Camilla Jenkins investigates: The London highlife

There are certain topics that we who have been foolishly endowed with newspaper space feel we have to comment on. I too was planning to hop on this media-bandwagon with a scintillating piece on revision pet peeves but it was not meant to be. The MUSE Editor called. Charlotte had written on exams, Tom had written on exams, Camilla could not write on exams. This happens a lot, actually, but is entirely my own fault. I really should get my columns in sooner.

And so, as only two really interesting things have happened to me in a while, I shall discuss those. Well, actually three interesting things have happened. Today, I saw someone READ THE NEWS on his ipad. Do you know how rare that is? Everyone says they’re going to get an ipad to read the FT everyday but it never happens. Once you’re on the Tube, you’re too grumpy to care about the Greek economy. You want vengeance. You want entertainment. Family Guy it is.

This chap, in his crisp navy-blue suit with posh boy haircut and shined shoes looks so swish and competent. I’d trust him with my stocks (if I had any). I want an ipad! Oh wait, I have one. I was overcome with lust last October and, as my bank account bulged with post-tax internship salary, I gave in. Oh Apple, you took advantage of me. And like the iTunes slut I had become, my eyes said no but my mouth said “I’ll have the 70gb one with 3G and throw in a screen cover.”

My father, reminiscing over his first purchase funded by his own money, was in Seventh-Banker-Father Heaven. I was watching the Apple ads to figure out what to do with it. I ended up buying a marc by marc jacobs ipad cover to bribe myself to use it. It didn’t work. Ipads and posh covers are a bit like the English-and-Philosophy degree of the technology world. Individually, they may have a point but together they’re just an awful lot of money for no direction.

But the two cool things. And these are really cool, not passe like going to Boujis or cool but a bit grim like Glastonbury. Which, considering I had my cool peak at the age of 12 – we were mean girls with the cool boys – means that both were more luck than intention. I have been to Heston Blumenthal’s new restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental AND The Box in Soho. Heston’s (it may have an official name but apparently it’s infra dig to use it), was delicious without the scary-scary-jump-out-at-you possibility of the Fat Duck. I had the chicken liver parfait with frois gras followed by the wing rib angus steak and a pineapple bunt cake with a pineapple that had been rotisseried for 4 hours straight.

Whilst the restaurant is very grand n’ cool n’ all, the real pleasure comes from the child-like delight of never knowing entirely what’s going to end up on your plate. My chicken liver arrived looking and feeling exactly like an orange; it was the grossest and most amazing thing I’ve ever eaten.

Interestingly enough, The Box has a similar appeal. This isn’t just Public with nipple tassels, this is full on sleeze. You don’t pay entrance and no cameras are allowed; it’s a licensed strip club. We’ve all heard the rumors; certain staff members give ‘lessons’, a full-on orgy was encourage on stage, and the club managers feed performers class-A drugs to get them in the mood.

The darkened room, close quarters and encouraging staff cultivate an environment where anything could happen and you feel vaguely disappointed when it doesn’t. Dancers, wearing little more than spandex knickers, perform a routine more intimate and provocative than most of the relationship-sex in York; Alice (as in Wonderland) isn’t just topless and kissing girls, she’s being taken to the highest peaks of pleasure by at least four others writhing over, around and possibly in her. Once the club closes, you stumble into the darkness of Soho drunk, a little disorientated, and oddly unsatiated. Of course you’d never want to behave like those girls, not in public. Or would you?