On Friday night, my friend Martha and I met The Handlebar Club at The Windsor Castle near Edgware Road. The Handlebar Club is an international club of moustache-sporting gentlemen who gather once a month to make merry amongst fellow moustachees.
I should set the scene of The Windsor Castle at this point, because it’s already pretty bizarre in its own right. Some of the friendliest pub staff I’ve met in London, a Thai kitchen, and decadent royalist interior decor. Imagine if the crockery cabinet of a royal family fan club had just vomitted all over the inside of a pub, and then decided to order Thai take-out and a home-brewed ale, and you’ve got a pretty good mental picture. I say that with the utmost love and appreciation. Bewilderment is one of my favourite emotions, and this place never fails to deliver it. That and the ever-welcoming warmth of the atmosphere means that it’s a place I keep going back to.
The Handlebar Club themselves are absolutely fabulous. Several dozen moustachees aged 20-something and onwards playing conkers in the street, puffing away on pipes, nomming sandwiches, and generally being delightful company. A few of them had even flown in from Germany for the occasion, and we were in the presence of many international-award-winning moustaches. I had my first sniff of rum-flavoured moustache wax (not very rum-flavoured; I’d recommend peppermint instead), and chatted to club member Alan Spencer, who - on top of being a man with an excellent moustache - is also a Macebearer in Southampton.
He shared with me the incredible story of Harnaam Kaur, the ‘bearded lady’, a 23-year-old Sikh woman who has polycystic ovary syndrome which has left her with a full beard which - through her religion - she chooses not to shave.
To find out more about these lovely gentlemen, please visit: www.handlebarclub.co.uk and by all means have a chat with them if you see them at the pub - they are incredibly friendly folk!