Our debut Luxury Book Club event took place last week and it was a raging success. The literati/glitterati gathered at Bar Paragon for some sparkling book-chat about the first novel on our reading list, Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton.

Bar Paragon’s resident cocktail wizards performed cocktail alchemy. All guests were presented with Luxury Book Club life membership cards and initiatiated with a drink of their choice (including Netta’s Ruin – a blueberry-infused gin cocktail created specially for the occasion).

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(above) Luxury Book Club membership cards and the nefarious Netta’s Ruin

Steve Walsh (South London Hardcore) did an incredible job of being dad and chairing the discussion with mastery and panache. Dr. Anne Witchard (Westminster University) was so erudite and glamorous that Bree, Ali and I all want to be her when we grow up. Mark Farrelly (writer and star of The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton) brought some of the dark theatre of Hamilton’s life to the discussion, and ruminated on his own fascination and relationship with Hangover Square. And we are all of us slightly in love with Declan Ryan (Faber New Poet and Days of Roses), who read hypnotically from Hangover Square and considered Hamilton’s poetic prose of obsession (heroically managing to use the phrase ‘bell end’ at some point during proceedings).

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(above) The panel (left to right): Steven Walsh, Declan Ryan, Anne Witchard and Mark Farrelly

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(above) late night book chat at the bar (spot playwright and author Rose Biggin, stylist and journalist Tom Stubbs, designer Katie Eary and 50 Words For Film‘s Graeme Swanson loitering somewhere in the fray)

After the panel discussion finished, the conversation spilled over into the bar and continued on. Everywhere people were laughing and talking like having a nice time was contegious.

Last orders was called and there were still some hardened readers hanging around as the lights came up. Patrick Hamilton would’ve approved of this club. He’d have enjoyed the gin cocktails and possibly fallen in love with an aloof barmaid (had the barstaff not been so affable). And he’d stand on his own. And leave on his own. And he’d go home, and he’d cry and want to die…

The second novel on our reading list will be London Fields by Martin Amis, on 9th February 2016. Check the Luxury Book Club page for information.