The cocktails at the Mandrake are bloody fantastic! There’s this theory that where you are plays a huge role in perception of taste. I believe it too. Try drinking the same glass of wine on a beautiful veranda overlooking hills of vineyards, the sun shining down on your face, and compare it to the same glass but poured in someone’s shitty apartment. You tell me which tastes better? That’s why the presentation is so important. Now the decor at the Mandrake is gorgeous. It’s well thought out, trendy with a capital T, while equal attention is paid to face control, like curating an art gallery. The clientele of the Mandrake are a who’s who of the artsy fartsy somebodies and wannabe’s of London. Or so I assume. The people watching here blew my mind. One woman walks in with the figure of a ballerina! She’s wearing this incredible blue and green figure-hugging dress that reminds me of Custo, her shoes more Lady Gaga. She’s with a group of friends, I even know one of them, does this make me cool? We nod hello from the distance. Not that cool then. But also I’m married and make a point to not get involved in any of London’s ‘scenes’. They’ll suck you in and spit you out. It’s not real. There’s a Chinese girl in 12cm Louboutins, she’s on a date but seems more interested in her phone. On another table there’s a few semi-goodlooking men of the ripped knee black jean man bun variety. Now in walks a woman in her 50s with her moody teenage daughter who looks about one period away from entering the world of modelling herself. The mother is wearing actual lace transparent trousers. I can only guess at what type of industry she works in. These are not the people you see everyday. My friends are thinking the same as me, as we analyse the room in our heads, trying to avoid morphing into the mean girls that this environment is asking for. Except the occasional, look, 3 o’clock, and her, her, behind you now. I finish my second absinthe cocktail and start to wonder when did the drinks kick in?
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