Walking down a dimly lit back street somewhere in South London (secret Location – don’t ask, we won’t tell!), you could be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a New York Gangster movie. Disused railway arches, the distant sound of trains, cars and people humming in the air surrounding warehouses and uneven pavements. Arriving at our destination, we charmed our way inside the lively looking Kimber’s Wallpaper Shop, looking at a few samples before being guided through to our secret hideaway for the evening.
Entering the hidden passage into the The Tick Tack Club’s 1920s downstairs speakeasy, we were instantly transported back in time – dark, dingy and full of raucous energy, we passed gamblers, drinkers, and card players in full costume and full character. Brought to life by A Place In Time (the brains behind Leyshon Brothers and Uff Tea), The Tick Tack Club marks the group’s first 6 month resident production, meaning come June, this curious space will have shifted to a new era and an exciting new concept. A mixture of interactive theatre, and restaurant/bar experience, this hideout is based on the truer than fiction story of the Brummy Peaky Blinders (and will delight any fans of the TV series coming back to the small screen for their third season this month). The Tick Tack Club operates a classic Edwardian ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ Policy – a decadent upstairs dining room with cocktail bar, Art Deco panelling and crooning live singer, provides a stark counterpart to the riff-raff atmosphere of the ground floor gambling den.
With a French menu consisting of classic dishes of the era, such as Celeriac and Apple soup, Smoked Haddock, and Poached pear, The Tick Tack Club dining experience looked a treat for the eyes, ears and tastebuds. Whilst the elegant diners finished up their lavish 5 courses upstairs, we went all-in at an impromptu horse racing betting ring that had gathered around a downstairs bench. Using poker chips and old-timey paper money, bets were placed on the horse of choice (our money was on the very chic, Monroe), and after a very tense ‘race’ broadcast over a crackly tannoy, the winning punters walked away with big grins and more chips to purchase drinks with.
Safely back upstairs, and sipping pastel hued potions from Martini glasses, it’s impossible not to be enchanted by the gorgeous jazz covers of millennial classics, chic dinners in sequin-adorned dresses, and soft, glamorous lighting straight out of The Great Gatsby. Whilst the Cocktail Bar (and drinks list) is modest at most, the tipples are delicious – and strong to boot! Sampling our way from top to bottom, we thoroughly enjoyed the delicate and floral, Springtime Daisy Sabini, old-timey citrus palate of Flappers Delight, and the tantalisingly juicy, fresh zing of Water Flower. The Charlie Spencer’s mix of Gin, Apricot Brandy, Orange Juice, and Bitters is divine and the perfect drink for getting in the mood to schmooze with the upper crust. If you prefer your drinks on the longer side however, the Rum Punch is not to be missed, but, as with all good punches, have no more than one at your peril!
The night is rounded off with a classic 1920s style karaoke, conducted by a gruff, flat cap toting fellow, reminiscent of an Oliver Twist character (if Oliver Twist sang ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’ and ‘I Predict A Riot’). An altogether riveting and strangely hypnotic evening, full of boisterous fun, slinky frocks and prohibition antics – The Tick Tack Club is an experience not to be missed for those wanting to cut loose in another century. Entry is every Friday and Saturday from 7pm to 2am, until Derby day on June 4th 2016, so don’t delay to get your slice of classy gangster revelry in the backstreet’s of London.
Book Tickets at www.designmynight.com/london/whats-on/pop-up/the-tick-tack-club