April 06 2010
Mark C O’Flaherty
I don’t think you can quite beat the Monaco Grand Prix (May 13-16) for glamour, and as long as I can manage to get a room at the Metropole for the duration, I’m not that fussed where I actually watch the race itself. The whole town is buzzing and it feels like the right place at the right time; like one big private members’ club. But when it comes to the evening, you really need the right reservations.
My favourite place to be after dark is the Amber Lounge, a nomadic nightclub that pops up at the most glamorous Formula 1 events around the world. It’s now a fixture at Singapore and Abu Dhabi, but it started in Monaco, and for the past seven years it’s been the de facto top table to book during the evenings of the event.
It’s shamelessly glitzy and showy and VIP-oriented, which for me is the whole point of the Grand Prix; you can’t be too cool about this kind of thing – for these few days of the year you should be where the paparazzi are and enjoy the carnival. And since 2006 the proceedings have included a charity fashion show by Missoni, which this year takes place on the Friday (tickets €500).
The Amber Lounge is fuelled by Dom Pérignon and Cristal, from the early part of the evening spent lounging on huge white sofas to the spirited dancing later on. It’s an expensive affair (a table for eight starts at €5,200 for the night and individual entrance is from €650), but it does include unlimited champagne, or indeed any and all other beverages. And an evening at the Amber Lounge can go on, and on, and on…