I have a guilty secret. When not searching for answers in the bottom of an empty glass, I dream of what life would be like if I was one of the ‘beautiful’ people.
So far, car-crash telly programmes like Made in Chelsea are the closest I’ve got.
But I took a step towards that life – or, at least, as close as you can get without heading to Chelsea – by visiting Croydon’s Tiger Tiger.
While it’s not much to look at on the outside, inside it’s dark and brooding and has an air of exclusivity.
Booths line the wall, while bottles of spirits are displayed in backlit glass structures akin to a designer store displaying its designer wares.
For lunchtime it’s busy with young and hip office types, dressed to impress.
There’s the odd straggler, myself included, who don’t quite fit the mould, but it seems you are allowed to feel like you too can belong in the club.
There’s no standing and propping up the bar in this establishment though. Well, it’s not encouraged at lunch time anyway.
Maybe that’s because the waiting throng of punters would be a dead giveaway as to how slow the service was.
Instead there’s table service.
Having picked a spot by the window so I could watch the world pass by, I sat and waited. And waited some more.
The chiselled and good-looking bar staff who were milling about appeared slightly frazzled. The one girl behind the bar was working away through drinks orders but appeared to lack any sense of urgency.
When I finally got served I ordered a glass of red. The delay put me off ordering any food, the menu had the usual fare with sandwiches starting from £4.50 and main meals in the region of £7. Even taking customers’ cash was a lengthy process.
I left thinking that being part of the beautiful crowd perhaps wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. You could get better service elsewhere.
Tiger Tiger, 16 High Street, Croydon
Decor: XXXX Upmarket.
Price: XX On a par with Chelsea.
Drink: XXX Range of spirits, wines and cocktails but not for real ale lovers.
Atmosphere: XXX Sedate, it’s probably very different in the evening.
Service: XX Polite but there’s no getting away from the fact service was slow.