During one late Wednesday night while I was in London, A (my roommate) and I discovered a free cabaret show taking place the following night. The music looked interesting (mash-ups of artists like Frank Sinatra and Radiohead) and the overall club looked pretty cool (what place called “The Cellar Door” wouldn’t be, right?) So Thursday night comes around and the two of us get dressed up well beyond necessary. We are talking 4 inch heels, cocktail dresses, big/dangly earrings, glamorous makeup, the works. We know we are way too dolled up for where we are going but we figure “what the hell, it will be fun” and we head out.
When we arrive in downtown London, the first thing we realize is that we are going to have a LOT more trouble finding this place than we originally thought. Neither of us remember the exact address, we don’t really know this area of the city that well and, bonus, we do not have a map. So we set off, strutting in our heels for 30 minutes looking desperately for any sort of sign or indication that there is, indeed, a basement club in London called “The Cellar Door.” No luck. It ends up taking us asking two separate people for directions to the place which, embarrassingly, was less than 50 ft from where were standing. Only then do we realize that the entrance to our club is no more than a set of unmarked, random stairs in the middle of the sidewalk. Not sketch at all.
So we finally made it. Our next problem: the place is the size of a sardine can. People are shoved up against each other, the walls, the entrance, the bar, with a few lucky souls seated in one of the three chairs they seem to have available in the whole place. A and I decide to listen to the music for a bit (since it actually was good), but leave shortly after arriving realizing that there is no way we will be able to enjoy an entire night in the crowded “Cellar Door” or even have a chance to make our way to the bar to buy one the incredibly overpriced cocktails or (I am not kidding) chocolate snuff.
Our next stop after this was a local pub called the Lyceum that we had been in once before (during a haunted walking tour of London, we were such tourists) and tried an absolutely delicious organic cherry beer. On our way over, we decide that, being ridiculously dressed up for the place (we saw mice scurrying around beneath the tables!) to come up with a lie about just having left a banquet for our program director and wanting to go out for some addition drinks. What happened later made us both agree that the dresses and the story will need to be used again at a later date.
While in the Lyceum, A and I are picked up by 3 British boys (actually, 3 members of the British Air Force) claiming we are way too glamorous for the place and making them look bad. We continue to talk to them, grab a few more drinks, and at the inquiry of his tattoos, manage to get one of the guys to strip off his shirt in the middle of the pub to show us his chest and back. When the place closes down the 5 of us head to another pub they know of called Motion for some more drinks (all of which they are paying for at this point) and a few more laughs before the conversation seems to be dying. The night with them ends with my roomie and I getting a number (that neither of us actually intend on calling) and finally heading for home.
This is where dressing up, as opposed to some simple jeans, begins to backfire. It is freezing outside and our dresses are clearly not made to withstand late night London chills and, no surprise, our feet are begging for mercy after being held captive in 4 inch heels all night. On top of this, our night long intake of beer and alcoholic cider had left both A and I in desperate need of a bathroom. At some point during the trip back to our house (which took well over an hour due to the night buses we needed to take) we both squatted in alleys (yes in our lovely 4 inch heels and cocktail dresses), unable to contain our bladders until arriving back in Harrow. When we finally made it to our last bus stop, which was still a good 10-15 minute walk from our house, we removed our shoes and hoofed the rest of way back in bare feet, regardless of the fact that we were walking along a somewhat main road and had to cross a large roundabout. We finally arrived at the front door (it is about 3:30am by now), giggling uncontrollably as we recapped our interesting and eventful evening.
All in all it was probably one of the best/most hilarious nights I have ever had, in London or otherwise.