You could pass Tramp without realizing it. There is nothing in the Edwardian edifice to suggest that for almost 50 years it has been a synonym of shamelessly decadent hedonism, full of champagne.
The only hint of exclusivity is a discreet brass plate that indicates to passers-by and potential visitors that entry is strictly reserved for "members only".
Yet for half a century, royalty, Hollywood stars, the super-rich, the famous and the very beautiful have been attracted down the dimly lit stairs to go down into the basement club in search of unbridled fun – and expensive.
It was the nightclub where Princess Margaret felt reassured enough to let her hair go – and where her toy lover, Roddy Llewellyn, had launched her short (and unsuccessful) career as a singer.
The enthusiastic dances of a princess Anne of 19 are well remembered and it was at Tramp that Prince Andrew met Koo Stark for the first time. After his marriage, he and the Duchess of York were regular customers.
Mick Jagger was a founding member and a frequent guest. On one occasion, the staff held their breath when, while his ex-wife Bianca was in the ladies' restroom, he appeared with Jerry Hall on his arm. Guido, the maitre d 'inversion of the antennas, cleverly led the Rolling Stone and his lover in a darkened corner.
Prince William was once seen a bit worse for wear when he left the uber trendy nightclub & rsquo; Tramp & # 39; with a friend in 2007
Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall were seen as they left the club together. Tramp is a hideaway for the rich and famous
Surrounded by smiling women, American rhythm and blues musician Big Jay McNeely plays his tenor saxophone at Tramps nightclub, in 1993 while Sophie Dahl leaves in the club in 2001
Roger Moore broke loose with Cary Grant's wife, Dyan Cannon, and once put himself on his hands and knees to dry off after a flood, throwing his friend Tony Curtis to help him out.
The novelist Jackie Collins, whose husband Oscar Lerman was one of the co-founders of the club, once said of the place: "It reminds me, in the best possible way, of an old bitch – always there, always ready for your requests and always prepared to keep you entertained ".
Naturally, the disco scene in the film of his book The Stud, with his sister Joan, was filmed in the club.
Birthday party for Tara Palmer-Tomkinson at the nightclub & # 39; Tramp & # 39; at Mayfair in London. In the photo of 1998
Tramp's clientele of entertainment stars and aristocracy ensured a flow of positive titles. Peter Sellers, Joan Collins and Liza Minnelli have all organized wedding receptions. Prince launched an album in the basement.
Inevitably, sometimes it was in the news for more controversial reasons.
For example, former football star OJ Simpson, recently acquitted of his ex-wife's murder, appeared for a drink with director Michael Winner.
In 1990, he was at the center of an extraordinary defamation action brought by the issuer Andrew Neil – then director of the Sunday Times – after Peregrine Worsthorne, the rival publisher of the Sunday Telegraph, had accused him of behaving "unwise, unworthy and unseemly" "& # 39 ;.
Neil's offense? Frequenting Tramp, where he met former Pamella Bordes researcher Pamella Bordes, who later turned out to be a prostitute. Worsthorne described her as "an adventurer who digs gold," while she pompously declared that nightclubs were not "suitable places for publishers of quality newspapers", as they would hardly have met the archbishop of Canterbury. .
Neil sued the implication that he knew his Indian girl was a prostitute. As for Tramp, he said he had "entertained members of the clergy".
A few years earlier, the club defended its reputation after a newspaper reporter argued that it was a non-recommendable structure, frequented by models that never model, actresses who never act and who "make small pieces". The club has suffered considerable damage.
The member club is a meeting point in London where the rich and famous can let themselves go
The once tormented Marquis of Blandford – now the gracious Duke of Marlborough – was arrested by the police, as it emerged in the early hours of the club, on charges of a stolen checkbook and claims to have embarked without paying taxi fares .
Inevitably, perhaps, Keith Moon, the wild man of rock, has left his mark on the place, extracting a candlestick from its joint. Despite being excluded from the club, he then found himself tied to the hood of a completely bare white Rolls-Royce.
C & # 39; was also the actress of the time Shirley MacLaine fell asleep at a table and Mel Brooks stood on all fours and ran under the tables barking like a dog.
All give to its legendary status.
The British comedian and actor Peter Sellers with his third wife, Miranda Quarry, Lord Mancroft's stepdaughter, Cunard vice-president, at the wedding reception at the Tramp & # 39; in 1970
Wanderer – it was always not U say Tramps – he opened the year Neil Armstrong walked the moon, John Lennon married Yoko Ono and the Troubles broke out in Northern Ireland.
And since then, the basement has dominated the London nightclub with its cocktail of glamor, pomp and girls.
Five years after the launch of Annabel & # 39; s, the nightclub virtuoso in which perfectionism was on the agenda, Tramp opted for a more relaxed atmosphere.
Unlike Niterie in Berkeley Square by Mark Birley, male guests did not need to wear a tie. And while the girls were disguised as Annabel, they undressed for Tramp.
There was another fundamental difference: no man without women, a rule designed to prevent it from becoming a meeting point.
Radio 1 DJ John Peel was dismissed for breaking that rule. "Wife, girlfriend or lover", the late Welsh Dai Llewellyn told me. "Of course you had to be a member."
He was born from an idea of Johnny Gold, a bookmaker who has grown up to become a manager, who founded the club with Jackie Collins's husband, and a third partner, Bill Ofner, 13 days before the 1960s. They had occupied the club premises of the Society, once the refuge of Guard officers and where the Queen Mother celebrated a victory over the horses.
Lord Frederick Windsor at the Tatler Little Black Book party in 2001
The walls in oak panels and the zodiacal stucco ceiling still remain today. Gold invited 300 friends and celebrities to become founding members for the princely sum of £ 10.50 a year. Today, the annual registration is £ 1,000.
"I thought we could get two or three years," commented Gold. Fifty years later, the club is still thriving.
"The application for membership has not only grown, it has spread like an uncertain virus," Gold said. "I never realized I had so many friends." His vision always concerned the mix, what he called the right people. "
Discretion was the order of the day – that's why the royals liked it so much.
Peter Sellers and his third wife, the socialite Miranda Quarry (now Countess of Stockton), held their wedding reception in the club.
The actor liked to bring Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon. If his photographer, then husband, was working, Sellers and Margaret were successful.
"I do not think anything ever happened between them," recalls Gold in his memorial Tramp & # 39; s Gold. "From my observation, they were sincerely just good friends.
"Peter has always had a crush on Princess Margaret and, in part, has been reciprocated, he even offered to exchange wives with Tony (Snowdon), but despite the offer of the delicious Britt Ekland (his second wife ), the noble photographer refused. "
Among those there on the opening night – December 18th, 1969 – there were Sellers, Michael Caine, Natalie Wood and Richard Harris. During the night, Tramp became a haunt for the film and the élite of rock & # 39; n & # 39; roll. The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, Marlon Brando and Charlton Heston just to name a few. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor would have passed.
Roger Moore and Dyan Cannon dance at the nightclub. It is not clear when it was taken
One evening, three James Bonds took the tables for dinner – Sean Connery, Roger Moore and George Lazenby – all by chance.
His unpretentious entry to the number 40 of Jermyn Street in St James also became famous one night in 1993, when Jack Nicholson kissed French a vagabond, to the delight of the waiting paparazzi.
A best-seller of George Best, worse worn, he recklessly tried to argue with Michael Caine – no one could remember why.
On another occasion, Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito sat happily up the steps to the DJ desk because all the tables were full. "It would never happen in Los Angeles," recalls Gold.
Tramp, he proved, was democratic, not elite.
Dodi Fayed, who died with Princess Diana, spent much time in Tramp when he was young. Gold recalled a night away from a young woman. When asked why, Gold replied: "If you need to know, your father is fucked!"
He later claimed that Diana and Dodi would still be alive if they made an appointment with him on the day of their fatal car accident. It is thought that Dodi brought the princess to dance at the club during their brief summer love story.
There are other troubling stories – one that could offend the #MeToo activists. It was in Tramp that the former Rolling Stones bassist, Bill Wyman, at the age of 47, met the 13 year old Mandy Smith. They got married six years later.
One night in 1985, pop star George Michael was drunk and vomited in the nightclub. The management threw him out and told him not to go back.
A much more dignified host was Victoria Lockwood, Earl Spencer's first wife, who held her bachelorette party in 1989.
At 19, Benenden, Princess Anne loved to dance as a 19-year-old. Once, he said he had to leave early because he had to attend the memorial service the following day. When asked about the solemn annual event, the princess said she always wanted to be on the balcony of Whitehall with a sign saying "Hi folks!"
As the eighties gave way to the nineties, the mob of vagabonds began to change. Sociality Tara Palmer-Tomkinson held her 27th birthday there – always the exhibitionist, she wore a bikini, a fur coat and a snorkel.
During a party with Tatler's magazine, Michael Freddie Windsor's son, the hard-fading Princess Michael of Kent posted model Sophie Dahl. All very tramp.
But the man with a front row seat in this most glamorous place is no longer there. Johnny Gold has sold out after 30 years, although he has remained at the helm for a while.
More recently, the likes of popstar Rihanna and David Beckham were typical guests, while David Cameron and director Guy Ritchie were spotted as they chatted in one of the darkened cabins.
Times have certainly changed.
"Celebrities usually do not make you any money," says club general manager David Fleming, "because they like drinking water and tea, and they do not like clubs that are busy."
Inevitably, some stories have been exaggerated in telling. A story that singer Lionel Richie was not admitted by the goalkeeper until he sang his success. Hello, it is said to be false, as well as the statement that Russian spy Anna Chapman tried to raise the princes William and Harry.
Andrew Neil's defamation damage of £ 1,000 would not have gone far today.
A bottle of Krug champagne costs £ 450 and the magnums of Roederer Cristal, drink of taste for many club guests, are £ 2,000. Fifty grams of Iranian Beluga caviar are on the menu at £ 280, but Tramp's burgers and fries are only £ 18.
Aristocrats and movie stars may have moved in, but Tramp remains a landmark for the well-to-do and well-connected that they can celebrate from dusk to dawn.