Monday, 22 August 2011

The Black Hole (I'm not talking about Chelmsford)

After a couple of blissfully quiet weeks in Greece Ed and I hit London (well Chelmsford in Ed's case) with the enthusiasm of a pair of whippets shredding toilet rolls - BRIAN.
While Joe and Ed headed off to Liverpool Street to catch the Essex Express to V Fest, Brian and I went for a stroll around town. We took in the BP Portrait award at the National Portrait Gallery and delighted in slagging them all off for being too drab and worthy. Dry.
Arm in arm, in the late afternoon sunshine, we sauntered past the sparkling fountains in Trafalgar Square and along the Strand until I was drawn to a dark hole beside the Adelphi Theatre, with a neon AMUSEMENTS sign outside. Whoaaa! this is possibly my favourite interior of all time, and definitely a little bit less obvious than the favourite rooms chosen by 9 stylish designers in the September issue of Elle Decoration - ie The Hall of Mirrors in the Chateau of Versailles, Duh!
As I moved closer and my eyes adjusted to the gloom I could make out the sulphury artificial glow of twelve chandeliers, reflected to infinity by mirror lined walls. Wow! I didn't dare go too close and no way would I have stepped inside. Years of programming had informed me that you just don't go into seedy gambling joints and start stroking the arcade games and cooing over the gold mosaic ceiling. I think I'd have been set upon by the dodgy staff if I started taking photos so this furtive shot is the best I could manage with the iPhone. 


I would happily move into this place right now - complete with it's grubby cinema carpet (carefully designed not to show filthy chewing-gum splodges and fag burns), pink-metallic, retro shove-hapenny consul featuring a revolving disco ball and strobing one arm bandits. All exquisitely juxtaposed with the marble columned, gilt-mirrored, perfectly lovely room. Not really so different from Versailles but instead of feeling like a sanitised museum, swept clean of all its over-indulgent history, it's more like a private debauched club - exciting, magical and a bit dangerous.

I hardly need show you the interior of Versailles but have a hunch it's where the Kray Twins got their decorating inspiration.

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