Earthly Pleasures

Photography: Premilla Murcott

 Johannesburg: The party people at Taboo shine brighter than diamonds in the City of Gold

A block from the Sandton City mega-mall, Joburg nightlife gem Taboo sits nestled innocuously among the office towers in a parking lot on Fredman Drive. The city’s finest have been frequenting this capsule club since its inception in 2004 and 10 years on, its reputation continues to grow. “At Taboo, it’s constant change,” says owner Chris Coutroulis, who runs the club.

“At Taboo, it’s constant change”
Owner Chris Coutroulis

The 3,000-patron capacity is broken up into a series of rooms over two levels, keeping each space intimate and exclusive with a distinct identity.

Doors typically open around 10pm, so take your time getting ready. The decor here is the last word in opulence, and patrons turn up in nothing less than the luxe-glam Sandton chic for which Joburg is famous. There are no half measures at Taboo: with a range of bespoke events filling the calendar, expect everything from magnums popping on the packed-out hip-hop nights to loungey sophistication on premier deep house evenings.

Cnr Fredman Drive & Gwen Lane
Sandton, Johannesburg

© Photo: Premilla Murcott


Gert Schoonraad, 26, is the proprietor of the Great Dane in Braamfontein, the most recent in a string of cult bar openings

The best place for a first date is…

Li Restaurant in Cyrildene.

You haven’t seen the city until…

you’ve seen the inside of Ponte Tower.

Joburg’s best kept secret is…

R Jana’s Takeaway in Braamfontein.

The best local act today is…

Die Antwoord, but they probably can’t be seen as local any more. I also really enjoy Gateway Drugs.


After the party is the afterparty, and after that it’s the hotel lobby. And after that you’ll need a few apps to keep it going.

Traktor DJ


Keep your Shakira-loving friend from taking control of the late-night playlist. This iOS app lets you mix and scratch your way through your iTunes library on the touchscreen.



All you have in the fridge is a bottle of vodka, three cherries, and half a pint of milk. Mixology utilises a vast database to find the perfect drink recipe for you. Available for iOS and Android devices.

Drunk. Dial no!


No, she doesn’t want to hear from you. Neither does the boss. So make sure you enable this Android and iOS app, which temporarily locks phone numbers to prevent late-night mistakes.

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