Last Saturday night, I went to The Candlelight Club. It’s a speakeasy-style 1920’s pop-up dance party at a secret London location. And it was insanely cool.
I went as part of a hen party (translation for the Americans: a girly celebration prior to marriage that falls somewhere between a bridal shower and a bachelorette party). My friends Beck and Brendan are getting married in March (and I am very very excited for them). For Beck’s hen party, her bridesmaids organized a super fun day involving afternoon tea, 1920’s-style headband making, and dancing the night away at The Candlelight Club.
Because I’m the worst at taking pictures, I didn’t take any at the afternoon tea/headband making. For the record, the tea was delicious and the arts-and-crafts aspect was quite fun. But the really really really cool part of the day was definitely the club. We ducked through a small door cut into a large, industrial-ish warehouse door, threaded through a courtyard and then entered a dance hall that was absolutely buzzing.
Because I really am the worst with pictures, I definitely did not take the one above (it’s from the club’s website), but that’s totally what it looked like when we were there. Except, I think it was more crowded. The place is completely lit by candles (save for the spotlights on the band), and the crowd was made up of people who were taking the theme seriously. Really, other than the projector playing a 1920’s-set film (The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (because it was Valentine’s weekend, get it?)) and the music speakers, it was like stepping back in time.
The place is only open for a couple nights every 3 or 4 weeks, and each time they put a slightly different spin on the whole speakeasy idea. This time for Valentine’s Day it was Bloody Valentine (see above re: Massacre). They had a special cocktails menu that fit with the theme (the “Bloody Valentine” was delicious).
I agonized over my outfit before leaving the house and decided to go for a loose-fitting black dress that I belted across the hips for the drop-waisted look. My other choice was a sparkly off-white dress that I wore as a bridesmaid in the past, and I definitely made the wrong choice. Even though the cut of the sparkly one isn’t really 1920’s, glitz and glamour were the name of the game at this place, so the sparkle would have been more appropriate. There were sooooo many gorgeously beaded dresses and feather boas and fedoras and beads and glittery headbands. I can’t describe how amazing everyone looked! Fortunately, the headband I made that day and some long necklaces helped to make me not entirely out of place.
Unfortunately, they didn’t stop me from making that face.
But don’t worry, Beck (the bride) was dressed perfectly in her black-and-white flapper dress.
In addition to all the ladies in gorgeous beads and feathers, there were some dudes who were taking it equally seriously. Including this guy, who I am pretty sure came alone:
(I was too delighted by his commitment to the theme to get really upset by the fact that as the night wore on, it actually became kind of creepy that he was there alone, roving the room, checking out the pretty girls.)
I really wish I had a better camera than my phone, because then I might have gotten some better shots of the place in the dim lighting. Instead, I’ll just give you a montage photo that totally doesn’t capture the charm of the place:
The band was really fun and played lots of jazzy classic tunes. Delightfully, they closed the night with “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book. Not totally period appropriate, perhaps, but the style was spot-on. And there were several couples who could totally tear it up on the dance floor. Including one who I took a long, dimly-lit video of, which I now cannot figure out how to upload to this blog. Trust me, though, they were sooooooooo good.
Basically, I’m dying to go back. I will purchase an amazing dress, a feather boa, numerous long strands of faux-pearls, and one of those skinny cigarette holders. I’ll find myself a happy-to-play-along fella to escort me and fling me around the dance floor. And it will be awesome.