Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Dam Good Night Out

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Dam Good Night Out

Article excerpt


Amsterdam's Supper Club is an ultrachic mental asylum of a night spot.

And it's coming to London, says Syrie Johnson

IF you ever felt miffed that you weren't in on the last days of Rome, here's your chance to sample another ultimate decadence destination: the Supper Club in Amsterdam. It's a rather self-deprecating name - the massive all white space-age pod should be renamed 2001: A Supper Odyssey.

Beautiful people eat reclining on white mattresses and white cushions, openly rolling spliffs and eating magic mushrooms. When the experience becomes too heady, masseurs come around to soothe the well-toned bods lying prone among the pillows.

Acquiring a "thick tongue" (Dutch for getting hammered) doesn't come cheap at the Supper Club: a glass of champagne is more than seven quid - especially pricy in Holland - and dinner is [pound]42 a head ... but this is where the fun starts. The Amsterdam in-crowd dines in narcoleptic splendour, but the management does its best to wake them up. The decor, redone a while ago by design firm Concrete, changes nightly with the food - one day it's downtown Napoli, with laundry dripping over the balconies, the next, it's a Parisian salon.

But that's the mildest way in which the Supper Club caters to those with a terminally low boredom threshold. There's a different gimmick every evening - one is a "Let Them Eat Cake" night: the rich pay their guilders for the posh menu - those who prefer to pay substantially less sit in a cage and wait for the leftovers. In the past, catwalk models have strutted their stuff down the tables and through the plates. There are live DJs and VJs, each of whom gets a very appreciative audience - people at our table pick up pillows and dance, while the more relaxed table of eight next to us seems content to lie in silence gazing at the pretty revolving patterns projected onto the huge wall at the end of the room (DJs Jurr and Roelove have predictably released two compilation Supper Club CDs). A TV presenter fondly remembers when there were sheets on the white beds.

"People used to build their own tents," she tells me, the look of love in her eyes, "and have orgies underneath." Downstairs there's an oxygen bar - no doubt installed to help those having difficulty breathing.

"That's a bit Adrian Mole," comments one jaded diner next to me.

I'm thinking that Dutch tolerance doesn't extend to being able to cope with dope, when he explains that in the latest book Adrian Mole has an oxygen bar at his restaurant.

The Supper Club is a bit like an ultrachic mental asylum, admitting inmates throughout the evening - again, the acts are different every night. A two-metre tall transvestite hoovers the restaurant in the middle of dinner, or Disco Diva Sonja will sing a medley of Seventies hits. …

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