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Piccadilly Institute (Bar, Club)

Picture of Piccadilly Institute in West End, London

The London Pavilion, West End, London, W1V 9LA
Cuisine: Bar
Tel: 020 7287 8008 | Email to Piccadilly Institute | Transport: Piccadilly Circus | Write review

Piccadilly Institute Review

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Best for: Theme park style drinking and dancing in the West End.

Great: Mini hamburgers and authentic London views.

Why did the teenager cross the road? Because his mother told him not to. And because he was following the crowd, irrespective of where they were headed. We’ve all been there, dragged out for a spontaneous night, only to walk around the city like lost sheep because there’s too much choice, or because the Alpha of your pack should really be the Omega. But yet, we seemingly continue to walk somewhere that leads to nowhere. And to think we might have got over those trivial social growing pains by now.

And so it happened, while contemplating this thought over views of Piccadilly, in a 4-floored 6-theme bar and club, I realised that with so much in one place, I would hopefully never have to face that problem again. Not only that, but I also found myself bedecked in a straw sunhat. A bikini and a hoola skirt might’ve been OK too. This buffet of bars is a curious playground for the Peter Pans amongst us; a light relief from fitting into suits all day, where we can, for a few hours, never grow up. I had entered Piccadilly Institute, and with that, reverted back to my child-like pre-teen brain.  

For some reason, sipping out of a huge picnic hamper, aptly named Fruit Loop Double, didn’t bamboozle me half as much as the persistent efforts to seduce me by an ape man. But since my brain had become so malleable that day, bamboozlement soon transformed to enjoyment. And before I could say ‘monkey business’, I was well engaged in ape-like conversation. I cuddled the monkey; big, dark, hairy and possessing a vocab consisting of two grunts. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but had we met before?

I didn’t have time to think about it, though, as my attention was diverted to a plate of mini hamburgers that looked like toys from a McDonalds’ Kidsmeal. Each little bite was most appreciated. I was charmed. They were just so much fun to eat! I wondered then if it’s true that small things amuse small minds. Well, if it comes to price, then this would certainly render true since, for all my efforts to finish my huge cocktail-for-6 and platters of food-for-6, it only cost 50.

Conducive to pre-teen symptoms, my hormones were jumping every which way, in the throes of identity crisis. Was I an adult or adolescent? For once, identity crisis didn’t actually matter. It was in the ‘Clinic’ bar that I realised this: staff dressed in doctors overalls; naked mannequins swimming amongst the strobes on the ceiling; and people swaying like seaweed to deep beats, teetering at the feet of masked creatures on stilts. What a relief.

I thought perhaps my hormonal quandary would be subdued in the ‘Shrink’ bar, which was stuffed with little baby dolls (got the heebie jeebies yet?). As much as I tried, the old hospital beds converted into therapist sofas were no water to my fired up teen hormones. By now, I was completely loopy, having exchanged childish notions with another of Piccadilly Institute’s mascots: the Madhatter. This all between mouthfuls of whipped cream, flake, Bacardi and Kahlua, all nicely packaged in a cocktail called Chocolate Milk. So juvenile, yet so mature.

Eventually this teeny bopper found her niche for it was the great 90s sounds of Cotton Eyed Joe and Mambo No. 5 in ‘Decadia’ bar where I started to feel right at home. I was not the only one with gawky dance moves, but sadly the adult me didn’t have much of an excuse. I couldn’t blame gangly arms or legs. Although in temporal teen mode, my body couldn’t lie. The rest of the crowd had every excuse though. Shaking a leg to good old techno upped my spirits only temporarily, and then I wanted to hide away in a dark corner, because as you know, EVERYONE is looking at you when you’re a teenager.  

I found the perfect spot for just this purpose: the ‘Noir’ bar, a more subtle, plush affair. In shadowed corners, I slunk around like a black panther. Hell, you could probably dress like one too.

Eventually, it was the real Noir outside I had to face. That of hustling crowds catching that last trains home. I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to grow up. I wanted to stay at Piccadilly Institute, and dance with all the other teeny boppers till I could dance no more. I wanted to yabber away nonsense with my new found fancy dress friends. As I left, and melted into the crowd, I knew precisely where I was headed, and there was not a hairy ape or mad hatter in sight.
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Customer Reviews for Piccadilly Institute

Average (based on 3 votes): 3 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Piccadilly Institute.

“Loved the Place! Staff were great atmosphere was excellent and the decor was brilliant!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Dee Hosty, Claremorris, Co. Mayo, Ireland (5 years 4 months 14 days ago)

“Definitely worth the money - and the cocktails are truly awesome! The different bars are a little bit weird, and it feels like you're in a CSI scene. So if you're into that kind of thing it's really good. I would recommend great night for birthdays etc. The music is great.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Ben, London (5 years 8 months 17 days ago)

“Amazing night! Went for a few drinks after work last Friday and ended up staying all night. We were up in the Fruit Box which is like a garden-theme, which was nice while the sun was still about with the big windows and nice views. Later on we went a wander and ended up staying in Decadia most of the night - so much fun! The flashing dancefloor was ace, and the old school 90's music videos were playing on a massive screen too. We had a cocktail out of a rubiks cube and we danced with a man dressed as a monkey in a top hat - madness! Would definitely recommend this place - it's totally different from your usual west end club!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Lindsay, London (5 years 9 months 11 days ago)

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Venue ID: 22359

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Loved

"I love pizza and this is the best pizza I've ever eaten. Their flavor is special. italian food quite tasty but I have to wait a long time to be served. I have received apologies from the staff and desserts..." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Paid £50 deposit for table near screens to watch two games of rugby, paid additional £25 for cold bucket of beers upon arrival. Arrived, asked about the beers, admin mix up apparently and they thought..." Which venue is this?

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