Essex nightlife for a touch of reality!

What is reality? There you go, bet you never thought the Licklist posse would go all philosophical on ya? Well the answer is it depends. If you're the kind of person that likes wrestling with these sorts of questions, then you probably talk about them to blokes with beards and a natty line in relief-teacher threads. For media execs however (and most of the rest us), 'reality' is definitely all about 'reality TV.'

Is that a good thing? Well Licklist is here to give you a weekend pass to total enjoyment, so we say it probably is. From a clubbing perspective, watching shows like TOWIE, Geordie Shore and The Valleys makes you realise that many places in the UK have a vibrant club scene. That can be said to be particularly true of Essex.  Gateway to East Anglia and famous for its Epping girls and Theydon Bois (sorry, that was terrible), many people are flocking
here to see all the places shown on TOWIE and to try to rub shoulders with a famous person or two.

Where to start?

So, where do you kick off your journey of discovery? Well, for a nightclub that reminds you of holidays in Ibiza, consider Evoke.  This is one of the latest clubs to open its doors in the county and can be found in Chelmsford.  With an Ice Bar, a lounge with a Japanese theme and a queue of top names just waiting to perform here, it is a great evening out no matter what your taste in music.  If you want to visit a famous club without having to head into the big city, then Faces Lounge and Club might just tick all the boxes.  This club has a 20-year history, can be found in Ilford and has a VIP guest list that makes the royal wedding look tame in comparison.

Anyone who has ever watched TOWIE will know about Sugar Hut in Brentwood.  Now one of the top nightclubs in the county, it is THE place to go celeb spotting but expect to pay a fair bit for the privilege.  This club is one of the reasons (as well as the TV show) that Brentwood is seeing something of a tourism boom.  Everyone wants to see for real places that they have only seen on TV so far.  Rumour has it that they come from far and wide to spend an evening in this club and the local hotels are busier than ever with hen and stag parties from other parts of the country. A word to the wise though – no matter how much you have had to drink, don’t try to put on a local accent (apparently plenty of people give it a go!).  Most people can’t pull it off and it just means that the hotel and club staff are having a laugh at your expense!         

Colchester cool

You can also consider Liquid and Envy, a club in Colchester.  It has been open for around five years and has gone from strength to strength with plenty of good acts on and a range of music to suit most tastes.  For trendy cocktails give Baroosh in Chelmsford a try where you can enjoy great drinks while listening to a selection of top tracks.

The only way is…Newcastle?

Of course, if reality TV is your sort of thing then Essex is not the only destination for clubbers.  Geordie Shore is based in Newcastle and has long been a popular destination for those who want a weekend of clubbing.  Newcastle city centre is teeming with bars and clubs and among these is Florita’s Miami Bar, widely considered to be one of the best in the city.  Some of the best DJs in the country feature here and the VIP suite attracts some famous names.  Head there when the club is due to link up with its neighbouring clubs to create a larger club with a bigger atmosphere and a greater party experience.

Wales of a time

The city of Cardiff is also attracting a bit of attention thanks to the cult show The Valleys.  Again, there is a range of clubs but you are sure to find something to suit.  Why not try Buffalo Bar?  This is famed for live music but it is quite a small venue so you may find yourself queuing if you don’t get there early enough.  It's slightly on the pricey side but worth it if you want to get in with the cool crowd.  For something a little less sophisticated you can spend a bit of time on St Mary Street.  There are plenty of clubs and bars and it is very lively late at night – you could find yourself tripping over some of the other patrons who have been partying a bit too hard.

No matter which destination you choose, following in the footsteps of reality TV stars can mean having a great time, but don’t forget that lots of others want to do this as well.  If you have to queue for a while or pay a bit more for drinks or to get in, then this is all part and parcel of the experience!