Monday, 1 August 2011

The Piccadilly Institute

I went out after work on Friday night for my friends birthday.  We wanted to go somewhere in the City (we work pretty near each other) that was fun and somewhere we hadn't been before, so she picked The Piccadilly Institute.  It looks amazing on the website, and it didn't dissapoint once we were inside.

The whole place is meant to be set up like a mental institution, and there are 6 main rooms that are all themed.  When you are outside there are gorgeous women seated in cocktail glasses writhing around with feather boas, and red velvet curtains over the door, shielding the shenanigans inside - well, I assume that's what they want you to think, once you are through the curtains there is literally a cloak room and some stairs.

Once you are upstairs you come to the first main room situated on the right, called 'Noir' - as you can probably tell from the name, the room is black themed with flock wallpaper, huge faces for seats and dark lighting.  Playing commercial music (pop/r&b) this room was the busiest but I suspect this was because it was the first room you came to in the building.

If you by-pass Noir and swerve around to the left of the stairs you come to 'Chamber'.  This is a relatively small room, and although we didn't spend much time in here I knew it would be one of my favourites.  In this room the drinks are served in smoking test tubes (depending on what you order), the periodic table adorns the walls and I assume this is the part of the Institute that is supposed to be the Lab.  Playing ambient/chill out house music, the majority of people seemed to be sitting down at the tables having a chat. 

If you walk past Chamber and head further to the right you walk down a gloomy corridor and past one of the many leggy ladies on stilts and into 'Decadia'.  This is the room we spent quite a bit of time in, because we are all suckers for 80's music and it reminded us of our Jumpin' Jaks days.  Well lit and with a disco theme (the dancefloor is one of those ones that has squares of different colours that flash) the aim of this room is to drink cocktails and be stupid.  We did both. 

After exploring the first floor, head back to the stairs and go up one flight - THIS is where PI starts to get interesting.  A cold blast of air hits you as you turn right into Clinic - my second favourite room in PI.  A large space with padded furniture and lots of neon lighting, look up as you walk in and you'll see mannequins hanging from the ceiling.  The music in here is club classics and after spending a bit of time in here we were all treated to a visit from a massive Titan style robot covered in flashing multi coloured fairy lights.

Head out of Clinic and go straight ahead to reach FruitBox.  Decorated like a crazy multicoloured fruity jungle, although entertaining to walk into, it was one of the most boring rooms.  We didn't spend much time in here so not sure what music they played - I did love the pink parrots hanging from the ceiling though.

Lastly, come back out of Fruitbox and head up the stairs to my FAVOURITE room in PI, Shrink.  Obviously decorated like a Shrinks office, the first thing you see when you get to the top are the tables and chairs, which are actually hospital side tables and wheelchairs.  Look to the left and there is a private booth which consists of 3 hospital beds strapped together to make a large lounging area.  Follow the room to the right where there is a bar set out with lots of dolls in the cabinet (slightly freaky) and a large padded doctors chair in front.  The drinks here can be served on drips, and this is based on the highest floor of the building, so looking out the windows gives you an awesome view of Piccadilly Circus.  I don't recall any music in this room, I have a feeling there wasn't any (probably attempting to add to the erriness of the decor) but it still managed to be my favourite room.

All in all we had a great time at PI.  We arrived during Happy Hour and the drinks were reasonably priced and with the 6 different rooms meaning 6 different genres of music, there was bound to be something in there for everyone.  I definitely wouldn't mind being sectioned here! 

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