Tales from the Colony Room: Soho’s Lost Bohemia by Darren Coffield review — the sozzled set of old Soho

Roger Lewis, The Times, April 23, 2020

The Colony Room drinkers were an appalling bunch, learns Roger Lewis

The Colony Room Club closed in December 2008, thank goodness. Imagine if I’d found my way up those stairs to “the tiny green oasis” on Dean Street in London. I’d be in the index of this book — which is less a book than a dirge. Enthusiastic members believed they were enjoying “the wild abandon of a non-stop party”. The facts of the matter suggest that the Soho drinking den was a fearful black hole, the “delectable depravity” — in Barry Humphries’s words in the foreword — on offer simply meant alcohol and more alcohol, with the secure prospect of an early, squalid demise.

The Colony was founded in 1948 by Muriel Belcher.