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Maggie's (Bar, Club)

Picture of Maggie's in Chelsea, London

329 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 9QL
Cuisine: [Other/Unclassified]
Tel: 020 7352 8512 | Email to Maggie's | Transport: Fulham Broadway | Write review

Maggie's Review

Best for: 80s nostalgia; power ballads.

Great: Cocktails in west London.

Who remembers Rubik’s cubes? They were brilliant weren’t they, with all their different colours and that? And what about Going Live, who remembers that, with Gordon the Gopher and Trevor and Simon’s hilarious pant-swinging? Television gold. And the Karate Kid; wax-on, wax-off, everyone was saying in the playground back then. And what about the poll tax?! Everyone used to love a bit of poll tax. And the Brixton riots, they were mad, weren’t they? And the Falklands, we all love a good war. Oh no, hang on a minute, Rubik’s cubes were shit!

Currently, 80s nostalgia is at an all-time high. Ask anyone what they thought of the 80s and they are likely to come over all misty eyed, look into the middle distance, and begin humming the theme tune to The Littlest Hobo. But then that is the nature of nostalgia, you tend to forget about the really rubbish bits and exaggerate the significance of those things that bought you the slightest modicum of joy.

On Thursday I visited Maggie’s Bar in Chelsea, a shrine to all things 80s and, more specifically, that perpetual ray of sunshine, Margaret Thatcher. If anyone is going to look back fondly upon Thatcher’s decade of power, then it is going to be the denizens of west London, let’s be honest. Located on the Fulham Road, Maggie’s has been paying homage to everyone’s favourite milk thief since April 2010.

Upon arrival, having successfully located my name on the A-Team guestlist, I was greeted by Super Mario and a Ghostbuster (not sure which one? I’d hazard a guess at Peter Venkman? Definitely not Egon Spengler). Clearly these guys take their 80s nostalgia very seriously. The walls were covered with colourful graffiti, with everyone’s favourite cube-based puzzle, enlarged and playing the role of table.

I made my way to the bar, where they knocked me up a Maggie’s Head cocktail: vodka and Malibu mixed with lychee, elderflower and apple juice and something fizzy, all served in the ceramic head of our one-time Prime Minister. I know she remains a very divisive character and she made some questionable choices, but I must say she has a very delicious head.

Sadly, the bar prices are very much 2012, with a bottle of beer costing a fiver and double that for those on the spirits. For the astronomically wealthy, there is the House of Lords Champagne, signed by Maggie herself, coming in at a whopping £5000 per bottle. The menu was, of course, supplemented by a 1980s viewfinder.

While Margaret Thatcher’s head and I were at the bar tapping along to Mister Mister, the table to my left pushed the boat out and staked £290 on the Maggie’s fishbowl, complete with frighteningly large sparklers, neon glowsticks and wind-up fish, served by Maverick and Goose. To avoid the impending fireworks display, I made my way to the toilet, where recordings of Thatcher’s speeches were being played out. I left with an empty bladder and a firm resolve never to surrender the Falklands.

Typically, this fantastically OTT 80s circus plays out to packed houses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Unsurprisingly, given its small size and popularity as London’s premier purveyor of 80s kitsch, it’s a members-only club, with membership costing £350 per year.

It’s a great night out for anyone who, tired of Broken Britain, the Big Society and the sodding Olympics, wants to spend the evening pretending that “we had it so much better back then”. Or people who really, really like Margaret Thatcher, of course.

...read more

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