A group of well-bred yet raffish gentleflies embarked on a Chaps‘ Night Out last night, in search of rare delights and exquisite debauchery. I won’t bother you with all the sordid details, but I think there are a few valuable lessons that are worth sharing.

  • It’s dashed inconvenient to find so many otherwise fine establishments closed on an Anzac weekend.
  • When in search of enlightenment and exotic delights from the mystic East, I wouldn’t bother with Raki.
  • On a night when hordes of be-sneakered young ruffians have been lured into the city by popular music, one has yet another reason to steer well clear of the vulgar hoi polloi of Courtenay Place in favour of more sedate watering holes.
  • When Hawthorn Lounge gets busy, the quality of their caiparinhas can slip quite alarmingly, yet they can still deliver an impeccable Crown Jewel Martini.
  • Medina used to serve a creditable selection of tagines, couscous and other delights from the Maghreb. It has now emerged from a renovation as “Casablanca”, and horror of horrors, it now seems more akin to “fast food” than languorous Moroccan feasting.
  • Any self-proclaimed gentleman who insists upon wearing “sportswear” (other than cricket whites or thornproof tweeds, of course) marks himself out as a bounder of the lowest sort, and should never be trusted, least of all with the Baccarat bank.
  • It is impossible to do anything discreetly when wearing a fez.
  • While rewarding ourselves with a few pots of tea containing something substantially more fortifying than Lapsang Souchong, we noticed that the staff at Alice had chosen a manner of dress that the Reverend Dodgson would never have recognised. Superman emptying the dishwasher? The Flash with a Boston shaker? What is the world coming to?! On the other hand, the delightful Miss Holly looked even more delightful in a Catwoman outfit, so we were willing to overlook a little sartorial anachronism.
  • Wellington definitely needs more gentlemen’s clubs, grand hotels, opium dens, speakeasies, whisky bars, Casbahs, burlesque theatres and gin palaces. Hospitality entrepreneurs of Wellington! Opportunity awaits!