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The Artesian Well (Bar, Club)

Picture of The Artesian Well in Clapham, London

693 Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall, Clapham, London, SW8 3JF
Cuisine: Italian
Tel: 020 7627 3353 | Email to The Artesian Well | | Transport: Clapham Common | Write review

The Artesian Well Review

Best for: Mojitos; private parties; a unique one-stop night out in Clapham.

Great: Trendy crowd; big-name DJs.

There are a lot of North London snobs for whom Clapham represents the very worst of London. For them, this seemingly cultureless corner of the capital is a blight to be avoided at all costs, a bland parade of Slugs and Lettuces and Pitchers and Pianos, where all the Ruperts and Jameses who have just moved to London from the home counties can pursue their careers as city accountants, surrounded by all the comfortingly familiar bore-mongering chain bars that have steadily consumed their home-town high street over the last 20 years. An anathema to the variety and vibrancy that makes the rest of London the greatest city on Earth, it squats on the commuter line home, irritatingly content with its own functional tedium.

Yes, I don’t mind admitting, I am one of those North London snobs. There is a reason why I live in N16, why I do most of my socialising around the north and east of the city, and why I never make that soul-sapping commute to Clapham Junction (an interchange that bizarrely thinks being ‘Europe’s busiest railway station’ is something to boast about) unless absolutely necessary.

I was therefore more than a little chafed when I was asked to make hour-long trek across London to check out Clapham’s Artesian Well last Saturday. I should’ve had more faith, though.

Part of the purpose of Fluid is to help people unearth those rare gems you’d otherwise not have tried, to throw you the most remarkable venues from where you least expect them. And in an area of London so-often derided for its unremarkable conformity, Artesian Well can truly claim to be amongst the most remarkable bar-clubs in all of London.

A veritable Aladdin’s cave of a venue, Artesian Well has three stories to accommodate its 800 capacity crowd. On the first floor, a hypnotic laser fused perfectly with the pounding electro-house to create sizzling atmosphere on the venue’s main, heaving dancefloor. On the third floor a striking blood-red room hosted a lively-looking private party.

My friend and I, however, were perfectly satisfied to spend most of our time in the ground-floor bar. Designed by owner and renowned sculptor Rudy Weller, it was a surreal collage of medieval wooden beams, faux-renaissance artwork in kitsch gold frames, art nouveau stained glass and vibrant lighting. Bizarre and imposing, it lent an element of fantasy to the atmosphere as it shuddered to the basslines emanating from the DJ booth.

Deceptively roomy, and with a luxurious number of bar-staff to meet the demands of the growing crowd, the ground floor was a perfectly-conceived arena for the sharply-dressed gents and perfectly turned-out ladies who mingled over beers, cocktails and the trademark six-shooters (shots of intriguingly-flavoured shorts sold by the half-dozen for a tenner).

Of the refreshments available, the suitably extravagant champagne mojitos are a must-try. Many venues claim to have the best mojitos in town; Artesian Well may actually be the only bar able to do so with any veracity.

When we eventually (and reluctantly) made our way back into the night to grab the last tube back north, Artesian Well was still a throbbing hive of drinking, dancing, flirting and frolicking. The hour-long journey home gave us plenty of time to reflect on what had been a most unexpected experience.

I still maintain that Clapham as a whole is the last place in London I would voluntarily chose to spend an entire night on my precious weekend. However, Artesian Well isn’t in Clapham. It isn’t in London, or even on this planet. It is a night-long wonderland, where you can start your evening with a casual cocktail and stay, immersed in its surreal escapism, oblivious to the outside world, until the lights go up and you are turfed back out into early morning reality with the rest of the gorgeous clientele. A unique experience that could teach any venue north of the river a thing or two about style and originality, it is a venue that you won’t be able to visit just the once.
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Customer Reviews for The Artesian Well

Average (based on 37 votes): 37 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Artesian Well.

“Went to The Artesian Well last Saturday night to celebrate my friends B Day. Wow. Great club and amazing cocktails. I loved the music and the vibe…. definitely worth a visit.”
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Mr mike berg, london (4 years 5 months 19 days ago)

“I had fantastic saturday night at The Artesian Well! The middle floor is my favourite, the absolute best music playing all night. My feet were hurting of dancing too much. I’m a regular at Artesian but saturday night was sooo great. Also, the most hilarious and friendly doormen you will ever meet, me and all of my friends got a huge hug and an ‘I love you’. Can’t start a night out better! x”
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Miss alina, london (4 years 6 months 1 days ago)

“I organised my best friends leaving party at the artesian well last Saturday and I was so happy with the great help and service I received from the staff. They went beyond what they had to to make sure that the night went just as I planned. It was a surprise party so there was a lot of planning. They opened up early just for me to be able to decorate our reserved area with balloons and banners. As soon as my friend came I asked for a bottle of champagne to be brought to her table and so it did right on time - with sparklers! The music throughout the whole night was great, we were free to roam the three floors as desired. At the end of the night the doormen were so friendly and helpful to me and my party and the staff personally saw that we all got into a safe taxi home. It was honestly a fantastic night and I can't thank artesian enough for a party my best friend won't forget in her new life.”
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Miss alice glover, london (4 years 6 months 11 days ago)

Show all user reviews for The Artesian Well

“Four of my friends and I celebrated our 30th birthdays this Saturday at the Artesian Well. All in all we had a great night! We came quite early so we had the chance to relax, talk and have a few cocktails before it got busy. Our friends had arranged for two HUGE birthday cakes to be brought out in the middle of the night and the staff really were great in making sure they came out at the right time with sparklers. Our friends forgot the importance of a knife, plates and forks BUT the artesian well came to the rescue with all!! And then wrapped up what wasn’t devoured for us to take home at the end of the night. We stayed downstairs most of the night but did enjoy venturing to the other floors for a change in music for a while. Half of my party are regulars of the artesian well so knew it was going to be a good night but the other half were more than pleasantly surprised.”
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Jack, London (4 years 7 months 27 days ago)

“I went to the artesian well for my best friends birthday party last week and i had an amazing night out!! Just before i left to go home i realised i lost my phone and i had 5 members of staff helping me find it! they were so lovely and i was so grateful when one of them found my phone down the side of the toilet! great night out and such nice staff!! definitely going to artesian well again!”
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Maria Clarke, london (4 years 8 months 14 days ago)

“Great staff very friendly, great atmosphere and gorgeous venue like no other. Table reservation was free and loved the music on the ground floor. We had such a good time from arriving to be greeted by super friendly doorman that gave us a hog too :) Highly recommend the place and will be back soon. Thank you to all for making my birthday such a special one x”
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Miss abigail scott, london (4 years 8 months 24 days ago)

“Thank you Artesian bar staff you are great. Lovely people very friendly and polite. Our group had an amazing night to remember for very long time. The interior is the best we have seen and we had such a lovely table/area reserved by the fireplace. The cocktails are really nice and the music is absolutely the best. Love the DJs on the ground floor and the second floor. Will be back very soon. x”
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Miss emilie more, london (4 years 10 months 7 days ago)

“Stunning venue nothing like I have been to before. We had such a great night and really enjoyed the music. Really tasty cocktails but bar wait was little long. I also wished we had reserved a table beforehand as everything was reserved and we had nowhere to sit. I loved the top room. Lovely staff, very friendly.”
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Miss adele norris, london (4 years 10 months 22 days ago)

“I was recommended The Artesian Well by a friend who had her birthday there. I decided to spend New Years Eve and because it was one of my friends birthday also I recommended to her that we spend the night at Artesian. I am so pleased that we decided to spend it at Artesian Well. We had such a great time on New Years Eve. We were greeted with a glass of bubbly and chocolates. Than we were shown to our table that we reserved and it was the best I’ve ever been to. We had a section in The Sofa room right by the fireplace. Such an amazing decor not like a usual place you see everyday. We managed to grab couple of half price cocktails before the special offer finished at 8pm. I had Mojito and my friends had straight twist, lovely. Friendly staff and atmosphere. I definitely recommend the place and will visit again.”
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andrea, London (4 years 10 months 28 days ago)

“I am appalled to hear that the Lambeth council is trying to close The Artesian Well and Lost Society on Wandsworth road because of couple of moaning neighbours. These venues are the best that Clapham and South London has. The Artesian Well is such a great venue and is well respected by us clientele. Lovely crowd hence the reason I visit this venue on a regular basis. This venue is the soul of Clapham and if closed Clapham will deteriorate. There are already many boarded up shops, betting shops, pound shops and homeless all over the place in Clapham which is turning the area for worse. The council should praise successful businesses like The Artesian Well for attracting young professionals and bringing wealth to the area. If these venues are to close I would be moving out of Clapham with immediate effect. It is a dull and grim place anyway and has changed for worse in the last three years. From being a desirable place it is turning into a miserable place. Hope the council realises this before it is to late before the issue is reversible.”
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Miss beatrice richard, london (5 years 14 days ago)

“I love you artesian! Start a petition or something and I’ll be first to sign up!! I’m 100% against the EMRO, I think its ridiculous. Pretty pathetic in my opinion to start closing places like you (The Artesian Well) down at midnight because im sure that would bankrupt them and they’d have to close. In the long run you are destroying local businesses and robbing their staff of their livelihood.”
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James, Clapham (5 years 1 months 17 days ago)

“What are they thinking?! That is all I have to say about this whole thing about closing places at midnight. I want a place to go where I enjoy and feel safe and can get home with out having to worry! I’ve been going to Artesian for years, its basically my second home, where will I go now?!”
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Louise Smith, London (5 years 1 months 18 days ago)

“Loved the place, so unique and great vibe and classy clientele. Heard about the council trying to close Artesian and other venues at midnight, huge mistake. There will be nowhere for us to go. The main reason I moved to Clapham was the amazing nightlife. Don’t they realise that these unique places make Clapham what it is?”
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Kathryn, London (5 years 1 months 19 days ago)

“Nice atmosphere and thanks Arian I loved we had few Patron caffe shots xxx great night really really enjoyed amazing place nothing like the boring places on the high st...”
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melanieR, london (5 years 1 months 27 days ago)

“Cool place so different to any other I have ever been. My friend recommended to me for my birthday and definitely great choice. Loved the music on all three floors just never got bored so many rooms… thanks to all the staff very polite.”
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daniel, london (5 years 2 months 9 days ago)

“I never write reviews but I have to really say thank you to all the door and bar staff at Artesian lovely people. I had a table reserved and arrived at 8pm to be greeted by a lovely lady on the door which directed us to our table which was in the ground floor next to the gorgeous fire place. We could even see the DJ booth right opposite us in the main room. Two DJs as duo rocked the place his name was Brett x. I saw some old review saying the decor was tacky... It is the best and prettiest place I have ever seen and believe me I have travelled a lot and seen many many places. Its like walking into a fantasy world and the decor is amazing. Every room is different and so many of them to choose from. Later on we moved to the first floor, music was great and we danced until I was sweating. As I was going to the toilet I saw people were going up so asked the security and he told us that there is another floor. I got back and got my friends to check out the second floor which definitely became my favourite. I loved the roof garden just like a forest, lots of lights and candles looked lovely. The atmosphere in the second floor was so good we decided to stay up there until close. I must say it made me proud I chose Artesian Well as I and all my guests were amazed and really enjoyed the night. Will be back very soon. x”
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amndaO, london (5 years 2 months 16 days ago)

“I went to Artesian well on Saturday night with a group of friends, had so much fun and enjoyed superb cocktails in a beautiful setting...will be heading back soon.”
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davidP, [ Unknown ] (5 years 2 months 25 days ago)

“Had an amazing time at Artesian Well, a fantastic atmosphere, good music and gorgeous girls;-).Highly recommend.”
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jamesk, london (5 years 3 months 2 days ago)

“I went to Artesian Well for my friend's Birthday Party on a Friday night and we all had a great time. Artesian is very good place for a girls night out. Bar staff and bouncers are very friendly and service was fast.....will definitely go there again. x”
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zara, London (5 years 3 months 8 days ago)

“Artesian Well is probably the most unique bar/club in London...It's quite simply the best.I would definitely recommend it!”
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Mr ariel sanchez, london (5 years 3 months 15 days ago)

“Love this Place. Atmosphere is so intimate and salacious. This is definitely my favourite spot in London and will remain so.”
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harry30, [ Unknown ] (5 years 3 months 20 days ago)

“Definitely going back to the artesian well, great place for a night with friends and dancing. Friendly staff and good drinks prices, my new favourite place.”
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david, London (5 years 4 months 5 days ago)

“Love artesian well, my number one place to go! xxx”
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janulienka, london (5 years 4 months 13 days ago)

“Going back to the artesian well this weekend after an incredible night last weekend. Great drinks, great prices, great clientele and great atmosphere.”
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westernj, London (5 years 4 months 18 days ago)

“Not only myself but all of my friends had a great night. Lovely venue very unique with a lovely crowd. Love the Djs on the ground floor where we spend most of our night. Amazing roof garden terrace with lots of plants. Will be back for sure.”
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Suzzane Datch, London (5 years 5 months 3 days ago)

“Had my birthday there it was the best. I had a booth reserved and the begging of the night we spend on the roof terrace which was new. Different music to choose so we did not get bored. We loved their Mojitos.... Thanks definitely recommend it x x”
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aliceclark, [ Unknown ] (6 years 3 months ago)

“Artesian Well is my new number one place to go on the weekends. Such an amazing unique venue with great music playing all night long and open till the early hours of the morning. Once you get yourself on the dance floor that's where you will want to stay! If you need a way to celebrate the weekend in style, this is definitely the place to be!”
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Raulr, Uk (6 years 7 months 2 days ago)

“Love the decor, great for parties but we had issues with the bouncers as a group of guys - smartly dressed, no trouble but not enough women in so snubbed - eventually they let us in but it took the polish off a little. Love the cocktails and layout, not sure I could be bothered to go back after the hassle.”
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Bratty78, sw8 (7 years 1 months 25 days ago)

“This place is pretty mental, not cheap but you do get what you pay for. TIP: Try and get on the guest list or turn up early, the queues can get pretty huge later on in the night”
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Jon, Clapham (7 years 9 months 15 days ago)

“The best bar/club I've been so far. Lovely décor inside so many things to see... Loved the music and the feeling of so many rooms and three floors to choose... The best Mojito ever and lovely quiet and polite staff... Front doorman quite funny had fun chatting to him x x”
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fluffy, London (7 years 10 months 4 days ago)

“Top Bar/Club really unique/amazing. Inside its like a fantasy world with lots of different sculptures. I was told that is owned and designed by a very famous sculptor Rudy Weller which designed Helios Horses in Piccadilly also. I had a table booked and really amazing staff and brilliant Djs. We just never got bored we could go up three floors with different Dj's/music on each floor so it was a perfect night out. Drinks prices were fab but the only down thing was when we arrived was already long queue so we had to wait for a while to get in. Thanks Artesian and we'll definitely see you soon x x”
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jani, London (8 years 18 days ago)

“I read some of the bad reviews about Artesian Well and I have a suggestion to you guys please go to some cheap pub you're used to go and have a cheap pint as Artesian is too classy for you. Me and my friends just been to Artesian and its unique experience. We just loved the place and the atmosphere. Great music with three floors to choose from and many different rooms and the most tasty Mojitos we've ever had. I strongly recommend this place.”
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andrea, London (8 years 18 days ago)

“I have been going on the Friday nights now on off for 2 years and let me tell you this bar rocks! Music: Downstairs: Rock, 80's, RnB, Commercial music Upstairs: House, Electric & Dance. Bonuses: Free bbq every friday even in winter, free entry before 10pm & 2-4-1 cocktails.”
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Miss BARBARA FREET, CLAPHAM (8 years 1 months 28 days ago)

“The Artesian Well is one of my favourite bars in South London, friday nights are the best - love it!”
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Steff, London (8 years 4 months 27 days ago)

“An absloute gem... this place is truly a party venue! The Decor is like nothing i have seen anywhere else in London, and it would take an age to really appreitiate it all. The music on the ground floor starts off nice and loungy and works its way up to some seriously funky party beats. The upstairs dancefloor is kind of a blur of flashing lights, Jagermiester shots and some beautiful.... beautiful women. O yes and a overfriendly doorman who kept on hugging me. It was truly one of the best nights of my life. Artesian Well is an absloute gem.”
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Robby, London (12 years 2 months 2 days ago)

“A great cotch and a nice place 2 go with a big group of people; Artesian Well is cosy yet heady, with more techno and drum n bass downstairs, and a dj upstairs providing remixes of your favourite songs. Good bus links out of clapham.”
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willm, London (14 years 7 months 21 days ago)

“Fun bar with interesting décor and good atmosphere, the upstairs of Artesian Well is a late night venue with DJ. Have often been a little worse for wear by the time I have got there, but have always had fun! Only irritating thing is it is a little far away from other bars in the Clapham area.”
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annab, London (15 years 23 days ago)

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The Artesian Well Opening Hours

Monday: Closed Friday: 4:00pm - 2:15am
Tuesday: Closed Saturday: 4:00pm - 2:15am
Wednesday: Closed Sunday: Closed
Thursday: Closed    

Additional Information

Special offers, discounts and deals at The Artesian Well

Fridays 2 for 1 Cocktails till 10pm
6 shots for £10 till 10pm

Updated 11/09/2010

Events and other great things going on at The Artesian Well

LADIES NIGHT
EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT @ ARTESIAN WELL (CLAPHAM)
CLAPHAMS HOTTEST HANGOUT & BUSIEST FRIDAY NIGHT OUT!
FREE FRESH MADE CREPES AND HALF PRICE COCKTAILS UNTIL 9PM
2 for 1 Cocktails

Updated 11/12/2012

The Artesian Well Hire Details

We do have exclusive rooms to hire max capacity 150ppl or the whole venue 400ppl. There is no minimum spend on the bar and there is a choice of having your own Dj. We also reserve table/areas for up to 30ppl. Once the guests are in they are free to wonder up and down the three floors, enjoy different cocktails / music on each floor.

Updated 11/10/2012

Name: Red room, Speed room
Type: Private Room
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 75 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: Optional
Capacity: 150
Notes: We do have exclusive rooms to hire max capacity 150ppl or the whole venue 400ppl. There is no minimum spend on the bar and there is a choice of having your own Dj. Also table reservation available.

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"Door staff are apalling, i turned up at 9pm on a weekday and the Eastern European doorman said they were closed despite bring clearly open, returned a month later at 7pm on a weekday and once again the..." Which venue is this?

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