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Friday, 15 June 2012

Chamucos Clubhouse, Notting Hill

Years ago, my evenings were spent shuttling between Tom Conran’s Notting Hill holy trinity of The Cow - a cool cod-Irish pub - Lucky 7 burger joint and Crazy Homies, a kitschy cantina peddling on-the-money Mexican peasant nosh - zingy ceviche, taquitos and mule-kick hot quesadillas. Nowadays, my Metro bar gig propels me to far-flung ‘hoods hitherto only familiar from bus route maps: Homerton Baths; Highbury Barn; Hell. Late-night London has all gone East, innit? Tonight, however, I’m back on my old stomping ground, scoping out Conran’s latest wheeze. We’re necking no-next-day-hangover (£11) toreador margaritas made with Conran’s own label premium agave Tequila Chamucos AƱejo when, not missing a trick, Sir Terence’s boy-done-good pops up to say ’you can buy it at Selfridges.’ Tom’s inspiration for his the recent redesign of his hip wee hideout, deep in Homies’ basement, came from weeks spent contemplating Mexico’s night skies, apparently. All inky blue and black Day of The Dead grungey gothic, it feels more like the feverish vision of a Chicano Wes Craven high on peyote to me: either way, me gusta mucho. That this dark den was the 1960s shebeen where, bustin' moves to early ska beat, Christine Keeler and her stylish Jamaican admirer Lucky Gordon (pictured) holed up during the notorious Profumo Affair that was to ultimately bring down a sitting Tory government, only ups its louche appeal. Notting Hill Sam and Dave will be praying history doesn’t repeat itself. 
127 Westbourne Park Road