The rise in Speakeasy and hidden bars in the capital shows just how much of an appetite we Londoners have for secret revelry. So why not take things once step further and immerse yourself in the 1920s spirit at The Prohibition Party. The long-running event is celebrating its 10th birthday with its most fabulous party yet. Expect flappers, cads and cocktails galore in a night of dancing, drinking and gambling.
Guests are invited to sneak into secret and intimate rooms with a password to keep the feds away. There will be live bands, gramophone DJs, silent cinema, dance troupes and gambling tables. To keep up the pretense of Prohibition, the cocktail menus will be hidden in books while drinks are served in teacups. Aside from the main venue, there will be hidden bars and a secret party room for you to seek out.
Revellers will be encouraged to dress in their finest vintage wares, with lots of tassels, pearls, Mary Janes, tuxes and spats for an evening of 1920s opulence. Early arrivals (7pm-8pm) can have the chance to learn the Charleston at a dance class with the gang from Swing Patrol.
The event is organised by Bourne & Hollingsworth, known for their fabulous parties, bars and restaurant. Along with their landmark The Prohibition Party – they are also behind The Blitz Party, Dark Circus, Cocktails In The City, SS Atlantica and The Chap Olympiad.
- The Prohibition Party takes place on Saturday 30 September 2017 from 8pm-2am. Tickets from £30. The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For tickets, visit the Prohibition Party website.
We’re not all the athletic types so winning may not be a frequent word in our vocabulary. However, if that sounds like you, then the Chap Olympiad could be right up your street. Returning for the 13th year is a day of old-fashioned fun taking place in one of Bloomsbury’s leafy Georgian squares.
On Saturday 15 July 2017, Britain’s most eccentric sporting event takes over Bedford Square Gardens with live music, food, cocktails and frolics. The Chap Olympiad ‘rewards panache rather than sporting prowess’ with the focus on effort and enthusiasm rather than talent.
The games for the 2017 tournament are:
Not Playing Tennis: Players seated in armchairs, play a game of tennis without getting up. The tennis ball is suspended on a wire strung between two hat stands.
Tea Pursuit: Contestants in pairs chase each other on bicycles, one with a teacup, and one with a teapot. The tea must be poured into the cup and the fullest cup of tea wins overall.
Well Dressage: Two contestants, each mounted on a hobbyhorse, make a display of elegance and panache around the track in a freestyle manner. They are awarded points by lady judges with number cards.
Umbrella Jousting: Two contestants, armed only with brollies and briefcases, must go at one another on bicycles and attempt to knock each other off.
Guests are invited to dress in their finest dapper, vintage style. For those who don’t fancy taking part in the games, you’re welcome to grab a deckchair and sip a G’n’T while being entertained by the sporting ineptitude. The Chap Olympiad is produced by bars and events group Bourne & Hollingsworth (The Blitz Party, Dark Circus and Cocktails In The City), with the games organised by The Chap Magazine.
- The Chap Olympiad takes place on Saturday 15 July 2017 from 12pm until dusk. At Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, WC1B. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street. Tickets: £25. Visit the Bourne and Hollingsworth website or call 0203 174 1156.
A new cycle festival is coming to the capital in May, running as a satellite to the Tweed Run. Social supremos Bourne & Hollingsworth are launching Cycle Revolution on 6 May – an all-day, outdoor event celebrating the cycling lifestyle. Taking place in the leafy Spa Fields in Clerkenwell, the festival will be a contrast to the soulless conference centres which usually host cycling events.
Cycle Revolution aims to bring cycling culture to ordinary Londoners who bike to work or on their weekends. The alfresco event will feature over 20 stalls selling cycle gadgets, accessories and athleisurewear from local businesses and cutting edge lifestyle brands from across the capital. There will be the chance to take part in interactive workshops, live demonstrations and bike polo. Meanwhile, a Cycle Forum will feature poetry slams, live quizzes, Q&As and readings. Aside from the bike-centric activities, there will also be live music, acoustic sets and vinyl DJs, while you can refresh yourself from street food stalls, coffee shops and B&H cocktail bars.
Meanwhile, on the same day, the 9th annual Tweed Run will take off from Clerkenwell. Cyclists will dress up in their best tweed and cycling attire for the 12 mile route through the scenic streets of the capital. Along the way will be breaks for tea, with plenty of cocktails waiting at the festival and closing ceremony. There will be prizes for the best-dressed man and woman, smartest bicycle and finest moustache, among others.
- Cycle Revolution and The Tweed Run take place on 6 May 2017. The Tweed Run starts at 11am. Cycle Revolution takes place from 12pm-8pm at Spa Fields, Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. Free entry. For more information, visit the Tweed Run website or Billetto.
For a guide to what else is on in London in May, click here.
Experience Halloween with a difference this spooky season as the Dark Circus Party returns to London. There will be thrills and spills galore at the Day Of The Dead special on Saturday 29 October 2016.
Guests will dress the part as they arrive at an abandoned circus and become drawn into the dark shadows of the bazaar. Follow the skeletal faces through a carnival of horrors as aerialists perform above your head. Finally, revellers will arrive at the haunted big top, where they will be wowed by circus entertainment with a Day Of The Dead theme. There will be aerial acts and trapeze artists alongside traditional Mexican rituals and a Mariachi-lead masked death procession.
Guests will be getting suitably lubricated for the evening’s revelry at El Jimador Cantina with tequila cocktails served in sugar skulls. Early arrivees will have the option to get the bash started before everyone else at a pre-party tequila masterclass to learn all about the Mexican tipple.
Alongside the circus entertainment and drinking, there will also be live music, an authentic Mexican boxing ring and, for those who dare step inside, a painted wagon for you to get a skeletal makeover.
Dress code for the evening will be Sideshow Freaks, Queens of the Flying Trapeze, Tragic Clowns, Snake Charmers, Lion Tamers, Ring Masters, Strong Men, Corpse Brides and traditional painted skeletal faces.
- Dark Circus Party: Day Of The Dead special takes place on Saturday 29 October 2016. 9pm until late. Tickets: £30. The Grand Hall St Pancras, Euston Road, WC1H 9AU. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras or Euston. For tickets, visit the Dark Circus party website or call 020 7724 1617.
For Metro Girl’s guide to what else is on in London this Halloween, click here.
Cocktails In The City – Summer Edition: London’s best bars come together for a weekend of alfresco drinking
Returning this summer is London’s best bar crawl… where the capital’s best drinking venues come to you. Following the sell out Cocktails In The City event in March, a special Summer Edition is coming to a Bloomsbury this month. Taking place on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 July, cocktail aficionados will have the opportunity to sample drinks from London’s best bars.
Produced by the Bourne & Hollingsworth Group (famous for their bars and restaurants, The Blitz Party, the Prohibition Party and The Chap Olympiad), the extravaganza is like a bar crawl without the hassle of moving from venue to venue. Cocktail aficionados will be able to try anything from classics like Bellinis and Mojitos to unique mixes using rare ingredients created by mixologists.
An eclectic mix of bars will be setting up pop-up venues in a leafy Georgian square in Bloomsbury. Popular London hotspots from Soho’s boutique basement bars to Dalston’s dirty tequila joints to Mayfair’s elegant 5 star hotels and Shoreditch’s award-winning institutions will all be represented. Speakeasies such as Cahoots and Reverend JW Simpson will be popping up, with new drinking venues, such as First Aid Box setting up shop.
As well as plenty of opportunities to drink at your leisure, Bourne & Hollingsworth will be hosting a series of Spirited Sermons, featuring interactive spirit masterclasses from ambassadors and master distillers. The bars will also be offering unique cocktail tastings, interactive demonstrations, games and entertainment.
For those who want to line their stomachs, guests will be able to feast on tasty delights by chefs from Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant. Meanwhile, wandering jazz processions and vinyl DJs will be providing the soundtrack to the festival of mixology.
- Cocktails In The City: Summer Edition takes place on 29 and 30 July 2016. Open Fri 29 4-9.30pm, Sat 12-9.30pm (two sessions 12-4pm and 5-9.30pm). Tickets: £15 (include 1 cocktail, multiple complimentary experiences and cocktail booklet). Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, WC1B. Nearest stations: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road. For tickets, visit the Cocktails In The City website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in July, click here.
With the Queen Elizabeth’s official 90th birthday coming up this weekend, what better way to celebrate than with the best of British?
A stylish and fun outdoor brunch will be taking place on Saturday at the idyllic Spa Fields in Clerkenwell. Hosted by London party experts Bourne & Hollingsworth, you can expect plenty of the great food, entertainment and cocktails they are famous for. Essentially a mini festival to mark Her Majesty’s big day, guests will be able to drink and eat aplenty, while being entertained by live music and performances.
The menu has been designed by executive chef Adam Grey, from the nearby Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, featuring tasty, locally sourced produce. There will be several sittings during the day so you can relax in the sunshine and feast on some of your favourite brunch offerings.
Meanwhile, the B&H mixologists will be at the open-air bar, creating morning cocktails to ease you into the day, such as Bloody Marys and Bellinis. After your meal, you’ll be able to burn off some calories taking part in the traditional British games.
- Her Majesty’s Brunch takes place on Saturday 11 June 2016. At Spa Fields Park, Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 1AA. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. From 10am-8pm, with brunch sittings taking place from 12:30pm. £35 for entry and brunch. For booking, visit the Bourne & Hollingsworth website.
For a review of brunch at the Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, click here.
Why travel may be cheaper and more accessible these days, you can’t deny it was a lot more glamorous back in the 1930s. This Bank Holiday, why not sail back in time to the Golden Age of Travel on the SS Atlantica? On Saturday 28 May, the Silver Sturgeon will be transformed into a Thirties cruise liner for an evening voyage along the Thames. Hosted by Bourne & Hollingsworth, there will be live bands, cabaret acts, floorshows, dancing and drinks.
Think of Agatha Christie (without the murders!) as you don your finest garbs and quaff a glass of champers on deck as you watch the sun setting and cruise past London’s iconic landmarks. The river yacht will be given a 1931 makeover with curving balustrades, portholes and pristine white tablecloths. There will be three bars, serving classic cocktails and plenty of champagne.
The entertainment will follow a traditional 1930s ship itinerary when the elite would party the night away on the high seas. Guests will take to the dancefloor as live bands and singers bring the music of the era to life. Or step back and watch spectacular floorshows or cabaret acts.
Guests are expected to wear ‘At Sea Formalwear’. Men are encouraged to dress in dinner suits with starched collars, while the women should think of silk, fur and Art Deco jewellery as they recreate the glamour of Thirties screen stars Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn or Vivien Leigh.
- SS Atlantica sets sail on Saturday 28 May 2016. Embarkation 8pm at The Savoy Pier, cruise departs 9pm. Nearest station: Embankment or Charing Cross. Tickets: £35 (general admission) or £40 (general admission and dance class at 7pm). For tickets phone 0207 724 1617 or visit the SS Atlantica website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in May, click here.
How often have you eaten at one of London’s fabulous restaurants and thought, ‘I wish I could make this dish at home?’ Coming to the capital this spring is a new cookery school, with some top chefs sharing some kitchen secrets both novices and experienced foodies will appreciate.
B&H Kitchen, situated at the top of Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings near Exmouth Market, will be playing host to thrice weekly classes for up to 12 participants from 1 March 2016. Run by Bourne & Hollingsworth’s new executive chef Adam Gray (Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Rhodes Twenty Four, Skylon) and Head Chef Anthony Horn, they will guide aspiring cooks through expert techniques, seasonal recipes and ingredient knowledge. The kitchen is fully kitted out with the latest kitchenware and technology across six catering stations, demonstration bench and communal dining table.
The courses will range from knife skills and butchery to sausage making and seasonal vegetables, featuring a mix of classic and specialised techniques. Students will have the opportunity to master B&H’s modern British style as they make basic or more complicated dishes.
The courses on offer will include:
• Knife Skills (Short Course)
Participants will learn about each knife’s uses as well as being taught how to sharpen a knife properly. At the end of the class, they will cut and chop like a trained chef.
• Fish-Filleting and Cooking
While learning the healthy properties of and the difference between white and oily fish, participants will be taught how to scale, skin, fillet and marinade round and flat fish.
• Bread No.1
Participants will learn the basic making of white and brown bread dough and progress to creating a fruit loaf.
• Specialty Bread No.2
An advanced course focusing on enriched dough, specialty flavoured breads and cutting and shaping various artisan bread rolls.
• Sausage Making
A course on the construction of the perfect sausage that focuses on the ingredients that go into a high quality sausage meat of various flavours and styles.
• Butchery - Meat and Poultry
Participants will be trained how to bone out various joints of meat and how to prepare poultry efficiently.
This course will cover an education on the game season and offer the opportunity to prepare and cook various classic and modern game dishes
• Vegetables - Seasonal and British (Short Course)
An introduction to buying and using seasonal vegetables, specifically from BH’s supplier at New Covent Garden Market. Additionally, partakers will be shown how to produce vegetable dishes that stand-alone from meat or fish heavy meals.
• How to cook the perfect steak
Participants will be taught the various cuts and what to look out for when purchasing quality beef before learning to cook steak perfectly.
In addition to the courses, B&H Kitchen will also offer pairing sessions of food, wine and the famous B&H cocktails.
- B&H Kitchen, Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, 42 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HU. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. Tel: 0203 174 1156. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the B&H group website. Prices available on application.
For a review of brunch at the Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, click here.
For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.
So we know London is a pretty fabulous city to live in, but there’s also a darker side. This Halloween, you can a step back in time to Victorian London, where danger was never far away. This October, Bourne & Hollingsworth are bringing the some of the creepiest 19th century tales to life at ‘Terror On The Thames’, with bloodied skirts on Petticoat Lane, gruesome dissections in Bleeding Heart Yard and werewolves on the Isle of Dogs.
On Saturday 31 October, revellers will be taken down the thick smoggy cobbled streets as they’re watched by mysterious figures lurking in opium dens. The shadowy dancefloor will bring together shifty grave robbers, pernicious pickpockets, razor-wielding barbers, aristocratic sociopaths and scalpel‐happy surgeons.
The late night bash will be held in a riverside venue underneath Waterloo Bridge. Guests can expect all the typical Bourne & Hollingsworth production values, with fabulous entertainment, innovative cocktails and immersive interiors. Among the attractions, guests will be able to take part in a life-size game of ‘peration’, take part in a Dorian Grey life-drawing class and dance the death waltz.
The dress code is Victorian horror, so ladies, think white lace blouses, corsets and hoop skirts, while men, cloakes and top hats wouldn’t go amiss. A make-up stand will also be at the venue to help give you a scary makeover.
- Bourne & Hollingsworth Presents Terror On The Thames on 31 October 2015 from 8pm-2am. Tickets £25. One Embankment, 8 Victoria Embankment, WC2R 2AB. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Temple. For tickets, visit TicketPorte.
For a guide to what else is on in London this Halloween, click here.
For a guide to what else is on in London in October, click here.
For a review of brunch at the Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings restaurant, click here.
To many of us, the chance of winning something in a sporting event seems rather far-fetched. How many of us would love to win the London Marathon, but the lure of another pint of cider and a five-course tasting menu at the new pop-up is just too powerful?
Well, for those lacking in athletic ability, The Chap Olympiad could be right up your street. Returning to London on 11 July, Britain’s most eccentric sporting event will celebrate ‘sporting ineptitude and immaculate trouser creases’. Hosted by The Chap magazine and Bourne & Hollingsworth (famous for Prohibition, The Blitz Party and 90s: The Playback Party), the day will feature sporting events, live music, side shows and traditional British food and drinks… all while dressed in dapper, vintage style.
The events for the 2015 tournament include:
– Gentlemen’s Club Golf: contestants must hit a bowler hat into a large fishing net using a walking stick.
– Swooning: one for the ladies. A line of chaps faces a line of chapettes, and the chaps have to induce the ladies to swoon through any means possible.
– Tea Pursuit: contestants cycle around the track transferring a cup of tea from one rider to the next. The winning team will be decided by the measure of tea remaining in the cup.
– Not Playing Tennis: gents or ladies seated in armchairs play a game of tennis without getting up. The tennis ball is suspended on a wire strung between two hat stands.
– Bread Basketball: 12 contestants are invited to dine at a table in the middle of the track. A team of servants at each end of the table engage in playing basketball with the bread and the breadbasket, across the table, while the dinner guests try to get served.
– Moustache Wrestling: two contestants must pluck a single hair from their opponent’s lip weasel. If the whole moustache comes off, the opponent is immediately disqualified for twirling under false pretences.
– Briefcase Phalanx: a line of ten chaps and chapettes, dressed for the office and clutching briefcases and handbags, creates a phalanx. Lone contestants must charge at them and try to break through to the secretary on the other side.
– Bakewell Battles: contestants fight it out armed only with silver cake slices and Bakewell tarts.
– The Pipeathlon: six contestants complete a 10-yard course using three disciplines – pipe smoking, cycling and being carried by their servants.
– Umbrella Jousting: two contestants, armed only with brollies and briefcases, must go at one another on bicycles and attempt to knock each other off.
When you’re not trying your hand at the events, guests will be entertained by big bands, quartets, pianists and cabaret singers, as well as radio plays, country fair side-shows and lawn games. Bourne & Hollingsworth will be providing their classic cocktails, as well as beer, wine and soft drinks, while lunch and supper will be served for hungry guests. Ticket holders will be encouraged to come in period dress and immerse themselves in a rather more gentlemanly and ladylike way to live.
- The Chap Olympiad takes place on Saturday 11th July 2015 at Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3ES. Nearest station: Goodge Street. From 12pm until dusk, games begin at 1pm. Tickets: £25 (sold in advance via Ticketporte or tel: 020 7636 8228). For more information, visit the Chap magazine website or Bourne & Hollingsworth.
For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.