Playground to the rich and famous, the award-winning Boujis is pretty much flawless. The only hitch - getting past the entrance.
Boujis is one of the only reasons to party in South Kensington after dark and it’s handily located right by the tube station – not that its royal patrons and celebs will bother with such crude modes of transport. If outside its appearance is understated, inside the diminutive space is excellently designed without being too over the top.
The elegant space spreads around a central staircase. Along the walls there are padded black couches and sought-after tables. The best of these are in front of the DJ (a raised platform that allows people to show off their moves). Beyond the bar, there is the elusive VIP area, so close and yet so out-of-bounds to the average punter. Boujis’ trademark is a floral pattern glowing with purples and blue hues. Pretty but far from strikingly original, the ceiling above the dance floor is marginally more innovative as arrow-shaped LED displays glow in a matrix of colours.
The atmosphere at Boujis is evenly split in two: outside there is a tangible whiff of nervous anticipation (from the prospective customers) and predictable coldness (from the staff), while everything is incredibly friendly once you have made it inside. There are many tales of diffidence at the door but, ultimately, the staff are not half as bad as depicted and Boujis maintains a very high standard in all its dealings with the public, door staff included. Having said that without being a member, being on the guestlist or knowing the door team there’s always a chance you might get knocked back for not looking the part, as the young girls who sit forlornly at the nearby bus-stop all too vividly illustrate.
If you are allowed in, though, Boujis is a dream of a nightclub: upbeat, friendly, small enough to feel cosy – it is no surprise the royals find themselves at home here. Boujis has just celebrated its 8th birthday (Basement Jaxx did the honours) and it is still a very popular spot, despite not attracting the paps as much as it once did.
With resident DJs like Klaus and Sam Young, Boujis’ playlist is an infectious mix of house, electro, specially produced dance floor remixes, and everything else in between.
It goes without saying that drinks at Boujis are quite pricey. The svelte list of cocktails (£11 or £13 for a champagne concoction) includes mostly twisted classics but you have to look at the shots (£7 or £125 if served by the bottle) to find Boujis’ signature: the excellent fruity Crackbaby (vodka, Chambord, passionfruit, champagne and a secret ingredient). It's Sam Young’s favourite tipple, no less.
If you find that one is not enough (but more poignantly, if your wallet can afford it), order a FaBoujis Egg: a large egg-shaped ice sculpture filled with 30 Crackbaby shots and topped with champagne (£350-£550). These prices quicken your heart rate? The wine list is more modest. A glass is a mere £8.50 and bottles are very affordable at £35-£75, while a bottle of Asahi at £5.50 is sure to be the drink of choice for those on a budget.
Of course there are bottled spirits (£200-£2000 for vodka) and champagne, with the latter well-priced for this type of place, from £120 to £400 for Cristal; rose (£120-£700); and les grandes bouteilles (£250-£10,000).
The Last Word
Boujis is an exclusive and wonderfully enjoyable experience. There are only two requirements to love it: the first is that you enjoy high-end nightclubs; the second is that you get in.