Friday, 15 June 2012

How Not To Behave At A Penthouse Rooftop Party In Mayfair

By Imogen Rowland

“I can’t really talk now, Mum. I’m at the penthouse party at The May Fair Hotel.”

These are words I didn’t really expect to be sprouting, if I’m honest. But as a writer-about-town, who am I to turn down an invite to one of London’s finest hotels (as seen in the video above) and purveyors of one of my favourite tipples, the ever-divine passion fruit martini, to schmooze with the upper echelons of London’s party scene? It’s just the kind of selfless, dedicated, tireless writer I am, dontcha know.

At this sort of party, where if I’m not careful I will stick out like the proverbially afflicted thumb, I tend to observe my fellow guests and allow them to dictate the decorum. Admittedly, this has not always ended well.
Those more raucous occasions have been fun, but the boss doesn’t really consider “but the socialites were doing it” as a viable excuse for my attending the office with breath that presents a fire-hazard the next morning.

However, I do think that people-watching is one of the best ways to spend an evening upon such occasions, and is a near-foolproof way of eliciting social dos and don’ts without looking like the imposter I so clearly am.

Take her, over there, for example. The one chugging champers like it was Nesquik and guffawing like a hyena at that gentleman’s attempted jokes. She is not hitting the right tone. You can tell she’ll be one of the ones cat-fighting for the last remaining goody bag later.

And him, on the balcony. He’s doing his best to act all nonchalant like he’s a regular (it’s the penthouse, buddy. Only Tara P-T and the MIC crew can claim that kind of thing) but really he’s here because his website is barely breaking even and this promises hot food and a roof over his head for a good proportion of the evening.

Her over by the window, now she’s got it right. Turning down the offer of canapés at every opportunity, delicately sipping Champagne with her nose upturned and occasionally affecting a sarcastic smile for the acquaintance of Daddy’s whom she’d really rather not have to speak to. She couldn’t look less impressed to be up here.

But the girl by the canapé table; she’s the worst. Glugging fizzy as if it was going out of fashion, downing lobster and duck morsels like she’s never been fed and staring agog at all of the other guests; it’s so embarrassing. She even has the gall to eyeball me with exactly the same look of incredulity I’m giving her! And she’s wearing the same top as me – bloody Zara – and her hand is travelling towards the exact same quail egg as I’m after. Hang on, she looks quite familiar actually.



I think I may have some way to go before I fit in at this kind of event. On the plus side, though, the goody bag was well worth the ruckus.

To discover some of London’s best rooftop terraces and gardens, click here.