Jac's is a classical Trusta hangout. When you go in, you are pleasantly surprised: it hits you in the eye and makes you go: "Ooh. Gorgeous. Colour, lighting, glass, fish-tanks, atmosphere." But as your eyes adjust and you heave your way down the narrow walk-spaces between overlarge, understaffed bar and walls to the conservatory area at the back with its Seventies- Athena-poster-style fantasy mural, your eye lights on two things: none of the places to sit look even slightly comfortable, and the mission statement painted on the ceiling: "A gentleman's club with bean bags". So, a place where outsiders feel unwelcome and there's no possibility of both sitting and looking dignified.
Upstairs, the first floor has been carved into a U-shape by a well with a balcony overlooking the ground. As a result, there is nowhere to stand without having to shift every two seconds for someone to squeeze past. The odd piece of furniture scattered about seems to have been chosen with discomfort as a primary aim: a chaise longue is crammed into a corner so only one end has a place to put your glass down, a mini sofa in an alcove is too large for one and too small for two unless you don't mind a cricked neck and a contact rash.
I had two Sea Breezes. One came lukewarm, with a single lump of ice. The second was so heavy on the grapefruit that I had to leave in search of a bottle of Gaviscon and some Ibuprofen for my thumping head. Beautiful, inconvenient and bemusing, Jac's is an ideal reflection of its intended clientele: plenty of style, very little substance.
Jac's Bar, 48 Lonsdale Rd, London W11 (0171-792 2838)
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