Come in, before someone sees you
The Candlelight Club is a clandestine pop-up cocktail bar in a secret London venue, a stunning, tucked-away den with a 1920s speakeasy flavour, completely lit by candles. Each party offers a one-off cocktail menu, with special themes, plus dancing to live 1920s jazz bands and vintage DJing.
"The Candlelight Club really is the closest you'll find to an authentic Jazz Age experience in central London. Its unique ambience, fuelled by hundreds of candles, is truly a scene to behold." —Time Out
"Pull on a flapper dress and have a decadent night out at The Candlelight Club" —Grazia
"Speakeasies may be everywhere, but there's no bandwagon-jumping here. This is a sincere recreation, not to mention a really fun evening. Proper drinks too." —Imbibe
"The Candlelight Club—dope" —DJ Yoda
Our next event…
Saturday 6th September
Prohibition may be in full swing, but people still gotta eat, right? Your uncle Giuseppe's Genco Olive Oil Co. seems to be doing very well—every month more and more cases of his finest product are unloaded at New York's docks. Now, rumour has it that it's not really olive oil in those crates but the finest spirits, wines and aperitivos from back home in Italy… But what kind of a way is that to talk about your Uncle Giuseppe? Mind you, things are going so well that he's invited you to a little party—but keep it under your hat…
Italy's role in helping subvert Prohibition is undisputed: many of the mobsters who vied to control the flow of illicit drink, such as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Salvatore Maranzano, came from Italy to make their fortunes in America, and often, like Al Capone's mentor Johnny Torrio, returned there in retirement. Speakeasies across the country depended on these organisations for the vital supply of liquor.
But Italy's contribution to cocktail culture goes much further than that. Many classic drinks, such as the Manhattan and the Martini, would not exist without Italian vermouth. The flow of immigrants to America introduced Italy's liqueurs, which became fundamental ingredients in the early days of cocktail making.
We've partnered with classic aperitivo Aperol to bring you an evening of flapper fashions, gangster jazz and Italian food and cocktails.
Italy's contribution to speakeasy culture goes deeper still: the very first jazz record ever was made in 1917 by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, fronted by Italian American Nick La Rocca, son of Sicilian farmers. To celebrate, we'll get you dancing with live 1920s jazz from those cheeky Dixieland minstrels the Shirt Tail Stompers.
WIN A TRIP TO VENICE!
Think you can cut a Jazz Age dash? Are you a master of La Bella Figura—knowing how to do everything stylishly? Thanks to Aperol we'll be giving away a pair of tickets at the event for two nights in Venice—home of the Aperol spritz—including flights and hotel, as a prize for the best dressed guests!
Judging will be vintage style gurus Lipstick and Curls, who as usual will be offering Candlelight Club guests a 10% discount on their styling services (see below).
WIN FREE COSTUME HIRE!
Thanks to legendary costumiers Angels (see below), one guest at our Little Italy party will get their schmutter for nothing. Just book your ticket by noon on Wednesday 3rd September—one guest will be drawn at random to receive a costume hire worth £80+VAT.
Prosecco, Aperol, soda
The classic drink of Venice, blending local wines with the seltzer sparkling water introduced by occupying Austrians in the 19th century
Prosecco, white peach purée
Invented in the 1930s by Giuseppe Cipriani at Harry's Bar in Venice—a favourite haunt of Ernest Hemingway. When Giuseppe was a bartender at Hotel Europa, one of his customers was wealthy young Bostonian Harry Pickering. When Harry's money was cut off by his family as a punishment for boozing, the barman lent him some cash to get by. Later, in gratitude, Harry gave Giuseppe back five times the sum, enabling the barman to open his own place, which he named after Harry. The cocktail is so named because it has a colour that reminded its inventor of paintings by Giovanni Bellini
SW4 gin, Aperol, Fernet Branca, Amer Picon
One day in 1919 or 1920, eccentric playboy Count Camillo Negroni asked his barman in Florence's Caffé Casoni to pep up his Americano (vermouth, Campari and soda). The barman swapped the soda for gin and a legend was born. This version uses the softer Aperol plus aromatic Fernet Branca and the orange-flavoured Amer Picon
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon, Cocchi Americano, Aperol, orange
Like an Old Fashioned cocktail with an Italian accent, this also uses Cocchi Americano, a bitter-sweet aperitivo with a ginger note
White rum, lime juice, agave syrup, Aperol, ginger ale
A little like a Moscow Mule but more complex
Vodka, espresso coffee, gomme syrup
Long before vodka & Red Bull there was this far tastier and more elegant way to combine alcohol and caffeine
Special offers for Candlelight Club customers…
◆ Why not treat yourself to a professional vintage styling session in your home with Lipstick & Curls? They are offering Candlelight Club customers a 10% discounton their "Takeaway" mobile beauty parlour which comes to your home. Click here for more information. To make a booking email firstname.lastname@example.org.
◆ Stuck for an outfit to wear? Angels, the country's oldest and largest costume supplier, is offering Candlelight Club customers a 15% discount on rental at the Shaftesbury Avenue store or on purchases both in store and online. To claim your discount use the code EXCELSIOR.
◆ And if you're going to party like a movie star, why not travel like one? We've teamed up with Uber to bring you £20 off a ride in a chauffeur-driven car. Standard uberX cars are typically 30–50% cheaper than a black cab, and you can choose a luxury car if you want to travel in real style. Click here to learn more and download the app. First-time users get a one-time £20 discount by entering the promo code EXCELSIORCLUB.