If you thought summer was over? Think again. As London Cabaret Club are bringing a slice of Latin American sunshine and feel-good vibes to the gorgeous Bloomsbury Ballroom with their latest showcase Copacabana.
When I visited Brazil as a 30th birthday present to myself, most of it consisted of shaking up DIY caipirinhas on the beach, dressed in two-day-old clothes as the airline lost my luggage (again). So, when the opportunity shimmied my way for a luxurious Carnival-inspired night out, an event I didn’t get to experience on my trip, I snapped it up sharpish.
The location is pretty bang on. A short stroll from Holborn tube station, not far from the hubbub of London’s West End, the grand Art Deco building is a sight to behold in itself. You walk downstairs, giving off Prohibition feels, and are escorted into a slinky basement bar that Gatsby would be proud of. Think tones of burgundy or teal, gold palm tree lampshades and sexy velvet stools. The pre-show entertainment rotated live bands and DJs playing reimagined bossa nova-esque versions of The Weeknd, Britney, Harry Styles and Amy Winehouse. The latter, incidentally, headlined this very venue back in 2006.
The aptly titled Diamond Package (priced at £130 per person) might at first glance seem slightly spenny, but hear us out, it’s actually really good value. This not only included glasses of delicious berry fizz and a selection of canapes on arrival, but also an upmarket three-course feast alongside priority seating. As for the London Cabaret Club dress code, glam is the name of the game. There were couples in suits and gowns, while groups of friends opted for a more smart-casual approach. Our advice is to go for it, classy attire certainly fits the bill for this kinda occasion.
As we browsed the tropical-printed (and very extensive) drinks list, our canapes arrived. I devoured the gooey cheesy arancini balls while my carnivorous date scoffed the decadent caviar-dotted salmon bellinis and fancy-yet-dinky mini beef burgers. Afterwards, we were escorted to the stunning main ballroom by the dancers, a nice touch in my opinion, as the energy ramped up with big beat percussion and celebratory cheers. Underneath a huge disco ball, romantic, cosy seats surround the stage in the centre, and our raised area had unrivalled views of all the action.
Starters consisted of a quinoa salad, plus seared scallops for my boyfriend. The veggie option brought together a nice mix of textures (especially the crispy Cuzco corn) with edamame, pomegranate gems, avocado and slices of tangy cheese, doused in miso vinaigrette. The seaside dish was beautifully presented in its shell, and we enjoyed the subtle hints of coriander paired with fiery nduja butter and moreish lemon crumb. But before we had time to debrief, the stars hit the dancefloor….
Prepare for an all-singing-all-dancing fiesta, highlighting the best of Brazil. We’re talking sequins, feathers, huge headdresses and satin garments awash with colour, from royal blue and vivid pink to emerald green. They didn’t scrimp on the wardrobe department either: each outfit is meticulously designed, changed with every section (how did they do that?) and had the wow-factor. It’s like Rio Carnival, they really go to town. Moves included capoeira side-by-side with classics like cha cha cha and tango. My particular highlight? The big, whole-cast salsa ensembles, fusing dizzying footwork, a feverish atmosphere, pounding music and uplifting singing. We were worn out just by watching it, better dig out that forgotten gym membership. It’s worth noting that Copacabana has the right level of audience participation. Singers walked through the isles, serenading willing guests, but if you wanted to be left alone that was fine. It's definitely gearing up to be one of the best places for cabaret and dinner in London.
Another favourite, aside from the short ‘n’ sweet but somewhat random dog performances (shout out to super cute Pluto and Maisie) were the mind-blowing circus acrobatics. From death-defying hoop stunts on a moving circular stage and aerial silk work to incredible gymnastics, every act was utterly captivating. After we lifted our jaws off the floor, attention turned to mains. There was a mix up my side with the dietary requirements, but this was handled seamlessly and with a smile. The beautiful, perfectly seared Argentinian beef fillet, my date’s pick of the evening, combined crispy fondant potato, thick jus, celeriac puree with charred corn and herby chimichurri sauce. I couldn’t wait to try the stuffed zucchini flower, a non-greasy battered masterpiece blending sweet tomato and hearty ragu-like sauce, and although it did deliver in terms of taste, it was difficult to eat due to the extremely hard coating.
As images of idyllic sandy scenes adorned the walls, the desserts landed on our table. My Tres Leches Milk Cake, a light spongy dish originating from Mexico, lacked a little in flavour and needed a bit more oomph but was improved by the exquisite salted caramel vanilla ice cream. My partner loved the domed Bitter Chocolate Cremeux with Maldo salt, a bit like a dark Ferrero Rocher, but didn’t manage to polish it all off as it was incredibly rich.
We continued to enjoy the impressive performers, and while we won’t spoil the (hella fun) finale, let’s just say you’ll be sashaying your way out of the venue…
The DesignMyNight Digest
From start to finish, London Cabaret Club’s Copacabana had us thoroughly entertained. Even my chilled other half couldn’t help but tap his feet. Having been extended due to phenomenal demand, this edition fused electric chemistry and wicked choreography with cheeky flair. Strictly Come Dancing? It definitely had that aura. Although some dishes needed a minor tweak, the service ran like an incredibly well-oiled machine (no mean feat in a space like this) and we couldn’t recommend the show enough.
💰 The damage: Tickets are £130 each, plus service charge.
📍 The location: London Cabaret Club, Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, WC1B 4DA.
👌 Perfect for: A gift for the musical theatre lover in your life.
⭐ Need to know: There are limited group offer deals and VIP bundles to snap up.