Needle on the record


“I haven’t got any ID with me by the way” my 21 year old City trader companion for the evening remarked as we headed out for drinks.

“Well – what’s the age now? Isn’t it 18? Aren’t you legal?” I asked a little clueless on not having come up against this issue for a while.

“Yes of course, it’s just sometimes I get asked.”

Chiltern Firehouse was our destination for the evening. Ah, like an illicit lover she carelessly drew our attention – all charm and good looks, subtly seductive with the attention to detail that makes us weak at the knees and powerless to resist.

Such is the popularity and reputation of the establishment that it now has its own accronym:  CFH, used by those in the know. Or, is it CF? Like many other aspects of this magnetic place the exact correct term is shrouded in mystery.

Callista waved us through – her hair a testament to imagination and inherent coolness.

We sat next to Mácio, a Portuguese restauranteur celebrating his imminent birthday with oysters and champagne, and surveyed the green forested bar with the cleverest seating in London: Copious plants together with low slung chairs and sofas to say nothing of the ‘flattering’ lighting (a.k.a ‘dim’) ensure it’s virtually impossible to see who’s there unless you’re sitting slap bang next to them.

Naturally the result is privacy – just what you need when you know you should resist all overtures but can’t help but be bewitched by them.

A tall apparition in a top hat, the inevitable long blondes, various groups including a gathering of men dressed solely in red turtlenecks under Kray Twin suits – all mohair sheen and glamour – were our fellow revellers.

We wondered if we should move.  No sooner mused then the barman found us a table and brought our drinks over.

Sitting near to the female DJ and her friend, stacks of vinyl at hand, the playlist was disco with my heart’s content of Stevie Wonder. The pace was building.  I watched as Lou dropped the needle on the next record and a familiar tune started.

“I don’t know, I think I’d be playing ‘As If You Read My Mind’ at this point in the evening instead of ‘Master Blaster’ I commented.

City trader texted beside me whilst sipping a G & T at the same time. “Yeah” he said. “By the way I think I might have to go quite soon, I need to be in the office for 6.45am.  How are you getting home? Have you got the Uber taxi App?”

“No, I don’t, but I can hop in a black cab” I replied, grateful that despite the late hour I could still see the wood for the trees.

Tune of the night:


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