London has hosted The Blitz Party quarterly for a while now and we were determined that we would go at least once while living in London. Unfortunately, we could never quite time it right. Luckily it turned out that on a trip back to London to visit our friends Alison and Dave we were able to coordinate the visit!
After a few hours' research into outfits from the 1940's and scouring the Blitz Party Facebook page for ideas we decided to see what we had in our wardrobe that could work. Turns out Laura and I have been rocking the 1940's look at work for a while as we both had dresses that seemed to fit the bill.
Next was the hair. Looking at pictures we wanted to go with Victory Rolls. We knew that if we got really stuck we could get our hair done at the venue for free but had read that the lines could be quite long so we thought we would give it a go. The first step was to find a YouTube video that showed us what to do and thankfully this one was pretty spot on:
Alison's boyfriend Dave played DJ setting the scene with 1940's music and the three of us set up a make shift salon. I can say with certainty that getting the Victory Rolls right was hot and time consuming work, it took more bobby pins than I have ever seen and the amount of hair spray made us a fire hazard but it was really good fun. We felt like we belonged in an era where it took all day to get ready and hair styles were an art form - and we loved it. We had enough time that it wasn't stressful and that made all the difference. Drinking, dancing and hair-styling...not a bad Saturday night!
Our makeup was done by my wonderful wife. Red lips were a must from the time and defined eyes were essential. They were also fans of defining cheekbones and rosy cheeks - we did our best with our limited makeup range. Knowing that the venue was going to be hot we hair-sprayed our makeup to give it the best chance of staying on. We were so glad there were no open flames :)
Alison finished our look with red nails and we all wore heels - the look was complete!
From the reaction across our social media accounts, it turns out we kind of rocked the 1940's look!
We left for the venue at 10pm and made our way from Camden to Shoreditch in our Uber cab. It was all very London and felt sophisticated!
The venue was obvious from the sandbags piled up by the door and after a quick ticket check (£25) we were in. It looked just like an underground bunker, the up-lighting gave it atmosphere and the band were in full swing. There was a cake stand selling 'war time' cakes and the walls were plastered with memorabilia and props typical of the time. The bar itself had ration books as menus and depending on the drink, it came in tin cups or champagne glasses. Unfortunately the cocktail prices were not 'of the time'! We were definitely in London!
Throughout the venue there were professional dancers giving swing dance lessons or showing us how it was done surrounded by circles of viewers. The music was probably my personal highlight, I didn't know I enjoyed 1940's music SO much. In fact, I have even added some my Spotify list! We danced and danced and only took a break when we got super hot and we could feel the pain from our shoes (we don't wear heels often!). We then stood by the bar watching over the dance floor and soaking it the truly unique experience.
We even got caught in two air raids which were more fun than I am sure they would have been at the time. The spotlights shown, the sirens blared, the music stopped and everyone would look super confused until a confetti canon signalled the end and the party continued. We may not have lived through WWII but we have survived an air raid of sorts!
The event closes at 2am but at 1.30am we decided to get our Uber and head home. It is fair to say all four of us were buzzing. I don't remember a night out where we had such fun. The class, the elegance, the men and women in uniform - in fact, all the outfits, the live music that added to the atmosphere and the setting - it was all amazing!
If you time your trip to London and the Blitz Party is on we would definitely recommend it - just make sure you take comfy shoes!