THE ABC of Parties

Join the 'flaming youth' and throw a 1920s bash


mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf’s fictional character and highsociety hostess, saw parties as profound events, a ‘gift’ to her guests, which should have meaning for everyone.

“Every time she gave a party she had this feeling of being something not herself, and that every one was unreal in one way; much more real in another. It was, she thought, partly their clothes, partly being taken out of their ordinary ways, partly the background, it was possible to say things you couldn’t say anyhow else, things that needed an effort; possible to go much deeper

Ring out the old and bring in the new with a 1920’s style party of decadence and optimism, evoking the spirit of a period loved by all! We recommend starting your party planning by pouring yourself a Bellini (peach juice and champagne) and beginning to pen out your invitations….

• Pale pink and white, or cream with gold text in a Champagne font

Dress Code for Men
• Tux or black suit, white shirts, snappy patent shoes, bow ties, braces, and seriously flashy jewellery
• Top hats, fedoras, bowlers or trilby’ s with hair slicked back beneath

Dress Code for Women
• Lace, satin, or silk dresses either in long conservative cuts or fringed flapper-style
• To keep warm, velvet evening cloaks, long floaty shawls and long white gloves
• Long pearl necklaces, ornate brooches and fake diamonds and stones
• Feathered headdresses and flowers for your hair
• Pin hair up or braid into elaborate styles or wear short, flapper-style
• Make up with ivory loose powder, raspberry lipstick worn to accentuate the cupids bow and dark eyes
• Chanel No. 5 – essential!

• Art-deco and art-nouveau accessories, and Tiffany lamp copies
• Living spaces decorated silk and velvet pillows
• Ice sculptures – make your own! Moulds available on

• Chandeliers, vintage gas lamps (try eBay) and Chinese lanterns

Table decorations
• Try Bermondsey Square Antique Market for tableware, held on Friday mornings
• Centrepieces using ferns, flowers, silver ribbons and ostrich feathers
• Gold painted branches, faux jewels and candelabras
• Fancily folded napkins and decorative tablecloths (chenille throws are ideal)
• Gold-rimmed white plates, napkin rings and elaborate silverware
• Carnival glass punch bowls, cut glass designs and champagne coupes

• A lively combination of swing, hot jazz and The Charleston
• For inspiration look online for tracks such as the Royal Garden Blues, Hot Hot Hot Dance and West End Blues

• Waldorf salad, stuffed mushroom and devilled eggs
• Miniature sandwiches, salmon mousse and cheese souffles
• Caviar, oysters and asparagus wrapped in pancetta

• Baked Alaska, layered chocolate mousse cake and aspic deserts
• Salted caramels, assorted chocolates and florentine cookies

Pour 2 ounces of peach juice into a champagne glass, and slowly add 4oz champagne

The Bronx
Shake and serve:
2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz fresh orange juice

Great Gatsbys and flamboyant Flappers should remember to throw themselves into the party before Prohibition hits!

Also from this Edition:
  • THE ABC of Parties Join the 'flaming youth' and throw a 1920s bash
  • TEMPTATION From the outside it is modest, on the inside it is romantic but when the dining starts it is other wordly
  • HAMPERS by Carmelo and Maria Italian sweets and savoury treats
  • GLUTEN Free & Yule Log Recipe Can cutting out the diet staples of bread, pasta and flour actually improve your quality of life?
  • fresh from the MARKET Trattoria, Pizzeria and Ristorante Italiano, a haven above the hubbub
  • threadneedleman A tailor to bridegrooms, Teds and skinheads
  • SOLD ON Retail Anne Horton of Tonik Retail advises would-be shop owners
  • The RIVER Emporium A selection of gifts from where Lambeth and Southwark meet the river
  • Giving it BOTH BARRELS Stand-Up Comedian Mike Gunn chats to The RIVER about Christmas cheer and the art of laughter
  • THE FESTIVE SEASON on Southbank Epitomising London at Christmastime
  • MediCINEMA The charity giving patients a ‘magical night at the pictures’
  • LIVE at The Glad & Robin The Fog Finding places where you can still hear the people sing
  • Entertainments Listings Winter Season Listings
  • The GYROTONIC System Building strength and calm
  • ANOTHER planet Original member of The Only Ones, the return of sticksman turned songwriter Mike Kellie
  • DETOX Post-party Red wine or Jaegerbomb drinkers, here are some pre- and post-party tips
  • Poets of LAMBETH Selected poem: Web on the Wing Mirror
  • UNDERNEATH the Arches From merchant village to metropolitan hub, surviving Bermondsey’s dramatic change
  • THE PYRAMID of Shad Thames Contemporary architecture hidden within London’s warehouses
  • HISTORY in the Making A New Beginning – Part 3
  • EST. 1804 Field & Sons advise on where’s best to invest

Other Stories