Around London in 80 days
In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.
And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.
Day 67: Phoenix
There are many phoenixes around London, usually pubs or clubs or restaurants… and of course, there’s the one on St Paul’s, who proudly rises from the lost “old cathedral”, above the latin word RESURGAM. I have a particular fondness for them: a phoenix is a symbol of hope, of resilience, and it’s beautifully fiery — all things that appeal to me.
But there is one I love more than all the others: the “Phoenix Arts Club”, just off Charing Cross Road. Hidden away below the Phoenix Theatre, it doubles up as a restaurant and late night cabaret club. On the walls, signed posters of every show in the West End: this is where the performers hang out.
It’s a members’ club but I somehow always find myself in good enough company to be let in. The music is always good, the place always vibrant and on a Wednesday night, you’ll find some good friends of mine around a nice bottle of wine. They’re known here, they always bump into friends old and new and this little crowd joyously chats away until late into the night.