Our spider sense should have tingled when we saw a sign directing us to ‘D’Cellars Russian Club’. Instead, we ventured inside and, caught off balance by the too-enthusiastic waitress, were seated before we had the chance to take in the surroundings. Slowly we realised we were the only punters in this drab, slightly dated establishment (at 10pm on a Tuesday), while half a dozen staff loitered round the bar.
Just as our (forgettable) food arrived, the ‘band’ took to the stage – two Eastern European blondes in matching dresses flanking the brunette that fronted this sorry karaoke outfit. They even let the youngster at the back playing with the laptop join in. There’s something sad about playing to one person (us) – it’s a pity clap, and they know it – but both parties are locked in the pretence. It was a battle of wills to endure a good hour out of politeness alone.