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The Vintage Guide To London | October 23, 2017

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Event review: White Blackbird - Tainted Love

Party organisers White Blackbird are known for their lavish, vintage-inspired country house events. Rebecca McWattie went along to their Valentine’s special – Tainted Love and encountered Adam and Eve, love potions and aphrodisiacs.

Thanks to White Blackbird, country house parties and the spirit and decadence of the Bright Young Things live on. At the regular venue, Stoke Place, a 17th Century country house hotel, nestled in deepest darkest Buckinghamshire (it is rather near Slough, but don’t let that put you off) you can experience a party in the hedonistic style of the Twenties – too much alcohol, flamboyant attire and a rather eccentric crowd of people all out to enjoy life.

The Valentine’s Special was aptly named ‘Tainted Love’ – and judging from how many guests wore black, it felt like a wake of rejected lovers. At the event you were encouraged to float from room to room, where you might have chanced upon lovers kissing in the cinema, caught  a fascinating talk on Aphrodisiacs by Head Chef Craig Van der Meer, or The Robin Collective explaining their secret ‘Love Potion’ which they insisted you try at your own risk.

We sampled delicious concoctions from the Apothecary bar before being tempted by vodka guru William Borrell into playing a ridiculously easy game of cards. The aim of the game? To win a shot of his new flavoured Vestal vodka.

A few drinks later the crowd gathered to watch an almost naked interpretation of Adam and Eve by burlesque dancer Trixie Malicious and Josh Knowles while a larege queue was developing for the 24 red roses midnight feast, heavily protected by numerous security guards predicting a stampede – understandable considering the delights on offer: that much Turkish delight, chocolate and macaroons hadn’t been seen since Marie Antoinette’s boudoir.

Perhaps the most interesting part of  White Blackbird is that it makes you feel like you too are one of the beautiful people. Suddenely you feel like you know how to dress, make love and most of all – party. There is only one tragedy, time seems to go at breakneck speed. It is as though you are lost in a maze you try hard not to escape from – you open doors to bedrooms where you might find ladies dressing up in vintage, people participating in ‘Speed Relationships’, or encounter a vision of  a veiled woman dancing seductively.

Some fortunate guests were lucky enough to retire to their own rooms for the night (few rooms are available to book at each event). For the less privileged, the coach, which collected the party-goers from Hanover Square at 6.45pm, safely returned them to London at 2.30am. Tickets are £35 inclusive of transport.

With themes as varied as The Silver Ball, Childhood and St George’s we eagerly anticipate the next evening of magic and wonderment awaiting us!

images: Carl Marley