Luke Blackall: Congoing around an Alpine ski lodge for that nostalgia kick

So there I was, late on Thursday night, skipping along in a conga line, while an oompah band honked out Abba covers.

There are better conga practitioners than me. I lack the mindless enthusiasm – not to mention the limb-control – to do a convincing job. But the staff, in their lederhosen and dirndls, were kind enough to pretend not to notice.

I hadn't, sadly, taken a trip to the Tyrolean hills, but instead was a short walk from Kensington Palace in London. There, a former casino has been converted to Bodo's Schloss: a restaurant, bar and club, all done in the style of an Alpine ski lodge. Weaving through the crowd I saw singers, models, film producers and society rich kids nostalgic for the childhoods they spent skiing.

But the conga really wasn't part of the plan. I was supposed to drop in early, have a drink with the men behind it, Piers Adam and Nick House – two of London's shrewdest nightclub owners – and leave. The idea had been to get home and write a more sensible column about changing attitudes to going out. Besides, I had a very early drive from London to Norfolk on Friday, and dancing to oompah bands and so having to write this column in the early hours, wasn't part of the plan.

It was also my second night in a row at a new nightclub. The previous evening I went to the opening of Barbarella, a relaunched spot in the shadows of Chelsea football ground. It was so new that the stylish interior décor had been finished just in time for the first guests to arrive and then (presumably) mess it all up with their wild partying.

A while ago in this spot, I wrote about the spate of new, expensive restaurants that continue to appear and part the sociable from their cash. The world of upmarket urban nightclubs seems to be no different.

Both Bodo's and Barbarella will chase a similar crowd, but they are both run by people who have done it before, and people who are more than confident that the crowds will come and queue up in the autumn air to get it. And, if they're lucky enough, join me for a bad conga line around the room...

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat