'Just Don’t Be Dull'

Muriel Belcher

Balans Soho Society has been in Old Compton Street for 30 years. From one grande dame of Soho to another, we’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Muriel Belcher, founder and proprieter of The Colony Room, a private members club that opened in 1948 and which finally closed its doors in 2008.

According to Christopher Hitchens, Muriel was arguably the rudest person in England and almost never left her perch at the end of the bar at The Colony. Autocratic and temperamental, she nevertheless created an ambience that suited those who felt themselves to be misfits or outsiders. Her one golden rule? ‘Just don’t be dull and fucking boring

George Melly said of her, ‘Muriel was a benevolent witch, who managed to draw in all London’s talent up those filthy stairs. She was like a great cook, working with the ingredients of people and drink.

Muriel, we shall doubtless never see your like again and we salute you.

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