90s hotspots revisited

My friend Sarah is staying at the Metropolitan hotel in Old Park Lane, home of Nobu and the Met Bar, which, if you’ll remember, was achingly cool back in the late 90s, when Meg Mathews, the Gallagher brothers and various All Saints would fall out of it all coked off their heads. So last night I went to see Sarah so I could nosy about her room, steal the free fruit and yes, have a sneaky drink in the bar.

The last time I was at the Met Bar was about 11 years ago. I say that like I was there all the time – I’ve been about twice in my life. Anyway, on one of those two occasions I found myself sitting next to Mick Hucknall. I know, calm yourself. But we got talking. With no real experience of chatting to famous people, I wasn’t sure if you were supposed to acknowledge their celebrity by saying, “Ooh, you’re Mick Hucknall”, or something to that effect, or if that was totally uncool and you should just pretend you didn’t recognise them. I gambled on the latter approach. “What’s your name?” I actually said at one point. And – oh, I cringe to think – “What do you do?” But he was nice about it, politely humouring this gauche idiot who’d clearly blagged her way in. Then his girlfriend marched over, gave me a foul look and dragged him off.

Anyway, last night there were no pop stars there, 90s or otherwise. In fact the bar was empty, save for us, therefore proving the rule of physics that says what once was hot will only get very, very cold.

This is a terrible iPhone picture, even by my low standards, but look – they have those Alice in Wonderland planters I like.


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