If you want to rub shoulders with the royals on a night out in London you'll greatly improve your chances by going to one of their favourite nightclubs. Luckily for us they're creatures of habit and only a select few bars and clubs make the list. South Kensington and Fulham are the main stomping ground but they do sometimes venture further afield and have been known to party in one particular Polynesian-themed nightclub near Park Lane 'till the early hours.
There was much speculation in the lead up to the wedding about where the stage party would be held and Mahiki was firmly in the running. In the end the Piccadilly nightclub as good as won it: the boys recreated Mahiki at home with the kitschy Polynesian-themed nightclub sending over cases of their signature rum to Clarence House ahead of the bash which was organised by Prince Harry and Guy Pelly. The club has long been a favourite haunt for the royal couple. Following their brief split in 2007, William was said to have declared ‘I’m freeeeee’ before performing a celebratory dance and racking up an £11,000 bar bill. Kate turned up a few nights later, smart girl, showing the Prince exactly what he was missing. They were soon slow-dancing together once more. And wherever the royals party the rest follow but despite its popularity Mahiki's door policy is relaxed, there are no guest lists and the Polynesian vibe is chilled out with Tahiti inspired tropical cocktails. The Pina Coladas come served in frozen pineapples and the Coconut Bomb in a real coconut, if you're feeling like a party try the infamous treasure chest (a heady mix underscored by a litre of vodka and costing £100 a pop). It's a steep £800 for a table but you're better off just turning up - get there early and you don't need to book. Piers Adam and Nick House certainly know how to run nightclubs. Highly recommended.
The royals have generated more column inches for this private members' club than any other with a regular pack of paparazzi parked outside waiting for the princes and their cousins to exit looking a little worse for wear after one too many vodka red bulls. Its popularity comes largely from this kind of publicity - it also attracts more than its fair share of pop stars and celebrities, from Paris Hilton to Jenson Button, giving rise to yet more coverage in the gossip columns. Mere mortals can get in for a tenner - but only if they're beautiful or rich or both; if you're prepared to pay the £500 membership fee you can even bag yourself a table. Tuesdays are particularly popular, especially with the royals and their circle so get friendly with someone who knows someone who can get you in and you may - just may - catch a glimpse of Kate and William partying the night away.
Raffles nightclub on the Kings Road is another late night venue that the young royals have been seen leaving in the early hours of the morning, especially during their young, carefree days of cavorting and courtship. This Kings Road nightclub run by Patrice Gouty, founding partner of Chinawhite, is also popular with celebrities and it helps if your parents have a house nearby. At Raffles you could find yourself partying alongside Paris Hilton or Prince William both of whom no doubt appreciate the exclusivity - it's members only - and the strong cocktails. Raffles which gets its name from the 19th century colonial mogul Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles has existed since 1967 but came under Gouty's management in 2007. There's a small dance floor (and a 225-person capacity) and comfy sofas so you can relax or get up and dance, depending on how the night progresses. If you're lucky you may get to see one of the many celebrity clients - Paris Hilton, Rosamund Pike, Keira Knightley, Gemma Arterton, David Walliams and Jenson Button have all partied here - just remember to act like they don't exist.
Fulham Road bar Eighty Six is a particular favourite of the royal couple. It was here that Catherine celebrated her 29th birthday and, in the weeks before the wedding, there was much speculation she'd have her hen do there too. After the hen night had taken place it was revealed that the low-key celebrations had, sensibly, been held at a friend's house away from the prying lenses of the paps. Still, there's a good chance of Kate and Wills enjoying a night out at Eighty Six. The bar is the brainchild of George Adams and Charlie Kearns, the duo behind Verbier's Coco Club and a popular place for after hours socialising for the Fulham crowd. The decor is a decadent mix of gold panelling with mosaics under foot and the club takes up three floors of a townhouse. The internal spaces are divided into a cocktail bar, gallery restaurant and private dining room with food supplied by Mark Broadbent, ex-Bluebird and star of BBC2's Great British Menu.
Prince William's old school chum Charlie Gilkes owns Maggie's nightclub in the Fulham Road and it was his team who organised the disco at the palace on the wedding night. To sample the party tunes that the royals and their guests danced to head to Maggie's, on the Fulham Road, where you'll be in for an Eighties-themed night out. Clubbers are even treated to snippets of Thatcher's most famous speeches played over in a loop in the toilets. If anything is going to give you stage fright at the urinal, well, that's it. But it's not just about the Iron Lady here: Maggie's is in fact a general tribute to the 80s. Alongside cartoon murals of Thatcher on the wall, you'll find the likes of Ronald Reagan, Mr T from the A Team, Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog all congregating; the tables look like giant Rubik's cubes and there's a liberal collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figurines dotted around the place. Given its location and prized icon, it's probably no surprise that guests must pay a £15 entrance fee and stump up £250 to reserve a table. Those feeling really flush can pick up a bottle of champagne signed by Thatcher herself for a cool £5,000.
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