how much money you have by buying the biggest bottle show, until you have 45 mins left in the club and 10 bottles of Dom Perignon to drink between 5 of you. So what better way to get through the alcohol than to have a champagne fight?

I always wonder like, what happens after the club when you have to go home feeling like a human mop? All of the designer clothes you were once stunting in are drenched with champagne that smells like piss, and now you have to go outside and sit in your own idiocy for the cab ride home, probably with pneumonia.

As a female, getting caught in the cross fire is a quick way to have your whole night ruined. The moment where you feel a power wash of champagne hit the side of your face and hair, destroying the makeup that took you an hour and a half to apply is the moment where it’s time to make a quick departure. Nothing pisses me off more.


If you don’t care to watch football but you aspire to be a WAG then a West End nightclub is the perfect place for you to meet one – because their girlfriends are at home.

Word of advice for young females – you aren’t going to meet the love of your life in a nightclub. Digest this piece of information and move on with your life. Go out to have a good time with your girls, nothing else.

There comes a time, think it was when I hit 25, that going out to a club to sit on a 20 year old boy’s table with all his mates who love to bang on about how much football they play, with a load of 18 year old girls became extremely unappealing.

Never will you ever see so many spiked Louboutins, BAPE hoodies, high top fades with the yellow/ orange noodle looking dip dye hair, red Balenciaga’s, balloons and Snus in such close proximity.

Footballer’s guide to going out:

The Dance Floor:

The dance floor is meant to be the main area, the central hub of a club – where all the action goes down. Yeah, maybe in the 70s. The dance floor of a west end nightclub is a barren wasteland.

It’s ironic because the concept of a nightclub was originally to go and dance right? However nowadays no one actually dances… in the hierarchy of a club the dance floor is actually right at the bottom. Very rarely will you actually see someone venture out from their table onto the dancefloor. Everyone would rather stand around at a table with barely any space to move, than go and dance. Make sense.

How dare you move from your table to go and dance with the common people. It’s dangerous out there in the wilderness, you might end up dancing and having a good time! And nobody wants that do they.


Whoever thought it would be a good idea to introduce free standing Shisha onto tables in nightclubs is clearly an idiot.

Let’s break down the logic here. Shisha burns off of a little furnace (fuck knows what it’s called), which is hot. The Shisha is surrounded by drunk people, drunk people that knock stuff over easily. The Shisha is transported to people’s mouths via a long chord, we’ve all tripped up on a chord/ cable in our time. When knocked over, Shisha distributes hot ash everywhere, which 1. Hurts and 2. Stains your clothes.

Other than the benefit of filming yourself blowing smoke into a snapchat video, what contribution does Shisha actually make to the night other than getting in the way and causing a mess? I’ll wait.


I’m aware that this post has been predominantly negative however I did used to go out every weekend and buzz off of a nightclub so I can’t sit here and completely slate nightclubs. And I do still go out for special occasions. Like birthdays for example, when you’re in a club with all of your close friends and you’re not worried about what’s going on in the rest of the club. It is time though, to pass the baton onto the younger generation, as I am now an OAP in retirement.

(Literally an hour after I started writing this post news broke that Dstrkt had shut down and there’s already a bunch of memes circulating. My particular favourite stating that semi-pro footballers will be holding a minutes’ silence in memory of Dstrkt. Imagine if Libertine shut down? Half the premier league would be on their knees. What a crazy juxtaposition that would be… normally it’s the females on their knees. 😉 ).

Ciao for now – Elz, the Witch

11 thoughts on “(West End) Nightclubs – Expectation vs. Reality

  1. I have just been educated! Thanks for doing all that research. Glad you survived. Sounds like you had a good time finding out but you have now graduated from the ‘university of nightclubbing ‘with a first class honours and your mother can breath a sigh of relief. A brilliantly observed account. Well done baby. X

  2. Great piece of writing!! Over the years I have wasted money in all those stages of tables…. if I could turn back time I would have retired earlier!!

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