By Philippa Morton.
The Westbury in Kilburn is one of those bars that you could describe as a mix, having aspects of a pub, a bar and a club. Initially, it appears to be a place to get a casual pint after work. But look a little closer. There are pot plants hanging from the ceilings, and lights hidden behind shades that look like strobes. Seats are a little more than the usual bar stools, with cosy booths instead. With these little touches, The Westbury has a quiet air of sophistication.
And so it was on a Friday night that I thought I’d go for my after work usual at The Westbury. But there was a twist! A very exciting twist, a special guest DJ! Here’s a clue: what are little boys made of? Slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails, that’s what little boys of made of! Not this boy; he’s made of tattoos, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick and a signature hat. It could only be Boy George.
Boy George was expected at around Midnight, and in the meantime we were well entertained by a couple of up and coming DJs. The Westbury’s Friday night line up of DJs really is worth seeing. It was good to sit back and absorb the beats while drinking a cocktail. The Louisiana Jam is a must; a cocktail made with apricot jam and Southern Comfort, served in a jam jar. The price for drinks is average for Zone 2 London so no need to pull the purse strings. Althugh, that said, the strings of my patience were pulled when, with a straight face, I asked for something sober and the surly waitress responded with ‘you’re joking?’
So, it was 10pm and I hadn’t seen any cross dressers yet. Nup, not one. So what kind of crowd did Boy George attract? Let’s say a bunch of young professionals. But with my little eye I spied a couple of elderly ladies - obviously past queens of the 80s - waiting in eager anticipation of Boy George’s appearance. They had the pool table monopoly, hogging it all night. No one was too worried though, as little groups of people preferred talking in dark corners. The Westbury is really good for groups and couples as there are lots of segmented areas, good for functions and discreet courting.
And, as expected, at around midnight, the crowd compacted towards one point. There he was: George in all his glory. He acknowledged the crowd with a nod. He looked just the same as he did years ago. Boy George rocked the house, and his sounds were funkilicious, even the oldies were shaking a leg. George might be a little crazy, but I’ve gotta hand it to him, he has credentials as a muso.
The Westbury can definitely be what you need it to be. Whether it’s for an arvo pint, an evening drink at the bar, or for a night on the dance floor with some of London’s best DJs, it’s a multi-functional place!
Looking for more clubbing inspiration in London? Check out the Fluid London Top 10 Best Clubs