The Charles - a brandy and sweet vermouth-based number I've enjoyed in numerous drinking dens - is a prince among cocktails. In honou...
Thursday, 7 February 2013
Upper West, Chelsea
Some claim it is to be the party of the year. It should have been the party of last year, but the grand opening of this gaff has been rescheduled twice. Tonight, it's actually happening. With Made In Chelsea's Cheska as chief cheerleader - tweeting rapturously about her friend Alexander Nall-Cain's 'new amazing club' on the King's Road - we're on the red carpet at Upper West. I'm excited. This venue - like Alexander's pater, Lord Brocket, has previous form. As The Aretusa, it was the epicentre of Swinging London. John and Yoko made their first coupled-up public appearance here, and a former Vogue cover girl/ King's Road dolly bird of my acquaintance claims it was the 1960s equivalent of Studio 54. On which note, Upper West fancies it is set to bring a dose of New York 'über-style' to London. As an ex-NewYorker, an underage regular at Studio 54, Upper West sounds right up my strada. Oh! Dear! Judging by the decor, the decade that springs to mind is the 90s... as furnished by The Reject Shop and lit by Texas Homecare (remember those two early high street casulaties?) As for New York style: what bit of that great metropolis has escaped me? Canarsie? The 54; it's not. There again, Alex's partner Jad Lahoud 'spent two years at Amika..one of the capital's coolest venues.' As I've always rated that Kensington fleshpot marginally less attractive than HMP Pentonville, our idea of 'über-style' is never going to accord. As for the promised 'amazing roof garden'... 'We're waiting for warmer weather' claims Alexander. This, I take to be public school boy code for 'it ain't bleedin finished, squire, innit?' No matter. The Chelsea sticks in their uniform night drag - think Essex girl Amy Childs, only paler, and much less intelligent despite the private education - squeal like baby seals excited to have washed up together on this new pleasure beach. Their male counterparts - who look like younger versions of Michaels Heseltine, Gove or Prince ..... of Kent - do that strange backslappy bromance thing Eton and Windsor boys (as in went to Eton/ belong to the House of Windsor) do whenever they meet. We drink Champagne which, on closer inspection, turns out to be Arestel Cava...currently £3.99 at a certain supermarket - nearest branch, Clapham Junction. For all this lot know, Lidl is a downmarket ski resort in Austria. We're served fried macaroni cheeseballs and mini-hot dogs gone cold. Should have gone to Iceland. That's a shop not a Nordic isle where daddy got his fat banker fingers badly burnt, by the way. The night's 'stars' - Ollie, Cheska and the rest of their ridiculous reality show's cast show up, just as I'm legging it. I may live in the Royal Borough, but I'm sooo not Made In Chelsea, clearly. A Twitpic (above), posted by host Alex, neatly sums up my view on the whole poshy-doshy scene that is a rite of passage for the young SW3 set. Spool forward to reel 2: the typical female Upper Westie (let's call her Lucinda), now 55, fat and fukt, will be stranded out West in the converted Marlborough manse she hung on to in the divorce settlement with Rupert after the slimy toad was caught rogering Roger, his coke-crazy banker gym buddy/ best man at their 2014 Chelsea registry office wedding. Gaga on Gordon's gin at an hour when others are contemplating getting up, Lucinda's crumpet face will crumple as it turns to Lolly the labrador, her only true friend, asking through her tears, how it ever came to this.
107 King's Road SW3 http://upperwestlondon.com