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Vinopolis stages a comedy night called Laughter Lounge the last Friday of every month so my mate Jo and I went along to check it out. As neither of us had done a Vinopolis wine tour before and share a deep, rather uneducated passion for drinking (wine in particular) we thought we would sign up for the Grapevine tour as well.
Our Grapevine tour kicked off with a 20 minute lecture which was brilliant. We learned how to look, smell, slurp and identify the complexities, balance and age of wine. Then we were let loose on the labyrinth of regional wine rooms. Armed with tasting vouchers we put our new wine powers to the test.
The highlight was definitely the initial lecture, after which we sampled some lovely wines from Lebanon and Greece that we would never have bought from an off-license. The tour is an educational experience rather than an opportunity to get sozzled. That said, the final gin cocktail definitely put a spring in our step in preparation for the Vinopolis Laughter Lounge.
Located in another part of Vinopolis’s wonderful cavernous stone areas, the Laughter Lounge is a large room with a stage, bar and seats.
The evening was held together by MC Dan Atkinson whose self depreciating, political gags really did make everyone laugh out loud. Other acts included Matt Blaize and the brilliantly camp Topping and Butch whose fabulous, stupidly revealing rubber costumes and cheeky â€˜Never Mind, Never Mind’ cabaret songs stole the show.
Although the seats are arranged auditorium style, it’s a pretty relaxed atmosphere that encourages everyone to make as many trips to the bar as possible. Which makes perfect sense, as it is a Friday night and Vinopolis is London’s shrine to wine.