Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Mark's Bar at Selfridges, Marble Arch
(the height of vulgarity - NOT spotted at Selfridges)
Selfridges sale: the entire population of Beijing appears to have invaded Oxford Street. Denied Western goods for decades, demob-happy ex-Commies are piling through the store's doors, besieging the women's shoe department where, bewitched by bling, lil' Shanghai Lils are frantically cramming their sweaty trotters into metallic bejewelled high heels so irredeemably vulgar and ostentatious, even a two-bit Vegas porno star would think twice about being filmed in them while a Mexican one-armed bandit plays her slot machine. The scene is repeated in the men's shoe department where will.i.am wannabes and Rylan Clark lookalikes pounce on Jimmy Choos and Louboutins so ugly, I'd rather wear canary yellow Crocs, quite frankly. Fortunately, less foul footwear is also available - Selfridges caters for people of taste too. Caught up in the febrile feeding frenzy, I soon find myself accidentally shelling out on a pair of low-key luxe loafers that, even at 50 percent off, cost more than a month in India, where I could have these lush Hush Puppies copied in 50 shades of gay at ten bob a pop. Thankfully - not to mention cynically? - London’s littlest cocktail bar has been introduced next to the world’s largest and most dangerous men’s shoe department. After you've downed a stiff one, blowing your wad on Tom Ford (not my fantasy to be clear) is a temptation. Designed, art deco stylee, by Lee Broom and operated by Mark Hix, the bijou bar takes up about one hundreth of the floor space allocated chez stiletto-crazy heirhead Paris Hilton to her walk-in repository for puke-awful pumps - as raided by Sofia Coppola's (clearly blind) Bling Ring. The bar is scheduled to pop-up in other areas of the store, but for now, head to Level 1 for the likes of muddy wellie, Somerset cider brandy-based idea West Country winklepicker, and Hix kix (Morello cherry and eau de vie topped with Nyetimber), as well as smoked salmon on soda bread (£5.50) and coronation chicken ‘slipper’ from a range of well-heeled snacks.
1st Floor Selfridges, 400 Oxford St W1A 1AB