Hattie Lloyd 30/09/21
Ironically, the least helpful hands to have when attempting to play jazz.
But, extremely appropriate hands for attending the illicit, time-travelling parties at the jazz-age Candlelight Club, which brings the foot-stomping abandon of prohibition-era speakeasies to London.
The itinerant speakeasy has managed to evade detection for the past seven years – despite being showered with awards – thanks to its elusive location. Two days before attending, you’ll receive instructions to track down the secret venue, be it a nondescript warehouse or an abandoned ballroom restored to its former grandeur for one night. And on said night, you’ll don your vintage gladrags, tip your hat to the doorman, and find yourself ushered into a glimmering, brawling, hooch-laden hall of debauchery.
Remarkably, the venue is entirely candlelit, with candles tucked away in nooks and crannies, suspended in chandeliers and illuminating the intimate cabaret tables dotted about the room. On the stage, there’s a live band playing ragtime, Dixieland and swing music, and on the dancefloor, Charleston dancers cutting rugs like there’s no tomorrow – with frequent appearances from fortune tellers and burlesque artists, and DJs spinning retro swing until the wee hours.
And when you’re not flapping on the dancefloor, there’s a well-stocked bar to prop up, serving up old-fashioned cocktails (not limited to Old Fashioneds) and sustenance in the form of bar snacks and sharing platters. And if you’re really pushing the boat out, there’s the option to reserve your group a table with welcome bottles of Champagne, or to book in for a three-course meal consisting of classic old-school dishes like truffled artichoke soup, and loin of Hampshire deer with beetroot & celeriac.
Proving that booze isn’t the only root of bad behaviour.
NOTE: The Candlelight Club will be tipping up in London throughout 2023. Tickets start at £25 and can be booked HERE.
Like secretive jazz-age drinking holes? Then there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy these speakeasy bars.
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