Come in, before someone sees you
The Candlelight Club is a clandestine pop-up cocktail bar in a secret London venue, a stunning, tucked-away den with a 1920s speakeasy flavour, completely lit by candles. Each party offers a one-off cocktail menu, with special themes, plus dancing to live 1920s jazz bands and vintage DJing.
"The Candlelight Club really is the closest you'll find to an authentic Jazz Age experience in central London. Its unique ambience, fuelled by hundreds of candles, is truly a scene to behold." —Time Out
"Pull on a flapper dress and have a decadent night out at The Candlelight Club" —Grazia
"Speakeasies may be everywhere, but there's no bandwagon-jumping here. This is a sincere recreation, not to mention a really fun evening. Proper drinks too." —Imbibe
"The Candlelight Club—dope" —DJ Yoda
Our next event…
New Orleans Mardi Gras Ball
Saturday 8th March
(Left and below) 1930s paraders; (right) debutantes at the Mardi Gras Ball, 1922 (newspaper image)
Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday") is the last Tuesday before Lent when many cultures let their hair down. In Britain we eat pancakes. In New Orleans they have a week of carnival, a wild festival of masks, costumes, parades, music and partying. Dozens of "Krewes" spend all year putting displays together and as they process through the city they fling trinkets, specially minted "doubloons" and strings of gold, purple and green beads from their floats into the crowd. A fusion of Caribbean, Spanish and French culture, this has been going on for over 150 years—and it certainly didn't stop for Prohibition.
In fact the Big Easy is famous for its drinking culture. (With its French connections it was also the home of absinthe in the US.) When Prohibition came, bootlegger "Silver Dollar Sam" Carolla kept the city in hooch and the good times scarcely stopped rolling. (When Al Capone came to town to demand Sam supply him with liquor, Carolla disarmed his bodyguards and sent him packing.) The federal Prohibition agent assigned to the region used to gauge the extent of his problem in a new city by how long it took him to get a drink when he arrived. In New York it had taken 14 minutes. In New Orleans it took 37 seconds. For our Mardi Gras special we'll be offering a cocktail menu of New Orleans classics. For beer drinkers we will have genuine Dixie Beer, brewed in New Orleans since 1907.
The city is also one of the birthplaces of jazz—the Zulu Krewe even crowned Louis Armstrong Mardi Gras King one year. At our party the Candid Jug Orange Band will be on hand to get all the feet stomping and the hips gyrating with that undulating Big Easy style of music. Spinning vintage vinyl will be DJ Vince Moses.
Thanks to the slave trade, Louisiana has its own form of Voodoo religion, a melting pot of African, Caribbean, French Creole and Catholic influences, revolving around charms, curses, poisons, gris-gris (amulets) and prophecy, traditionally headed by powerful Voodoo Queens. We'll have our own Voodoo Queen, Madame de la Cartomancer, and her assistant offering Tarot readings for guests on the night.
There will also be some New Orleans-inspired dazzling dance performances from feisty flappers the Bee's Knees.
As usual our dress code will be 1920s, but feel free to augment it with some Mardi Gras pizzazz…
Our kitchens will be open all night offering an à la carte dining menu, this time with a Louisiana flavour (click here to see the menu).
To make it an extra special occasion, why not treat yourself to a professional vintage styling session in your home with Lipstick & Curls? They are offering Candlelight Club customers a 10% discount on their "Takeaway" mobile beauty parlour (a revival of a type of service popular in the 1940s). Click here for more information. To make a booking email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mixology by David Hamilton Boyd of Organic Spirit, winner of the Jameson Mix Master world final, Vestal Vodka UK cocktail competition and Hendrick's Gin UK cocktail competition
Rye whiskey, absinthe, Peychaud's Bitters, La Maison Fontaine chocolate absinthe liqueur
The Sazerac is the signature dirnk of New Orleans. Our version adds a hint of chocolate
The French Quarter
Green Chartreuse, Parfait Amour, lemon sherbet, soda, thyme
New Orleans was founded by French settlers and the French Quarter is the most bohemian and picturesque part of the city. This floral, herbal blend uses classic French spirits
Golden rum, overproof rum, passion fruit juice, mango juice, lime juice, ginger and pomegranate syrup
One of the city's most notorious speakeasies was Club Tipperary, and when Prohibition ended the owner Pat O'Brien started a legitimate bar nearby bearing his own name, which is still in business. The Hurricane became one of the most popular drinks there, debuted at the 1939 World Fair and named after the glasses shaped like hurricane lamps that it was originally served in. (Allegedly O'Brien only invented the cocktail to shift a big stock of rum that his distributors forced him to buy.) This is our take on the New Orleans classic
SW4 gin, sugar, lemon juice, sparkling wine, orange bitters
Actually invented in Paris by Harry MacElhone in 1925 (and named after a WWI piece of artillery) but adopted by New Orleans. There is a bar called Arnaud's French 75 in the French Quarter
Bourbon, fresh mint, Creole sugar, crushed ice
The Mint Julep is the archetypal drink of the South. This version has a hint of Cajun spice
Brandy, lemon juice, blueberry jam, egg white
In honour of Pancake Tuesday, this twist on the classic Brandy Sour or Flip is a playful reference to pancake toppings!
SW4 gin, milk, lemon juice, lime juice, orange flower water, egg white (pasteurised), sugar
Also known just as a New Orleans Fizz, this milkshake-like cocktail was invented by bar owner Henry C. Ramos around 1888. By Mardi Gras 1915 it was so popular that Ramos's 35 "shaker boys" could not keep up with the demand
TABLE RESERVATIONS Most of the tables in the venue are freely available on a first come, first served basis. However, seating is not unlimited so if you wish to reserve atable you may do so for a supplemental charge. A small table costs £65 (on top of your ticket price), includes a bottle of the house Champagne and can seat up to five people. A large table is £130, includes two bottles of house Champagne and can seat up to ten people. Only one person in a group needs to reserve a table. You'll see the option to reserve a table on the billing page of the booking process,but it is also possible to reserve a table after you have already bought a ticket. If you have any queries, or special requests such as flowers or a cake, please email email@example.com.
BUY TICKETS for SATURDAY 8th March: