The Prosecco Diaries presents another blogger event: the biggest yet! This time at the stunning Cafe de Paris in Piccadilly which celebrates its 90th birthday this year - ninety years of cabaret and clubbing in one awesome building! Fifteen utter babes met to have a burlesque dance lesson from The Cheek Of It, the number one burlesque school in London, before going through to the main ballroom to watch the Cafe's legendary cabaret show from a private balcony. We had some amazing sponsors and treats, and everyone discovered their inner burlesque vamp goddess!
The Cheek Of It is run by Zoe Charles (pictured above with the bloggers!) a.k.a Lady Cheek, international burlesque superstar and comedienne. Together with her amazing team of burlesque beauties she runs classes for absolute beginners, as well as those who want to be professionals. You can also hire the team for parties and hen-do's, and see them in action in their regular revue show at Madame JoJo's.
On arrival the bloggers were whisked to our private room and given a delicious glass of Pinky Vodka with lemonade (and a stripy straw, natch). This is hands-down the best vodka I've ever had; everyone was saying how delicate and floral it was - though it still packed a mighty vodka-punch! I had planned to snap every blogger holding up a sign with their burlesque name of choice - but as you can see, my pen was not thick enough! Doh! Shame, as people had chosen some good names.
Not to worry, as everyone got stuck into the amazing cucpcakes from House of Cuckoo! These delicious morsels are made with real vegetables, and nothing artifical whatsoever! You can get their beetroot & chocolate and banana & vanilla flavours in Waitrose.
We also had macarons to die for from Ganache Macaron. These brightly coloured mouthfuls of magic did arrive a bit neater in presentation, but I kind of like how their lines ended up all curved - very burlesque! They went down a storm and were gone in minutes!
Sarah from The Laughing Medusa and Lynsay from Miss West End Girl, both looking sparkly gorgeous, were loving their Cuckoo Cupcakes. Whilst Erica from Being Erica (below) was just generally enthusiastic about all the welcome treats! Love her!
We also had our own en-suite boudoir; dripping in red velvet and so utterly burlesque. Cue the posing!
Caroline from Sparkles and Crumbs (above) was so made for this era of fabulousness, and Lynsay took to burlesque-style posing like a duck to water.
We were so lucky to have been given these amazing bottles of prosecco (come on, prosecco had to feature somewhere!) from Sparkle Up Your Life, who add glitter and sparkly gorgeousness to a whole range of products. These enticing beauties were prizes for the two most burlesque-tastic bloggers in the class. Everyone had their eyes on the (sparkly) prize!
There was time for a bit more posing (I mean, documenting of the event) before the lesson started. Lea and Sam from The High Tea Cast rocked the selfie, whilst the House of Cuckoo ladies got into the burlesque swing of things with cupcake nipple-tassles.
The burlesque class was truly fantastic! Each and every blogger completely threw themselves into it as Lady Cheek taught them the moves, building up towards a whole routine. Burlesque dancing appears to involve lots of sexy stutting and posing! Ooh la la!
Lady Cheek put the bloggers into two groups so that they could watch each other at work. I liked how this group below managed to co-ordinate themselves into a red/black outfit formation. Good work, ladies!
Special shout-out to Katherine of Lady Loves Cake (above at the front of the line) who did the class whilst 18 weeks pregnant. She said she hoped it would turn her baby into a fabulous burlesque dancer - male or female!
Looking fierce, ladies!
Winner of the purple bottle of prosecco was Emma of Bloomzy (above in the blue dress), and here's her award-winning shimmy! Go girl!
They were all amazingly good! But Lady Cheek's eye was caught by the sensual moves of George from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust (pictured behind in black dress with red roses) who scooped the gold prosecco prize! My favourite part of the class was when the girls were put into four teams and each given one of the four main characters from Sex and the City. Using all the moves they had learnt in the lesson they had to make up a dance interpreting that character and present it to the class. Brilliant!
Everyone piled into the boudoir for a group shot on one of the beds before we headed off to the ballroom. Loving the sultry pose from (hilarious!) blog illustrator Carla Juniper far left on the front row. On their way to the show everyone was handed another Pinky Vodka, and a goody bag to die for!
The actual bags were supplied by Tiger, these cute totes are from their awesome Queen range. How approps for all the newly-formed burlesque queens in attendance! The bag contained some fantastic treasures, including a hand-crafted necklace from Bete Noire made specially for the event!
Plus a pair of earrings from Punky Pins' Alice in Wonderland range. Totally cute little 'drink me' bottles and playing card shapes in either black matte or red glitter.
There were also amazing discounts from Lylia Rose accessories and Printstagram, which allows you to turn Instagram photos into lush prints and products. Eyes bulged at these amazing goody bags from Chewbz retro sweets, and some people even opened them up during the show! Om nom nom.
More sweet treats came in the shape of these marshmallow melts for hot drinks from Bonny Confectionary, a fantastic company started by two new mums from their homes! Check out the sparkly red marshmallow pops on their website!
These PopCult pencils from LA LA LAND were a big hit too! They have quotes from all the best films and TV shows, including Mean Girls, Clueless, Dirty Dancing, and RuPaul's Drag Race - Sashay Away!
As if that wasn't enough, each blogger also got a pair of stockings and a look book (with discount) from retro lingerie specialists What Katie Did to help them get into their new burlesque character! Now where was I? Sorry to get so sidetracked by all that goody-bag goodness! Up in the main ballroom we all settled down on our private balcony to watch Cafe de Paris' immense cabaret show. The bloggers were having a good old look through their goody bags and checking out the What Katie Did look books. In the centre, in the white top, is Emily of Curious London and Incurably Curious (yes, two blogs!) and it was her actual birthday! I can't think of a better way to spend your birthday then with such a group of lovely bloggers, doing burlesque in a gorgeous venue (with lots of pink vodka and treats of course!).
The show was just too fabulous! Clowns, a contortionist, various half-naked dancing ladies, a rude French comedian, and the ever-fabulous burlesque artist Missy Malone, were all linked by the hilarious and cheeky MC.
After the show we grabbed the MC and forced him into a group shot. He was scared (and trapped at the back)! Sorry about the fire exit sign - it was a hectic moment and no chance to move to another spot.
I'm so happy that everyone loved the show! We couldn't stop chatting about how fantastic it was, and both the Cheek Of It class and the cabaret made several people in the group want to be burlesque performers. Love how Caroline and Lucy from Lucy J Loves are cosying up for a photo here!
After the show the DJ began playing some 80's classics (Lynsay was particularly excited about Lionel Richie's All Night Long!), and eventually people started to head off into the night, with free taxi rides home courtesy of Hailo cabs. But there's ALWAYS time for one last photo shoot at a blogger event, and we found that the dark velvet walls at Cafe de Paris make an awesome backdrop! Caroline and Sarah showed Lady Cheek that she'd taught them well!
Whilst Lynsay and George modelled their new Bete Noire necklaces to perfection!
Caroline and George also posed with the lovely and aptly named Adora of Adora Mehitabel. Her fashion blog has been going from strength to strength in such a short space of time - already scooping awards and recently landing her a magazine internship. Well done, lady!
Top model of the night had to be Erica, though, who won bonus points for bellowing 'stroke the furry wall!' and proceeding to work it for the camera!
She was sooned joined by George - too, too fabulous ladies! I forgot where I was for a moment and this shoot could have probably gone on all night.
This was a fantastic night! The bloggers loved loved loved The Cheek Of It's class, and several of them will be signing up for the weekly classes starting next term (which culminate in an actual live show by the students!!). It was also brilliant to watch such an amazing show in truly glamorous surroundings. I would definitely come back here on cabaret night! Huge thanks to Cafe de Paris for hosting us, and thanks to all the sponsors who fed and watered us (well, Pinky Vodka-ed us), and to those who contributed to the goody bags. There's a bit of Lady Cheek in all of us!
Do you want to come to a Prosecco Diaries Blogger Event? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@sairey_bearey) and make me aware of your blog! If you're a brand that would like me to organise an event for you, or you want to be in my next goody bag, email me!