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The Vintage Guide To London | February 24, 2018

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Tea with a dollop of burlesque: Afternoon Tease

Burlesque show-cum tea parlour Afternoon Tease is certainly one of the most glamorous ways to spend a Sunday afternoon in London. Rebecca McWattie reviews.

Having wowed the crowds at Bestival and having performed a fan dance for Kate Moss on her birthday, Afternoon Tease’s  glamorous burlesque performers and waitresses have been much in demand since launching ‘Time for Tease’ in 1996. And not surprisingly so – the Twenties-attired waitresses almost convinced us were a in a Parisian supper club, as they served us extremely dainty sandwiches and cakes  with cocktails on demand.

Performer Pippa the Ripper opened the afternoon’s entertainment with hula hoop gymnastics – making everyone feel very inflexible. She must have spun thirty hoops around her toned, slender frame.

Gateaux Vivants – evoking the art of Tableaux Vivants – entertained us in three acts by slowly and seductively eating Danish pastries, resting, rather bizarrely, on her naked breasts, before dashing off behind a screen. One thing is for sure with burlesque – you never know what you’ll see next!

The acclaimed burlesque starlet Laurie Hagen appeared in beautifully made theatrical costumes – which naturally didn’t last long before being peeled off to reveal a body to die for!

Elsie Diamond entertained the troops singing ‘I believe in England’ before stripping off her army uniform – the audience cheering on seeing her marvellous Union Jack sequin bra – and moments later some co-coordinating tassels!

It was everything I hoped it would be, jolly good fun,  normal afternoon tea will seem rather dull after this. You can currently experience Afternoon Tease! every second and fourth Sunday of the month at Volupte – a highly recommended way to end the weekend.


  1. mel

    I find it hard to believe that they have been going since 1996. I went on Saturday but I’m afraid when I asked for meat free sandwiches it was more than they could cope with. Even though the waitress did everything she could to try and help, after 3 tries we were still given a few tiny ‘sandwiches’ consisting of unbuttered bread with just lettuce and tomato and even some others with chicken in! Entertainment was good but sorry the afternoon tea was very disappointing