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Friday, 16 July 2010

Lonsdale, Notting Hill

My one remaining non-gin-addled brain cell recalls a strange off-Portobello bar named Jac’s. It boasted a fish tank but fishier still, a bonkers bouillabaisse of mad trouts, ne’er-do-wells and Guy Ritchie-style Mockney ‘gangsters’. This was before vapid blonde twigs, sappy merchant bankers, Mini-driving ex-minor public schoolboy estate agents and future PMs that sound and look like one of their sort elbowed in, colonising W11. Jac’s became trustafarian joint, Lonsdale. At Lonsdale’s relaunch party - same name, new owner, new offer - there’s a new wave of BPs; that’s as in beaux peeps not oily operators. My doon-frae-the Trossachs relative, an unworldly wee soul and a chip off the Susan Boyle block, is so taken with one towering, honey-skinned, swivel-hipped, pompadoured deity (see pic), she fires in and tells him so. I’m agog at such un-Londonly chutzpah. Him too. If this fine specimen is representative of the talent, how long before Lonsdale is crawling with model agents? Its swish interior suggests a Cardiff cocktail lounge Shirley Bassey wowed circa 1960. Drinks are uniformly diva-tastic; elderflower martini rocks and crème de cassis trickling through the shaved ice of our Russian Spring Punch suggests an amethyst cluster fit for a Goldfinger ring for the Dame. New Notting Hill will adore it. 

Look! Willa Keswick, flatmate to The Evening Standard's self confessed posho contributor Richard Dennen, turned up at the launch working a trend that Kate Moss has been working since waaaaaay before she morphed into Gillian Taylforth.   

48 Lonsdale Rd W11 7727 4080

Friday, 9 July 2010

Pop Up Pirates, Clerkenwell (CLOSED)

The door gorilla growls ‘ That’ll be £5, gents. Gotta search you first, tho.’ From the queue behind, a voice offers its owner’s slant on a party of hefty hens poured into dildo pink Lycra leotards, leg-warmers and glittery Stetsons - a look that’s more ghee than Glee. ’Them mingers’ll pay you to frisk ‘em, mate.’ Welcome to ‘80s night at  Pop-Up  Pirates, a new club-bar where once stood prototype Clerkenwell lounge, Dust. The interior, from the crew responsible for The Queen of Hoxton, references the area’s traditional links with printing. 3D letters and garish daubed slogans rule. Pow! Bam! Splat!  I've walked into a Batman comic. The early-doors, early-20s punters have largely ignored the Sergio Tacchini shell-suit & gold rope chain dress code in favour of New Look’s sale rail. Still, it seems the sort of people whose outfits the Shoxditch style mafia wouldn’t wipe their clenched bahookeys on are more about having a laugh than looking hilarious - sorry, edgy. Refreshing! We order dry martinis, useful at £6.50. The lardette hens neck Cherry Popper, Don’t Go To Dalston (as if!), Mai Turn and Screwface. Like wibbly raspberry mousses (mooses?) they wobble to their Mums’ fave disco oldies while other dancers attempt to revive the hula hoop craze (the plastic kind as opposed to the potato snacky kind).  The Pointer Sisters' Automatic segues into a Shalamar track, my cue to leave. In truth, the ‘80s are not necessarily better The Second Time Around.
27 Clerkenwell Rd EC1 7490 5120