After seeing all the fabulous Facebook posts from my many burlesque friends about opening parties and celebrations they’d been to at the Playboy Club, London, visiting the infamous watering/rabbit hole had been on my list for some time, so I decided to do something about it.
Somewhat skeptical about whether I could even get into a members club, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how accessible it is to mere mortals and bunny enthusiasts, so you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I discovered they also served afternoon tea in Salvatore’s Bar – with a playful twist and a tail….
Cocktail connoisseur? Check. Tea lover? Check. Pin up and bunny girl obsessive? Need you even ask?! I decided to indulge myself and booked my bunny filled tea time treat straight away – after all, it was almost Christmas and it would also double up as an opportunity to go shopping! Uh sorry, Christmas shopping, I meant Christmas shopping…
It was on a cold, dark winter’s night that I embarked on the Playboy Club. Against my better judgement I decided to venture into the chaos that was Oxford Circus in December ahead of tea – not only did I have psychotic shoppers to deal with, but Santas on the run, or on the razzle, so it would appear.
Bobbing and weaving my way through Mayfair, I ducked into the club where bunnies started to pop out one by one to play, appearing from the dimly lit nooks and crannies of the club, just as rabbits tend to do at night.
The secluded and at that point virtually empty lounge was a welcome rest bite from the madding crowds outside, although it didn’t stay that way for long. Less than a couple of hours later and the place was packed, but still the secluded and chilled out atmosphere remained unchanged – in fact I don’t think I’ve ever felt so blissfully relaxed in a cocktail bar before. As well as the attentive bar staff and beautiful bunnies this was no doubt in large part down to the fabulous female pianist who could play anything and everything from Bobby Darin to Bruno Mars!
Pianist and playboy bunnies aside, contrary to the stereotypes of lecherous cigar wielding mad men types, just like the common misconceptions about burlesque, the vast majority of the people in the club were women, with the exception of a rather cute couple who were clearly out celebrating a birthday or anniversary. The flush in his cheeks clearly gave away the fact that the guy had been dragged there by his girlfriend who like myself reveled in all the rabbit fun and sought out any woman wearing ears and a tail that she could find to have her photo taken with. The bunnies were only too happy to oblige, and went out of their way to help – my bunny sever was utterly adorable and the customer service is among the best I’ve had.
Now where does the afternoon tea part come into it, this is meant to be a review right? Well I’ll be honest, the tea wasn’t really much to write home, or on the blog about. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad. The macaroons might not have been the sticky, chewy kind you’d expect from Laduree, and the limited choices of sweets and cakes may have been a little lack lustre, but the unique and generous helping of savouries that didn’t conform to typical finger sandwiches hit the spot (most unusual for me) and were washed down most well with the teapot full of cocktail – we all know what a sucker I am for booze in a teapot!
Whilst my teapot packed more than enough punch to please both my guest and I, I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to sample some of the drinks on one of the world’s most famous cocktail menus. I plumped for the award winning Space Race, finished with rose petals from the Playboys vs Bunnies menu, and the Tropical Butterfly – I could put together some fancy blurb about it, but there’s really no need – quite simply it’s the best cocktail I’ve ever had – and believe me that takes some doing.
Whilst the Playboy Club might not have a real knack for patisserie, when it comes to cocktails, they really know their onions and olives – and trust me you could do a lot worse than spend an evening there experiencing world class cocktails, accompanied by live entertainment and a spot of rabbit watching – but more importantly, you couldn’t do much better!
The Burly Baker x
P.S. no bunnies were harmed in the writing of this blog