Saturday Night

I had the joy of popping up to London on Saturday to meet my daughter for a late birthday dinner treat. We avoided joining the marching sisters protesting about, well just about everything as far as I can work out but mostly against President Trump. In their mass demonstration of toddler petulance, ‘if I can’t get my way I’m going to lie down and cry,’ they are in denial. It is this very hectoring and lecturing, holier-than-though attitude, (neatly described by Brendon O’Neil in the Spectator), that has alienated the silent majority who are now making their voices heard. Anyway, our evening kicked off at a rather fun cocktail bar called Cahoots, which is set in a 1940’s tube station with music and themed cocktails to match. It was more like walking into a movie set than a bar which was fine because given the period I immediately felt at home. I have form here having previously co-starred with Stephen Fry and Hugh Lawrie in Jeeves and Wooster, (I was a Drones Club member). Two things though, struck me as being slightly off theme. The first being the cocktails. None were of the time. Most were sweet and sticky which I guess is what people want rather than the Horses Neck’s, Pink Gins and Whisky & Sodas which would have been more prevalent then. In fact, the very drinks that some senior members at the Club still regularly imbibe although their numbers are now sadly, in steep decline. The second thing that struck me was that all the men there, and I mean all of them were dressed like 1970’s folk singers. All had beards, flat caps and flannel shirts. These I guess are the so called ‘hipsters.’ It was like a Geography teachers convention in a 1973 power cut except that all of these specimens were drawn like magnets to any nearby reflective surface to check their hair, carefully placing any wayward strand with a finger flick. Very prissy, very non 1940’s. Nonetheless, I would recommend the bar as a starter for an evening. Do book though, it is popular.

the Godfather of the 'Hipster' look

the Godfather of the 'Hipster' look

In fact, popular doesn’t quite cover it. Central London was buzzing and I lost count of the number of new restaurants, bistro’s, cocktail bars and ‘kitchens,’ that we walked past. Obviously, the currency is contributing and Q4 fears in the hospitality business that many Eastern Europeans would return to work in Europe for an immediate salary uplift, (when calculated in value of funds they send home), after Christmas bonuses were paid seem on the face of it, unfounded. I couldn’t help thinking though, perhaps we’ve reached ‘peak cocktails.’ (We must definitely have reached peak beards). When even my local pub in West Sussex now stocks 30 different kinds of gin, is that telling us anything about social and market peaks? Perhaps it is just telling us that we are rediscovering a 19th century enthusiasm for gin consumption on an industrial scale. Then again………