Blue Lotus Opium Den | Shuttlecock Inc.
“There were opium dens, where one could buy oblivion, dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new…” Oscar Wilde.
Opium dens sound fun.
If you’d like to visit one, then you have two options:
1) Book a flight to Laos; make your way along the South East Asian Banana Pancake Trail (an area dense with natural beauty, towering limestone peaks, caves, lagoons and forests); arrive at the town of Vientiane and make your way to its outskirts; meet Lai “Greasy Thumb” Heung, and don’t say we sent you. Or,
2) Head down to Carousel in Marylebone, where Shuttlecock Inc. – the creative minds behind award-winning immersive pop-up experiences such as Mile High and The Great Indian Peninsula Railway – are recreating the infamous Blue Lotus opium den of 1870s San Francisco in their basement for four consecutive, and never to be repeated (or spoken of), nights.
Choose Option 2 and you’ll enter through the restaurant’s back door; be led down a dark staircase fire exit; grab a smokey herbal tea and whisky cocktail; weave your way through dim sum, pho noodle and kung pao chicken-hawking street vendors; bribe your way past the owner of a makeshift Chinese laundry and roll into an opium den filled with an assemblage of underworld characters and overflowing with live music, cabaret, street food and puppet shows.
Choose Option 1 and you’ll probably die.
NOTE: The Blue Lotus Opium Den by Shuttlecock Inc. runs from Wednesday 30th September to Saturday 3rd October, from 7pm – 12am. Tickets (which you can buy at the bottom of this page) cost £38 and include a Monkey Shoulder welcome cocktail, five dim sum, plus entertainment all night.
(Photo Credit: Tintin: The Blue Lotus. Hergé)