For the attention of Kevin Bacon: A Night On The TOWIE Tiles


Not satisfied with chewing up some of our most treasured British catchphrases and spitting them out in his characteristic American drawl, Kevin Bacon is now making a beeline for one of Blighty’s most iconic nightspots.

The Sugar Hut is the playground of the tanned and fabulous, second home to the cast of TOWIE and setting for some of the campest nights out this side of Mardi Gras, and now Kevin Bacon wants a slice (rasher?) of the action. The self-proclaimed “centre of the universeâ€? has been formally invited to visit the Brentwood night club by owner Mick Norcross after he mentioned the Hut in his latest advert for mobile phone operator, EE.

As an Essex girl myself (living less than a five minute stumble from the aforementioned club) I feel compelled to share the bemusing splendour of a night on the TOWIE tiles with any Essex virgins, as well as Mr Bacon. Though I harbour a great deal of love for the Essex town and its inhabitants, I may also inadvertently succeed in deterring Kev from rolling into town.

Approaching the Brentwoodian high street on a Friday evening, the evening air suffused with heady designer perfume, intrepid partygoer Bacon will face group upon group of excited twentysomethings. Flesh is lightly toasted and hair is coiffed; that goes for the boys as well. Essex knows how to dress to impress, there is no doubt about that. I didn’t even know that you could get dresses that are frontless, backless AND strapless before moving to Brentwood.

The clink of WKD bottles on the dance floor and the thrum of the Sugar Hut’s DJ booth looms over any pre-drink proceedings, luring revelers in with scantily clad ‘Honeys’ and flattering egos with the promise of exorbitantly priced drinks. “Less than half a pint for £5.50? I’m in!â€? the 10 foot long queues yell. And once inside, the seemingly endless plush caverns confuse even the soberest of clubbers. Bacon’s experience as a foot-flapping dance-a-holic circa 1985 may come in handy here, or could get him kicked out. At which point (probably after a number of overpriced shots) he will lunge gasping into the Essex night air, desperately seeking a further fix of beautiful faces but ending up in the local kebab shop.

On our first trip to the Hut, my boyfriend and I spent the duration perched on a rouge chaise longue, marveling at passersby. Any out-of-towners will agree that it is hard not to. However, though the tang of fake tan is rife and acrylic nails litter the pavements, rather than the cackling bitchiness the producers of TOWIE would have us believe is commonplace on these streets, groups are friendly and open. The exuberant dress code, sky high heels and immaculately preened visages are all part of the fun. It’s like a school disco for narcissistic young professionals.

Having said ‘fun’, I would add that being 26 and made to feel positively ancient is not so enjoyable. Were it not for the occasional middle-aged couple skirting along the edge of the cobbles to seek refuge in a pub, it would be easy to believe that the water in Essex has, in fact, been rerouted from the Spring of Eternal Youth.

Until I moved to Brentwood, I would never have believed that this small commuter town could live up to its meticulously preened media image. Surely the streets are not REALLY lined with nail bars and beauty salons? Surely the women do not look immaculate when they are merely popping to the shop for a pint of milk? I soon found that the answer to both of these questions is in the affirmative. But for all the fake nails and glittery extensions, there is something rather refreshing about a place where dressing up – seriously up – to go out is cool. So leave your scruffy trainers at home Kevin, Shoreditch chic is out and Essex glam is where it’s at.

Have you been to The Sugar Hut? What do you think about TOWIE chic?