‘Take the right exit and the right staircase on the right exit and we are on your left’ is what I was told, so I repeated this mantra as I exited Notting Hill tube. Repetition and strict adherence to directions see me standing outside a small silver door on Notting Hill Gate, a few seconds walk from the tube station.
I pressed the Blag Club buzzer and a voice on the intercom welcomed me as the street door pops open. Faced with a steep staircase, I tentatively strode up to the first floor to Blag, where I was greeted by a lady with a guest list sheet. ‘Whose guest list are you on?’ she asked with a twinkle in her knowing party eyes and in I go, having name dropped that I am a guest of the management.
It was 10pm and as I entered this Asian themed lounge room, I realised that this intimate 1st floor idaho is a teaming party room with various groups drinking, chatting and nodding to some great funk and hip hop classics. A waitress glided by holding high a platter of canapés; I see cocktail, beers and wine drinkers and a Sambucca shot session in full shimmering lipstick flow at the bar. Blag Club is an intimate party club where people come to do exactly that...party!
A few cheeky chats, Woo Woos and a Sambuccas later (having been pressed ganged to join the group on account of my fading lip gloss!) and I was toe tapping, hip swaying and trying to flirt the room; I felt like I was at the best house party I've ever been to. This is a club for those that want to chat, party, funk out and celebrate; for those that want to catch up with old friends and make new ones. There is no Notting Hill pretense at Blag Club and they don't claim to be the coolest, sleekest club in London but it's all about having fun in a lovely ambience.
Come 12am, this "house party" just kept on peaking as new faces arrived to top up the few spaces and the dj has raised the level and tempo. The 2 bar staff skillfully manning the Blag bar, were now true Adonis look alikes (in my eyes) as my Sambucca threshold reached its limit. Back to back classics of all genres (from club classics and commercial house to old skool hip hop) kept the party momentum rolling and my feet couldn't stop moving as the conversation rolled deep into the night.
Before I knew it, the lights are up and the dj is spinning his last tune. As I stopped dancing and looked at the business cards of randoms, I really thought to myself how much fun I had had! The club is small (maybe a tad too small) and coupled by the fact that the staff and clientel are so friendly, I have pretty much had contact in one way or another with the majority of the crowd. If I had a home big enough I would invite them all back to mine for a (worse) house party, but then I realise I have pretty much achieved this experience anyway (and mess aside, my flat is tiny!).
As I exit the once perceived steep staircase, I glide effortlessly down pass the staff member at the bottom of the stairs and bade fair well to one of my favourite London party venues. I can't believe I hadn't discovered Blag before or even enquired as to what was behind the silver door. I can safely say I will be returning and next time I am in Notting Hill, Blag Club will be top of my list.