By The Duke
To be honest, I arrived sober with the full intention of getting as many free drinks as I could, taking a few happy snaps, saying a few grumpy words to the manager, and leaving, preferably before being asked to. Yes, the Big Chill House had it’s big relaunch, and given that I’ve been a BIG fan of the BIG Chill Festival, I was sent to posture around the joint on behalf of Fluid London.It was the beginning of the long bank holiday weekend, and there was a buzz inside the newly decorated Big Chill House premises. It seemed that many inside the venue, like me, chose this as a comfortable place to meet some friends at the beginning of the evening.The whole venue does feel as if it’s brought as much of The Big Chill Festival feel as you possibly can to an indoor space in the middle of Kings Cross. Lot’s of small square tables as you enter, blue and pastel green walls on one side, a more greyish art littered wall on the other, lamps with deliberately protruding wires, rooms labelled using the Big Chill Font ubiquitous with the festival.A nice touch to the Big Chill House opening night was the presence of a mural where anyone in attendance was able to add their own piece of artistic flair on the walls. Fools, I thought, surely someone will pretend to be Banksy and leave a suggestively confusing piece depicting an ape-like policeman dancing. Then I thought, since we don’t know what Banksy looks like, what if he was in attendance and left a deliberately un-Banksy piece on the mural, just to mess with us? We can’t rule the possibility out, simply because we still don’t know what he looks like. Clearly, by the middle of the evening, there were many with artistic tendencies in attendance, with the wall proving to be an empty space disappearing faster than a Banksy. It also provided great joy for all.All this speculation about Banksy’s supposed attendance made me thirsty and we ventured upstairs to one of London’s real finds: the Big Chill House terrace bar. It actually doesn’t feel like London at all, with it’s beach hut style bar, a few palms, and lots of casual seating. Most people could be forgiven for feeling nostalgic for “that” holiday they had on “that” coast. This is probably one of the best roof bars in London.It was warm and filled a bunch of smiling people, simply looking happy. That made me thirsty and I promptly made my way to the beach hut style bar, where the balmy evening forced me to ditch the beer and demand a Jamaican Mule jug to feed the posse. The friendly Aussie bartender impressed me with the effort he made. Upon learning that he run out of a small, yet vital, cocktail ingredient, instead of shrugging shoulders, he immediately sprinted downstairs to replenish supplies, and return promptly to finish making the cocktail.I really didn’t want to leave the terrace, but my Editor, who was present at the time, grumbled something about “we should probably check out the rest of the venue as well”. We made it downstairs, past the now heavily utilised mural and onto the dance floor. The crowd on the dance floor was definitely there more for action, less for conversation, and even though it was still fairly early as far as a London night goes, many heads were bobbing up and down on the dance floor. Personally, I was in more of a chiller mood, so while the rest of the hacks danced I placed myself in one of the many chill out areas, and happily sipped away, bobbing to the music. This, after all, is The Big Chill.
I, personally, will be back for one of the numerous terrace parties throughout the summer.
And if you’re looking for further roof terrace inspiration right here in the bowels of London town, check out this Top 10 guide to the best roof gardens in London