An ode to Bodo’s Schloss, the greatest worst club London has ever seen
Goodnight, sweet prince
When Bodo’s Schloss first opened its doors on High Street Kensington, it presented itself to the world as a high-end haunt of royals, young aristocrats and A-listers. In fact, there was even a rumour that Prince Harry had a secret tunnel from his bedroom in Kensington Palace.
The alpine style club, with its ski boots full of Belvedere and supermodel door girls, welcomed David Beckham, Prince Harry, Henry Cavill and Cara Delevingne through its doors on the regs.
Fast forward six years and the club was mainly populated by 17 year-olds hoping to get a snog off Jamie Laing, clueless international visitors who’d read about its reputation online and Conor Maynard. Every single night. Do you reckon he had to pay rent eventually?
The club’s decline into crappiness, however, was what turned it into the ideal night out. You had the infrastructure in place of a top London club but, just as you’d hope for, the tragic vibe of any sticky-floored dive in any odd uni town.
Think Mahiki meets Klute.
Bodo’s = dodgy dive bar meets glam London hotspot
Bodo’s was the perfect place for a night out. Everybody was always dressed to the nines, the interior was nice enough that you could convince your 19-year-old self that you’d made it in life and those obnoxious champagne bottle sparklers were always to be seen.
But, at the end of the night, you were still only a quick hop away from a cheeky Maccas after having danced all night to Shakira and Beyonce. This wasn’t high end or chic, but that’s not why you went to Bodo’s.
The smoking area was LIT
Where else in London would you be able to stand with that chick from Little Mix, Alison – a hairdresser from Essex, Arthur Trumpington-Weissel of some country manor and a high-end Slavic escort? If that’s not diversity – I don’t know what is.
If only Renaissance artists could have captured the pure beauty of watching an ex-public school girl leaning on the black gates of the smoking area while unsubtly swigging from a hip flask to avoid paying over a tenner for a G&T.
The terrible over the top interior
The club looked like the inside of a Russian oligarch’s ski chalet in Gstaad. It was over-the-top, impractical and looked like too much money had been spent on the furniture.
Anyone over 5’5 who has been to the club will still, months later, be cursing about bruising their head on the bewilderingly low ceilings.
Every time a sparkler was carried through the club in a ski boot filled with booze, people would tense up for fear that the sparks, worryingly close to touching the ceiling, could bring the whole wooden chalet down in flames.
Near the cloakroom stood the iconic Bodo’s goat. The bouncers, instead of searching pockets for Class A drugs and helping stumbling drunks, were on constant lookout for anybody who might attempt to mount the goat.
Many succeeded but few lived to tell the tale.
The real star of the club was the cow
Outside the club lived another fan favourite, the famous Bodo’s cow. The cow was allegedly bought from a closing Gourmet Burger Kitchen but, soon after arriving, settled in nicely beside the smoking area.
By day, the cow was seemingly innocuous, but by night he was transformed into a star. Drunk girls would fawn over him, attempting drunken Snapchat face-swaps and kissing it for “classique” Instas.
They rarely kicked anyone out for being drunk and disorderly
Once you were in, you were in. Getting kicked out for being drunk would have been a mammoth task, achieved to this date only by Paul Gascoigne.
As a result, the dancefloor was constantly filled by the flailing limbs of Old Etonians, the graceless gyrations of London PR girls and the frantic big-fish-little-fish-cardboard-boxing of X Factor rejects.
David Attenborough would have been in his element commenting on the eclectic sections of society the club attracted.
For all its tragicness, Bodo’s was a sort of home for people of all ages and backgrounds. The weekly Thursday pilgrimage through its large wooden doors is something London will sorely miss and, unfortunately, will never recover from.