Friday, 17 April 2015

The Inner Circle: The Club Upstairs at L'Escargot

At the end of March I received a mysterious sounding invitation inviting me to an event hosted by ‘The Inner Circle’. Intrigued, I read on and discovered The Inner Circle was an exclusive and high end dating service for single professionals, which, for three nights only, was taking over the new Soho private members club ‘The Upstairs Club at L’Escargot’, and turning it into a dedicated ‘singles bar’. Now, L’Escargot is a bit of an establishment in itself. As one of the oldest and most revered (not to mention, in my experience, very tasty!) French restaurants in London, this venue definitely aroused my interest in the event. But, since I am happily coupled off with my lovely boyfriend, I decided I would just have to send my little sister Lulu, accompanied by my friend Sarah instead to check out what was going on! So, off they went armed with a camera, to see if they could discover what The Inner Circle was all about.

A few days later, I had a chance to sit down and ask Lulu all about the event. So, with no further ado, let me introduce Lulu, my bubbly, self-confident, 21 year old sister. She’s currently at uni studying Economics and Philosophy and has her job in the city already lined up for when she finishes! Here’s what she had to say on her experience of being part of The Inner Circle…

“The first thing that hit me when entering The Upstairs Club at L’Escargot was the heat. It was stuffy and warm and despite having spent quite some time getting ready, I found myself stripping off many of my layers. The second thing that hit me was the number of people. It seemed everyone had had the exact same idea- our invites had said the event started at 8pm so, in the interests of being fashionably late (and not the only person at the party) we’d all arrived for 9pm. The third (and much more interesting) thing that struck me was how much I liked the d├ęcor. The Upstairs Club felt decadent but also modern. For example, there was one small room with red velvet walls which felt almost seedy. But not in a seedy seedy way. It was a cool seedy. Old age glamour, maybe? The main room had a big glass atrium which was just simply very pretty and quite a contrast to the velvet room.
Upon arriving (and since we were ‘press’- thank you big sister!), Sarah and I were presented with a bottle of Prosecco. Then, we went for a wander around the venue.

There were three main rooms in which to mingle. The Inner Circle had definitely chosen a brilliant venue to force people to talk. One room was tiny, three of the walls lined with sofas. You were practically knee to knee with other guests and so it would have been impossible (and definitely rude!) not to introduce yourself. Corridors between rooms were not the widest, lending more opportunities to bump into people and introduce yourself. The Inner Circle had also come up with a clever little ploy to incentivise conversation- if you and a friend managed to both pair up with another person and then all got a photo taken together, then you would be rewarded with a bottle of Prosecco! (Oh, and apparently a photographer from Tatler was there!)
The event was definitely lively. In one corner of the main room, a saxophonist and a DJ played, although I thought it was a shame that they were not made more of a focal point as, tucked away in the corner of the room as they were, it made it quite hard to get up close to the music. Everyone there seemed happy and comfortable, and, a credit to The Inner Circle’s screening policy I’m sure, well dressed and rather good looking. I was definitely having a pleasant time.

The evening The Inner Circle put on at The Upstairs Club was definitely an enjoyable one. I felt that one of its big pluses was that the crowd were definitely well chosen. Pretty much everyone was between 25 and 35, which, although maybe a little old for me personally, lent its self perfectly to its target audience of young professionals. More than that, (although this may have been all that Prosecco’s fault,) everyone I spoke to was interesting and outgoing.

Beyond this, as I previously mentioned, L’Escargot’s new club certainly was a good venue. The maze of comfortable little rooms and narrow corridors meant that bumping into people was easy and intimate. If I had arrived to the event on my own, I wouldn’t have been uncomfortable as sooner or later, I would have started chatting to someone! However, arriving as a pair was definitely ideal as you could easily walk around together without being too intimidating to approach! 
There were however a couple of drawbacks which I feel I should mention. As I said, the heat initially was pretty unbearable when the rooms were at their busiest, which seemed a shame after so much effort had been put into getting ready! Luckily however, as the room calmed down, it got cooler. Additionally, I noticed that the cloakroom appeared to be somewhat unguarded and open to anyone on the occasions I attempted to put in my bag. In the end, concerned for my belongings, I opted to carry them around for the evening! There also didn’t seem to be any games or activities (which had been mentioned on the invite) going on. It may be possible that I missed them since there were so many people and since I left at about 11, but if they started any later then that would have been a bit of a shame as a fair few people would have missed them.
All in all, I had a very enjoyable time exploring The Upstairs Club with The Inner Circle. Next time however, I’ll be sure to bring a smaller bag and a fan!”

1 comment:

  1. Your sister and her friend are beautiful! Seems like the heat was unbearable. Other than that, they must have enjoyed themselves. Better luck next time girls :)