Monday, 20 October 2014
Lounge Bar at The Hoxton Holborn, Holborn
I've gravitated towards hotel bars since I was persuasive enough to convince their barmen to serve me. As an easy-on-the-eye, precocious 15-year-old, I'd loiter in the better ones, sipping tequila sunrises. Fancying myself the height of sophistication, I'd put the make on hot older guests flying solo. After an educational field trip upstairs, randy on Ruinart from my prey's minibar, I'd expect to be gifted something by Saint Laurent or Gucci the next day for having been a gold star student. Populated by good-looking fash-caj types - to the point that two lone businessmen in grey suits stick out like pork pies at a bar mitzvah -The Lounge Bar at The Hoxton Holborn would have once been fertile cruising ground for me. Given my current dishevelment, I'd be lucky to attract a ten-bob-the-job, tired old tart from Talinn. Not that I'm suggesting the oldest profession stalks the Hoxton Holborn's corridors. At 8.30 am, fragile, pale and clammy, I'm beginning to regret last night's orgy. A "FOUR IN A BED ROMP" as The Sun would have it? Sadly, Four In A Bed on Channel 4 is of more interest to me these days...but never say "never", for hope springs eternal. After barely three hours' kip in one of the hotel's 'cosy' rooms (and an argument with the shower), I'm suffering the hangover of the month...so far. Mixing Champagne, Palomas, Tommy's margaritas, espresso martinis, corpse revivers, rhubarb bitter-tinged Brooklyn cocktails - and Midori and methadone mojitos for all I can remember - seemed like a good idea at 2 am as the hotel's epic launch party raged on. I do recall that the event kicked off with an inspired immersive production that saw the whole place turned into one big film shoot, with guests roped in as extras (not, on paper, my cup of tea but great fun as it transpired). My only hope of salvation lies in the full English I've ordered in the busy lobby downstairs - assessing that the concierge's contacts don't stretch to organising an emergency blood transfusion in situ. Of scant consolation, is the prospect of last night's host, the hotel's PR, across the table. A fellow renegade half my age, she looks twice as rough. (Dem yoot? Lightweights!) Made of stronger stuff, another party survivor looks more chipper. "Apparently, all the alcohol in the lobby's fridges can be purchased by guests at near enough retail prices," he tells me. "Can't wait to rock up with the boys at 2am, check into a room and cane it all night. Cheaper than taxis back to mine." he says, already there. There was a time when I'd have found such a proposition irresistible. As it is, future evenings at the Hox Hobe's slouchy 50s-revisted bar, will be restricted to civilised tippling, rabbit on toast, steak and chips, patty melts or super healthy salads from in-house Brooklyn-style grill Hubbard and Bell... and taxis before midnight. At least, that's what I tell myself this morning.
199 - 206 High Holborn WC1V 7BD 7661 3000 https://thehoxton.com