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The Candlelight Club – prohibitively good

No era evokes hedonistic license and riotously refined celebration as the period between the two world wars.  The ‘Roaring Twenties’, the ‘Jazz Age’, the ‘Bright Young Things’ and ‘Flaming Youth’, Prohibition…  Until the 1990s, it was all history. But at some point around the turn of the 21st century, the fad for drinking dens with no external signage and the trappings of a ‘Speakeasy’ took hold.  Without a fair amount of imagination and staging, however, not all Prohibition-themed concepts achieve the right mix of theatre and debauchery.

There are many reasons why the Candlelight Club has remained a success over more than a decade but the crucial factor is that the hosts care about the quality of each detail, of each event, whilst not forgetting that the whole idea is to have a good time.  Every time we have attended, we experienced a friendly crowd that was clearly out to party, but retaining a sense of style and participation.  The lighting is atmospheric, as the title suggests.  The food and drink are surprisingly good value.  And then there’s the entertainment.  One could have a perfectly good night at the Candlelight simply sipping cocktails and cutting a rug but the fact is that there is always a live orchestra playing a mix of period party tunes, dancers and a lusciously louche emcee.

The Candlelight Club is held roughly monthly (typically with a short hiatus during the summer hols).  It is highly recommended for anyone looking for a night out that promises both style and serious silliness.  If prohibition had been actually as good as this, they’d have never repealed it.

The best way to get the feel of a club night is to quote the hosts and so we do:

“The Candlelight Club recreates the atmosphere of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, joyfully put together by fans of the 1920s—lovers of the style, the music, the cocktails and most of all a damn good party.”

“Very mixed [crowd]. While the core age range is probably 25–35, we get all ages at every event—40th and 50th birthday groups are common…”

“There are a lot of talented people … from burlesque or circus skills, so it’s nice to be able to give them a platform.”

“[first-timer advice?] everyone really does dress up. You can’t be overdressed at the Candlelight Club…”

“[at] the Candlelight Club … we don’t publicly say where it is—it’s a “secret location” revealed to ticket holders a few days before the event. You’d think that this might just annoy people (and we’re always happy to tell people the rough area), but in fact it’s a bit of theatre that guests still seem to get excited about.”


“An undisclosed location”

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