As destination areas go, Camden has pretty much everything to offer – nightclubs, live music venues, cocktail bars, restaurants, street vendors, fancy dress shops and god only knows what else down the backstreets. Palatial venues, though, are a little more difficult to pin down. Gilgamesh shines through as one fine example, offering high-end Pan-Asian cuisine and a drink, food and music selection that'll make you feel like the legendary Urek King himself.
Rather than a basement or ground floor venue – the sort of thing that dominates Soho's nightlife scene – Gilgamesh is above the noise of the Camden Road and split into several spaces: a fine dining restaurant, the Babylon club, a Lounge bar and Ginger Martini, the high-end cocktail bar and sushi eatery. At the front door, you're whisked up the escalator to nightlife heaven. From there, your eyes are taken from the chip-plastered streets of the Camden high street and opened wide to a visual spectacle. Exquisite wood carvings dominate the field: tables are inlaid, every surface has some form of intricate engraving and the chairs, which in any other venue would look ridiculous, are thrones with comfortable cushions. The indoor foliage ups the tropical vibe and there's a retractable roof too. If it were for nothing else, it's a great gadget. But it's better than that, as it helps keep the place cool in the summer when the heatwave hits. You'll find banquette seating at the wall to ceiling windows, perfect for looking out on the world when the conversation dries up, and the floaty red drapery screams feed-me-grapes-and-laugh-at-my-jokes-because-I'm-a-sultan. How delightfully decadent.
Music: Commercial, Electro Pop, House
Dress Code: Smart
Train Station: Camden Town
Address: Gilgamesh, The Stables Market, London, NW1 8AH
We'll tell you now, the drinks menu is a jaw-dropper. We fear 'luxury' as term doesn't even quite cut it. Five Perrier-Jouët variations hit the champagne menu with Bollinger, Don Perignon and Cristal bringing up the rear. They're accompanied with all the champagne description you could ever need – 'candid', 'vibrant', 'sleek', 'supple'. Oooff! If you're not down for a full bottle, there's an expansive sparkling cocktails selection instead. On that, the cocktails bring dainty flower petal and thinly cut fruit garnishes and combine them with solid, refined taste at a reasonable price point. They start from around £10. On Saturday, Gilgamesh has been home to Pandora's box, a club night that spreads throughout the venue playing R&B, Club classics, Deep House and Commercial classics. You'll want to get your tickets beforehand: the night's a popular one and no one wants to go through the disappointment of having to go home and come back another time. How embarrassing!
Put simply, celebs like it here. And while you might not be able to afford to part with a cool £490 for a bottle of Johnny Walker blue, you shouldn't feel nervous about the company you'll rub shoulders with at Gilgamesh. Get yourself a single, sip gently and dance away. Your hangover will be less in the morning anyway and while feeling like a Prince in Camden isn't quite as cool as being an actual Prince, everyone at Gilgamesh still gladly indulges in the elegance of it all. You'll be forgiven for only wanting to share that though. Everything else is too tasty to give away.
Gilgamesh has struck a happy medium, taking Camden's vibrancy and blending it with an upscale luxury and opulence to create the Aladdin's Cave of nightspots. Seriously. It really is quite the sight to behold. Explore with open eyes and a contactless card – preferably yours, we don't want any trouble now! – and find your own genie… maybe with a splash of tonic if you're up to the task.