My night at La Reve was spectacular - an evening of delicious food and even more delicious acts. This saucy celebration of cabaret and burlesque is presented every Friday at Cafe de Paris in London; I was invited to attend on 26th August, for a special array of performers including the Tootsie Rollers – vintage girl band extraordinaire.
Cafe de Paris has a lavish interior, decorated to replicate the great, doomed Titantic’s ballroom. I have visited this venue several times and on each trip the circular hall is transformed to suit the event. We were welcomed inside, led downstairs and shown to a place on one of the smartly set tables in the main club area. Our choice of wine and water was promptly brought to our table, before choosing from the three course set menu.
Already the lights were dimmed and glittery jittery girls flickered amongst the tables, all dressed up for the occasion. In a demure but well cut checked shift dress, I was one of the less adventurously attired ladies though I had nipped into Shu Uemura at lunchtime for a glam fake eyelash fix, so at least I sported a little bit of glamour... I was glad to notice my colourfully outrageous lashes turning a few heads.
From the varied selection of dishes I chose the Goats Cheese, Roast Pepper Roulade with garlic toast and beetroot vinaigrette, then the Roast Free Range Chicken Breast with lyonnaise potatoes, baby vegetables and Dijon mustard sauce for main. My companion ordered Boneless Tamworth Pork Rib with truffle mash, sweet potato confetti, and Magret Duck Breast with steamed bok choi, confit duck spring roll and hoisin jus to follow. Considering the vast room of hungry mouths all ordering at the same time, I was hugely impressed with the efficient and no fuss service. Meanwhile Laura London, an eccentric magician came round to stun us with her unique tricks.
The food was delivered quickly, piping hot and wonderfully presented. I devoured my starter: a sensational combination of flavours and textures, light and yummy. The chicken was rather an unnecessarily large portion and I noticed several girls leaving some untouched on their plates. I loved the peppery mustard sauce and the vegetables were a welcome healthy accompaniment. For dessert we shared the Braeburn Apple & Cinnamon Tarte with caramel and vanilla ice cream and the luxurious Chocolate Bavarois, Grand Marnier & orange coulis and caramelised almonds. Both were delicious and fresh tasting, neither too sweet nor too rich.
Our vivacious hostess Ivy Paige trotted down the spiral stairs and the show began, a line up of the most fabulous acts from around the world: acrobats, fire-eaters, transvestite comedians, dancers, singers, and everything in between - it was a feast for the senses, a mini Moulin Rouge. A few of my favourites were the Bees Knees, the finest flapper girls, Pippa the Ripper, a hula-hooping sensation, and Roxy Velvet, a magnificent showgirl. I absolutely adored the Tootsie Rollers, the star attraction of the night after a feature in Stylist magazine. Six of them dressed in cute matching suits, they were a bubbly bunch, introducing the enthusiastic crowd to some of their harmonious vintage tunes. I wished I was up there with them, it all looked so fun... why aren’t there more of these retro bands? They are a hoot!
After two hours of fun and a couple of Lychee Martinis, we dragged ourselves away from the excitement and stepped out onto the rowdy Leicester Square streets - I had to blink, as it felt like the night had all been a thrilling dream...
Visit La Reve website and book here.