The phrase ‘hotly anticipated’ doesn’t really do Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby justice. 1920s fever is everywhere, and if you’re looking to get in touch with the hedonistic spirit of the age, London’s outstanding range of themed parties is for you. If you need a bit of help perfecting your look beforehand, however, check out the capital’s extensive range of vintage shops.
The Candlelight Club
A firm favourite amongst regulars of London’s vintage scene, the Candlelight Club hosts clandestine parties at which you can get in touch with your inner flapper or beer baron. A Prohibition-themed atmosphere is augmented by a range of delicious cocktails, which are tailored to the theme of individual nights. The next party, based around ‘A Night in Old Havanah’, is on 31 May and tickets are £15.75.
Great Gatsby Nights at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill
Indulge in a 1920s-inspired three-course menu with champagne at the hotel’s Great Gatsby nights, which take place every Thursday evening in May. Guests are encouraged to arrive in period attire, and the best dressed each evening will win a stay in the Grand Hyatt New York. Even if you don’t win, however, you can console yourself by dancing the night away to the event’s live jazz band. Tickets are £35.
It’s A Gatsby Swing Thing! at The Ritzy Cinema, Brixton
The cinema celebrates the Great Gatsby’s release by hosting an extra-special swing dance party on 18 May. Guests can show off their charleston and lindy hop to tunes by two great bands: the King’s Cross Hot Club and the Smokey Taps. Fancy dress is actively encouraged and there’s a Swing Patrol dance workshop beforehand (£8) for anyone who needs to brush up on their moves. Tickets to the party are £6, or half price if you have a Great Gatsby film ticket from that day.
1920s Evenings at The Orient Express and The Savoy Hotel
These events are a bit further in the future, but sound like they’re worth the wait! Enjoy a Gin Rickey at The Savoy Hotel’s renowned American Bar before indulging in a sumptuous dinner about the Art Deco carriages of the British Pullman train, which will take guests on a romantic trip through the countryside while they dine. After the meal, you’ll be transported back to the Savoy for a night’s stay in the hotel, which once hosted The Great Gatsby’s author F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. The first of these events takes place on 5 September and prices start at £685: see the Orient Express website for full details.
The Prohibition Party
One of the events which arguably galvinised the growth of London’s vintage movement, the Prohibition Party is renowned for its dedication to the 1920s theme. Guests can enjoy cocktails served in teacups before dancing to live bands, trying their luck at the gaming tables or snuggling down to watch some silent cinema. The next event takes place on 1 June at a suitably secret location.
Miss Turnstiles’ Great Gatsby Pamper Party
Head to vintage model Miss Turnstiles’ vintage patisserie in east London for an elegant pamper party, in which you’ll be able to complete your Gatsby look. Not only will you get a manicure and a fabulous hair-do, but you’ll also be given expert make-up tips that will help you perfect the vintage style. The next available party date is 31 May and tickets include cocktails and nibbles: see the website for full details.
Charleston Masterclasses at Claridge’s
Want to prepare for all these Gatsby parties in style? Head down to Claridges, where you can learn to Charleston in the sublime setting of the Art Deco hotel. Guests will watch an expert performance by the Bee’s Knees, before donning vintage-style accessories and learning the moves themselves. Don’t worry about getting out of breath, the event ends with a restorative ‘Flapper’ cocktail! Tickets are £125, see the website for event dates and full details.
Great Gatsby Weekend at Whiteleys Shopping Centre
Get into the Gatsby spirit at this weekend event, which celebrates the best of the 1920s. Open from 12pm to 5pm this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (17-19 May), Whiteleys’ event will feature an actor-staffed speakeasy bar, swing dance lessons, vintage fashion shows, beauty tips, live music and a dress-up photo booth. Entry is free.
Libertine Presents Gatsby!
Fitzrovia’s newest nightclub jumps straight into the swing of things with its Gatsby party on 23 May. Libertine’s party features champagne, canapés, a live jazz band and a special burlesque performance. Tickets are £30