Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Bye bye, Cafe Royal
The Golden Geese shed tears on Sunday 21st December when we visited our members’ club client Chinawhite for the last time. We’ve not all been barred or anything – but we’ve had to bid our farewells because as we type, the site is being demolished to make room for a new six star hotel. So, no more Paper, no more Grill-Room and for the time being, Chinawhite will close until the new venue is ready in Summer 2009.
We’ve got so many happy memories of all the clubs inside the Café Royal building. The hedonistic halcyon day parties thrown by David Piper in the Grill Room, the spectacular launch of Paper, Helena Christiensen’s star studded birthday party, the macabre Chinawhite Magic shows, Keira Knightley’s 21st …all have been wondrous occasions that we’ll never forget. We’d write a book about our adventures at 68 Regent Street, but then we’d all have to leave the country and change our names. So, here are just a glimpse of our favourite moments over the past five years:
Laura: “Being in the thick of it when the crowd went mad at the Chinawhite MOJO party in 2006. The Alabama 3 played live and Larry Love was amazing. He sang Johnny Cash songs, I was dancing with Shane McGowan, MC QC Ian Glen, QC Mike Mansfield AKA ‘the Champagne Socialist’ and members of the Guildford 4 and the Birmingham 6. I’ve never known an atmosphere like it.”
Felicity: “Bumping in to Jude Law three times over the course of one evening at Chinawhite at the Peace One Day party in 2008. We were on proper ‘hello’ terms. It was almost as exciting as meeting Boris Johnson on High Street Kensington!”
Laura Lou: “Watching Bonnie Tyler sing ‘I need a hero’ live at Chinawhite at David Gest’s All Star Souls party in 2006, she’s a real hero of mine herself. Our Fujifilm Finepix launch at the Grill-Room in 2007 was a really special moment too. Seeing Patrick Wolf performing live with his Ukulele after months of to-ing and fro-ing with contract issues and small print was really amazing, as everything just came together.”
Remy: “I’m a beauty buff so for me, it was meeting Nadine Baggot, beauty editor of Hello Magazine, at the Chinawhite Pamper Party in 2008. We swapped cards and stayed in touch. Nadine attended a beauty day at Selfridges and I got a photo of the two of us together which is on my desk next to my other favourite picture (of Zac Efron).”
Miki: “Dressing up as a giant rabbit for the first ever Chinawhite Magic Show. Forget Issa and Temperley, this was the best outfit I’ve ever worn! I think Laura Topham very much enjoyed being my rabbit companion too. The dinner parties in the Mao Rooms were brilliant as well...and I loved it every time we had a celebrity secretly stashed in the corner when no one else in the club had a clue..like Prince and Janet Jackson."
Emily: “I went to Chinawhite after my 6th form Prom, I was 18! I snogged a Russian boy called Vlad the Slav.”
John: “My best memory of Chinawhite is a simple one, having an endless supply of amazing cocktails delivered to my table - oh and eating delicious Mimi’s Bakery cupcakes that the team devoured in a secret little boudoir-esque nook at Charlotte Ward's book launch for ‘Why Am I Always The One Before The One'"
Katie: “Dressing up as the Green Absinth Fairy for Chinawhite’s Halloween magic show. Meeting Caprice and introducing her to Sebor absinth sour cocktails was fun. I’m not sure how keen she really was on them but she was very polite and drank one anyway!”
Cleo: “Tough choice - Right my unofficial top moment had to be when Tom Curtis knocked out a light in Chinawhite whilst getting too into air guitar at a Rick Parfitt Jnr gig. We were all jumping on the tables and chairs in a scene reminiscent of an early Black Sabbath concert, with lychee cocktails rather than beer! As for the official top moment, it had to be Halloween in Chinawhite 2006 - it was such an amazing atmosphere - one that could only happen in an establishment where the crowd knew how to let their hair (and rabbit ears) down and just have a bloody good time. Oh and from the PR buzz point of view - Keira Knightley having her 21st in the Grill Room was a pretty good one too!”