Posts Tagged ‘Mayfair’

DA! squat, Upper Grovesnor Street

November 12, 2008

On Friday the papers went nuts for the new Da! squat in Upper Grovesnor Street, W1.

The dichotomy of the location, plus the media-friendliness of the squatters was a hack’s dream. And the new Michelin-starred restaurant Corrigan‘s Mayfair across the road made it all the more perfect.

While TV chef Richard Corrigan has been quoted saying he was outraged at the DA group’s new home, on Friday night his restaurant had actually placed a table for two outside for DA’s ‘spokeswoman’, Stephanie Smith to dine.

Stephanie Smith lets us in
When I cycled up the house that evening, the squat sounded like it was screaming as all the alarms had suddenly gone off all at once. I saw the Corrigan’s ‘reserved’ outside table and witnessed a stressed-out Stephanie say: “look, I haven’t got time for your fucking souffle, I’m sorry!” as she dealt with the party, the alarms and the invitation to Michelin-starred dinner.

Bloody hell – this is going to be good I thought. We met one guy we kinda knew, Joel, who greeted us almost equally as stressed as Stephanie. He, like many of the collective inside, was grumbling because of all the press covergae their party had had. It was on the homepage of the Guardian and front page of the Evening Standard and got spreads in the Daily Mail and the Mail On Sunday.

Stephanie and silver bird

Stephanie and silver bird

Anyway, I can’t remember exactly how many floors there wer – say five? – but it was amazing to get a peek round the listed-building. There’s rumours that the house is owned by a Middle Eastern royal family, but because no one can get hold of those that manage the leasehold, Delta Land (registered in the British Virgin Islands), no one can check to be sure. Boy are they going to be in for a shock when they pick up a paper.

The party, however, was really very staid considering all the press attention it got. We were knackered so didn’t stay after midnight (when it was predicted to really take off), but did see bits and bobs of art going on in all the rooms. All the windows had projections, which lit the house up from Corrigan’s opposite.