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It was the fin de siecle, but the start of something new for Mayfair venue, the Playboy Club.
Can-can dancers scissor-kicking, a monochrome man mimicking unsuspecting guests and, in the distance, a contortionist eliciting winces: it was difficult to settle eyes on one source of entertainment, particularly after our third thyme-infused Champagne cocktail.
More than any other area in the Mayfair club, Baroque, which is open to non-members year round, had embraced all things fin de siècle. While many of the guests opted out of period dress – unless body con was around 100 years ago – the atmosphere was noisy and playful, with the fast turnaround of live on-stage performances thrilling a very receptive audience.
On the first floor, a vast and colourful buffet offered up toothsome bites from starter through to dessert. Watching the highrollers get lucky on the tables, while forking down a strawberry tartlet was certainly an unusal scene. The party-like atmosphere on the gaming floor was a real highlight, though.
When the fizz stopped flowing, we turned our attention to Salvatore’s bar – the eponymous bar tender’s creations are world famous – for some one-for-the-road drinks we’re not likely to forget. Santé.
Best bit: Elle and The Pocket Belles performing swing versions of pop songs we knew all the lyrics to.
This article was first published in Square Meal Venues & Events, spring 2014.