What's loud, proud and covered in tassels? While it could be your Nan's gaff circa the 70s, it also just so happens to be one of the most ritzy joints in the city. Here's to thrills and derriere spills at the Showtime Cabaret......
Harking back to the 1920s, its no wonder that the Cafe De Paris ballroom does interiors with such a sultry smack. Walls laced in velvet and baroque braided, golden frames lace the walls of a circular room that pays homage to coliseum and cabaret alike. While we were perched on the second floor with its booth-like nooks and upstairs bar, the submerged ground floor came garnished in dining tables, candelabras and more hen nights than you could shake a stripper at. Don't shake the stripper, ladies. The venue is grand, the hosts are decked in penguin-proof suits and the space really works itself into a boudoir buzz. 'Pay' attention though, Cafe De Paris isn't a venue that tickles your wallet i'm afraid. With a glass of wine coming in at just over £6, and two drinks knocking us back a hefty £18, this is an indulgent joint that knows nothing of the Sterling struggle. So prepare to cough up ever so slightly for your cabaret.
They're what you came here for. From burlesque babes bounding about with baby powder and teasing tassels (they don't come more pretty and pert than The Folly Mixtures, this I now know), a knife wielding comedian, Cirque Du Soleil neon jugglers and a foul-mouthed ukulele playing peach to our host Jeff Leach, who had no problem teasing, contorting comments and cramming a few insults down the crowd's throat, the performances really were amazing, and you get plenty of bang for your buck; our £25 ticket crammed in almost a ten different acts making the value pretty much incomparable when you consider many London cabaret nights. And while I mentioned in another review that I liked my mum enough not to sally on away with the circus, running away to tape on tassels might just be the mother reckoner.
I'll be honest, even the would-be wench behind us heckling 'get your tits out' during one of the burlesque shows couldn't dampen spirits in this place, though she certainly deserved a hushing. While the hump of diners and second bottles of wine may have slowed the temperature down slightly in the second half of the show, there's an inherent gaggle in Cafe De Paris that's hard not to enjoy. Crammed with groups of chums, Showtime Cabaret has the razzle dazzle 'em that i'm sure the vintage proprietors of this building would still revel in, while catering for an Instagram photo laced generation of course. It's bustling, the acts are bold, and they even manage to prove that laughter IS in fact infectious.
One new weekly burlesque class for me, one brilliant event for you. Cafe De Paris are voted top entertainment totty in London for a reason, and this show could snatch it alone. Reeling in performers that know nothing other than beguiling those peepers and ploughing their way through your social media, boasting a heralded venue and lacing your gullet in wine, I really recommend counting up those hard earned clams and taking those ducky dames of yours for a trip downtown.