Luke Blackall: When the new thing in clubland is an old thing

Man About Town: Morton's is putting itself back on the party scene, by trying to create the coolest boutique club in town in its basement

The ground beneath Berkeley Square was shaking as the bass reverberated from underneath the giant tent, seemingly drawing party goers like moths to a flame.

But there were no moth-holes in these party-goers' outfits. They had all booked their £110 tickets to the launch of the new nightclub 2&8, in advance. Some had gone further, spending £3,000 to book a table in the VIP area (raised, so you could look over the party, and the non-VIPs).

The new thing in London clubs is, it turns out, actually an old thing. (Not, before the anti-ageists write in, that there's anything wrong with old things.) But the new club, 2&8 (Cockney rhyming slang for "state", as in, "he had to be put into a taxi because he was in a right two and eight") is actually part of Morton's club, an older, more established venue.

And Morton's is putting itself back on the party scene, by trying to create the coolest boutique club in town in its basement.

Others nearby are doing similar things. The Arts Club in Mayfair has gone from a charmingly shabby hangout for artists to a lively townhouse restaurant and bar, which while open for reading the papers during the day, also hosts late night parties and players as diverse as Prince Harry and Simon Cowell.

The new club at nearby 5 Hertford Street, has its own nightclub, Loulou's. From both the outside and the inside, it looks like these places are trying to achieve (or take away) some of the success of Annabel's, the society nightspot which since 1963, has maintained its reputation as one of the most popular places for the well-heeled to mix with royalty and celebrity in London.

In the case of Loulou's, the link is even closer. Its proprietor, Robin Birley, is the son of Mark Birley who created Annabel's, with its successful formula of popping out for dinner with friends (usually carefully selected members) or to go dancing until 2am. The members all the while feel that their club within a club is more exclusive than those places which attract open shirts and fake tans (from both sexes).

And while the thumping dance music shows that some things have changed since the early days, the excitement and camera flash when socialites and royal in-laws arrived at 2&8 on Thursday, showed that the party crowd still love to be seen in the right scene.

Suggested Topics
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

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on