Given the current political climate, one might think that their elected representatives should at the very least be clocking in 100-hour weeks in Parliament in the run-up to the largest political upheaval of the past century.
However, MPs are people too, with just as much of a need to let their hair down and cut loose after a long week at the office. It’s true, even the most stone-faced and serious-looking politician needs the occasional night out to blow off steam and replenish themselves.
Unlike us mere mortals, you’re unlikely to spot them down pitchers of Cheeky Vimto in the local branch of Wetherspoons. Just like all other aspects of political life, political nightlife is also an exclusive and expensive realm. Read on to find out where this country’s politicians go to party hard.
Nightlife in the Palace of Westminster
The iconic Palace of Westminster is more than just a place to pass impossibly dull pieces of legislation and enjoy shouting matches in the Commons.
It’s also a gargantuan pleasure palace, fully stocked with over thirty bars, a drinks terrace overlooking the Thames, and a courtyard that regularly hosts summer shindigs. Certain MPs, who shall not be named here, are also known for throwing some pretty out-of-control parties in their office suites to celebrate any big political wins.
If you’re still doubting the party credentials of the home of Big Ben, then remember that the toilets of the Palace have also regularly been found to contain high trace amounts of cocaine. Possibly not quite what the architects of the Palace had in mind when they built it 200 years ago.
Member’s Clubs, Casinos and Nightclubs
Our politicians do occasionally step out onto the streets of SW1 for the occasional bit of fun. Member’s clubs are the best place to do so away from the prying eyes of the public. The ones most frequently used by politicians of all parties, rather than those frequented by celebrities and aristocrats, include Annabel’s in Mayfair, Boodle’s (Churchill’s favourite club, just a stone’s throw away from Parliament), and the Arts Club, founded by Charles Dickens in 1863.
Some politicians are also known to be partial to casino games. A fair few have been snapped at the exclusive private casino at the London Ritz, as well as at the blackjack table over at Les Ambassadeurs. While us mere mortals are unlikely to make it past the door of these places, sometimes politicians avoid land-based casinos too. Those who take an interest in these games can play live roulette or live blackjack online on live stream, thus avoiding the brutal glare of the paparazzi while still partaking in their hobby.
Where They Soak Up the Booze
All of the revelry is, of course, followed up with some food. Rather than opting for a greasy kebab, our politicians tend to go for something a little more refined.
The hottest restaurant for the SW1 set this year has undoubtedly been Sexy Fish, the Mayfair sushi spot which hosted the prime minister and most of the cabinet for Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre’s birthday. The Lib Dems have more down-to-earth tastes, however, with the Kennington Tandoori curry house being a favourite among party bigwigs for at least three decades.
So there you have it. If you want to party like a politician, all you need to do is either fork out a £10K a year membership fee, gain access to the Stranger’s Bar, or just head out for a midnight curry.