“A world created by artists would be a better place”. Wouldn’t it just. No one ever did that much harm with a paintbrush… that we know of. There’s always one isn’t there? Ruining it for everyone. At the Notting Hill Arts Club, art in all it’s forms is celebrated and enjoyed over a drink or two- now doesn’t that sound lovely? An intelligent conversation. It makes a change from screaming ‘So where are you from?’ over thumping bass while you try to detach your shoes from the sticky floor right? Notting Hill Arts Club has grown from strength to strength throughout its twelve years on the scene, becoming known as the pioneering music and arts venue of the North West. We’re feeling more cultured already.
Located on the trendy, bustling street of Notting Hill Gate, NHAC is bursting to the rafters with sophistication and an understated cool second to none. The club all started out as an underground basement club and grew due to sheer popularity. It’s not a members club but they do like to be discreet, hosting all sorts of up-and-coming artists exhibitions and live music for a very forward-thinking crowd. The Arts Club supports a serious graphic arts based exhibition programme, with all sorts of concept visual pieces to get your brain ticking over. Complete with bar, stage, projection screen, leather booths and a foldaway ping pong table, The NHAC is kitted out for some serious entertainment. The booths, which seat eight at a friendly squeeze, are exclusively kept aside on Fridays and Saturdays for bookings - all you have to do is call or email the club to book them and receive night-long floor service so no need to walk to the bar- huzzah! They also sell Popcorn and posh crisps, so you know, we’re a fan.
Music: Live, Acoustic, Indie, Rock, Electro, Alt
Dress Code: None
Train Station: Notting Hill Gate
Address: Notting Hill Arts Club, 21 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11 3JQ
They’re cracking for catching acts just before they hit the big time, it’s almost known for it in fact. NHAC has nabbed sets from pre-breakout Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian and Razorlight. Some of the acts have even been signed here so the club has a very high reputation amongst musicians. It’s legit. It seems that through careful conceptualisation, the NHAC have become a platform for underground and genre-defining events too, seeing nights such as Beachclub, Brazilian Love Affair, Lazy Dog, One World Live, RoTa and Futuro Flamenco to roaring success. The bar has a fantastic cocktail menu too, and you can even wager to beat the bartender to pay less for your drink. Just a friendly bet of skill or wit perhaps, you don’t have to literally beat him. Although my money’s on that we can take him. There’s also a lovely selection of crafts, ciders and spirits at very reasonable prices, very reasonable indeed. Beers start at £3.80 and a glass of wine for £4.30 and up or the ‘slushy of the day’ for £6.50. You can also get yourself some Champers starting at modest £4.90. Bubbles all round?
There is a scattering of fashionably battered leather sofas throughout, for schmoozing with creative types and pretending you know what the hell is going on. Make sure to drop: ‘Yes absolutely, his latest series was verging on conformist’, at least once in the evening - regardless of context - for maximum effect. Everyone here is irrefutably interesting and it’s fascinating to try and soak up. They’re also surprisingly less intimidating up close, a wealth of smiles and laughter coating the room with warmth. If the Dutch courage is kicking in you may wish to venture to the sultry looking dance floor to throw some shapes, although in this kind of venue, you’d better make sure they’re at least geometric. Having said that, some of the beats played here are so unusually pioneering, you’re not even entirely sure how you would dance to them. It’s almost as though you need a metronome in your pocket just to count you in. That’s what’s great though - you actually deem yourself ever so slightly cooler for merely being here.
Notting Hill: previously known for The Carnival and that Hugh Grant movie where Julia Roberts stands in front him and begs to be loved. Cringe. Luckily now, there’s another reason to note Notting Hill as a sought after postcode. The Notting Hill Arts Club is wonderfully diverse and carefully honed, brimming with the best talent London has to offer. It’s progressive musical taste and array of beautiful artwork make it far from your dime-a-dozen London Club. We hate to ‘paint something with a broad brush’ here, but if the standard club is your generic ‘Starbucks’, then The NHAC is your independent vendor for the true coffee connoisseur. If you’re on the hunt for an alternative night on the tiles, try awakening your creative side, because here, they really have got it down to an art/.