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Photo by Adriana Mendez

Houseparty in a club

by Adriana Mendez

Just bring your drinks and your friends…. The music and atmosphere are 'on the house'… but whose house? Doesn't matter.

We are not even half way through the month and I have no money left. Rising bills, food costs soaring and too much stress caused by the uncertainty of the job market. It seems as if we are all starting to feel the pinch.

At least we can drown our sorrows on the weekend… Um, in London? A city where the average price of a drink is 5 pounds (and that´s cheap) and they charge 20 UKP entry on top of that? I don´t think so! It means I will have to spend at least 40 pounds just to get slightly drunk.

Of course there are other choices. You can always go to Picadilly or Leicester Square and get into a free entry club, IF and only if you are ready to cope with lots of tourists pushing you to a corner in the dancefloor and dressed up as if it was Halloween every single night. I can´t stand it!

Beggars can´t choose?

But because I thought beggars could not be choosers I had to resign myself to house parties. It´s not that bad if you look at it.

On the bright side: you can have a whole bottle of vodka for almost the same price you would have paid for one single glass at the club, you don´t have to queue for hours smiling at the bouncer and pretending you know him for ages and the next morning you don´t have to add to your hangover the horrible feeling that you spent much more than you should and have no money left to survive the month.

However enthusiastic I can be, let´s face it, it is not the same as going out. House parties are fun but you might get tired of looking at the faces of your same old friends getting drunk every single weekend telling the same jokes.

Part of the excitement of going out is meeting people, getting crazy on the dancefloor and not knowing what to expect from the night.

One of London's best kept secrets

Well, in my refusal to be beaten down by the crunch I finally ran into a cool venue where you can have the best of the two worlds.

You bring your own drinks (which means supermarket prices), but the music, the people and the party are already there. It sound unbelievable but it´s true: You don´t pay one single quid. You don´t even have to queue because this is clearly not another Leicester Square tourist trap club.

Standing outside 33 Commercial Road, E1 1LD East London, nothing indicates it is a venue. 
It isn’t really a proper club and there is no number at the door, just a sign which reads ‘First Option Travel’.

After some time you will see people getting in and out of the venue. Some of them carrying a plastic bag with some beers and wine. We know, it sounds (and looks) dodgy. But it’s not! Once you get to the first floor you will understand. It’s one of London’s best kept secrets. TRUST ME.  

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