Set up by nocturnal fantasy specialists Antoin Commane and Diego Bivero-Volpe, the chaps behind club favorites such as The Brompton Club and Bodo’s Schloss, this duo certainly have the credentials to get a party started.
Ruski’s is the first independent venture for these ex-promoters and their aim is to revamp the London hospitality scene. Have they succeeded? We’re not so sure.
Situated opposite their old stomping ground Bodo’s on High Street Kensington we went down one Tuesday (their ‘signature’ week night) to see what all the fuss was about…
We fear there has been much ado about nothing.
Ruski’s is said to pay homage to Russia’s rich history over the last twelve decades, and nods to this by featuring menus and décor (and a giant taxidermy bear) which scream of decadence and luxury. The boast of ‘London’s largest collection of Vodka’ is something which fuels the promise of no-holds barred debauchery.
TWOP’s first impressions were great. We were shown to our table by one of the gorgeous staff, in a gorgeous room surrounded by a sea of gorgeous people. Our drink arrived in a spaceman helmet: a peach vodka based cocktail infused with marshmallows (trust us it works!) and plenty of giant straws to share. We’re not entirely sure that the astronaut theme (which we think is loosely attributed to Yuri Gagarin…maybe…) fit the wider club theme but nonetheless, we actually applaud the randomness – Mahiki have treasure chests, Ruski’s have spacemen helmets. Fine by us.
The club was also ‘accessorised’, as expected, by beautiful waitresses in teeny-weeny outfits serving the most ridiculously oversized vodka bottles we’ve ever seen to lavish (aka be-suited) gentlemen who had the cash to flash and an appetite to let off some mid-week steam – standard in a West London nightclub right? And yes, there were enough sparklers to warrant a fire safety inspection.
This is our issue with Ruski’s, you’re led to believe that it is some fabulous, exclusive and unique nightspot, with a USP which focuses on extraordinary hospitality. But, once you’re inside, except for some apt Russian furnishings (including Russian dolls), it’s just another West London club.
Hospitality was poor – you’re certainly not treated like a Russian Tsar (probably with the exception of actual Russian Tsars) and the club directors were too concerned with partying than running a business. Unfortunately, by 1am, we were so bored with the West End status quo we decided to call it a night and take our heels and eyelashes home.
Overall, we’d say give it a whirl if you’re intrigued, but don’t expect it to live up to the hype.
View Ruski’s site here
Words by – VT