The new hotel W looms like a giant fridge over Leicester Square. They demolished the poor old Swiss Centre to build it as part of the regeneration programme because some people don’t know that some things can’t be regenerated. I often pass through Leicester Square on a Saturday night and it is like watching the golden calf incident, but in 1981. You will see a man punching a woman, or some children dressed as wizards waving at a boy (usually Daniel Radcliffe) who looks sorry he ever heard of wizards. It is the holy of holies of Trash Culture (London branch) and it smells terrible.
Anyway, W, which has a restaurant I will get to shortly, wasn’t built. It landed. It is immense, white and windowless. I almost expect it to swing open and expose a giant pint of milk and some salad cream. Just for weirdness it has an M&M superstore in the basement, selling M&M-branded chocolates, soft toys and, for all I know, nuclear weapons. I have cadged a hotel tour, although to get in you have to pass bouncers. The key to passing bouncers, which I mastered as a gossip columnist, is to look fiercely uninterested, as if your lack of interest will actually punch them in the face and break their legs.
Upstairs, I find a fashionable hotel. Vogue would call it achingly glamorous but to me it is just achingly aching. This is where they hide the thin people with dead eyes — under a glitter ball in the bar, so they can see eternal glittery visions of their thin selves, all the way to the end of the world, which will hit Leicester Square before anywhere else, because it looks like it wants it to.