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.
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Adam Levine's biggest fan had a panic attack upon meeting him, so the singer laid down on the floor to get a photo with him
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Out-of-touch MPs ‘don’t get it’, says ex-Civil Service chief
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...
£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...