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Saturday, 27 February 2010

5th View at Waterstone's, Piccadilly

Long defunct, Simpsons of Piccadilly was writer Jeremy Lloyd’s inspiration for Are You Being Served? I’ve always resented Waterstone’s for ousting the heroically eccentric fashion emporium from its splendid art deco home but I fancy Mrs Slocombe, the 70s TV comedy’s arriviste Head of Ladies Apparel,  would be more forgiving. First, her shabby staff canteen became the 5th View cafĂ©-bar, now, a significant makeover and the introduction of a chic champagne and seafood bar leaves the entire top floor devoted to grazing. Bushed from a day spent peddling panty-hose, La Slocombe - her latest hair rinse matched to the venue’s predominant colour, heliotrope - could wriggle onto a high stool at the zinc and, over a port and lemon, update sidekick Miss Brahms on the welfare of her Pussy. We prefer French 75s (gin/ lemon juice/ sugar/ bubbles). One of seven champagne cocktails available for about the same price as Katie Price or Chuck Palahniuk in paperback, (all tastes catered to within), the name references a World War I 75 mm howitzer that could blow a hussar’s head off. 5 - or is it 7? - 75s later, I’m mellowing towards Waterstone’s. Fashtrash insists we leave. He’s overheard a punter’s snarky comment when he and his mocha Mulberry man-bag minced back from the loos. 'Mistook you for John Inman, did he?’.

5th View @ Waterstone’s, 203 Piccadilly, W1. 7851 2433