As I walked in, I was greeted by the sound of Chris Coco playing 10CC - Dreadlock Summer and a waitress with a tray full of canapés and another tray full of shot glasses. I piled in; munched a couple of canapés and downed a shot. It was Parsnip Soup. In my mind, this place was already fucking genius. They could have given me food poisoning and still got a good review.
This is the Disappearing Dining Club Dinner Dance, folks; and that's how they roll. The ethos is pretty simple to gather: quality food and quality music with a Balearic twist; but the detail required to make it work is quite something. How exactly do you create a setting civilised enough to sit down and eat a good quality dinner, but also vibrant enough to have a proper party?
I still don't know the answer to be honest, but they somehow managed it. The form for the event was basically this: you pay your money in advance and book a table, turn up, have a couple of drinks and a dance if need be, then the music is turned down and everybody sits down for dinner; then afterwards have a few more drinks and then hit the dance floor for the rest of the night. It's been the template for many a Saturday night, especially when you get to my age (the age when you sit down for dinner regularly, start appreciating down-tempo music and stop voting Lib Dem), but for it to occur in the same building - in fact, the same room… well, you've gotta love that.
No half measures either. The music wasn't some afterthought to dinner, it was proper. There was a really nice dancefloor space, and it was absolutely going off by midnight, courtesy of Cafe Mambo's Danny Whitehead. All kinds of goodies could be heard, from Hercules and Love Affair to Metro Area, and all coming out of a well-tuned Funktion One. And don't forget, this was only half an hour after the cheeseboard. It was like the wedding reception you wish you'd been to.
The Disappearing Dining Club do their Dinner Dance at various different places in London, mainly out east (this one was at the White Rabbit Studios, EC2), as well as other impromptu dinner capers. They've got another Dinner Dance coming up on NYE, and will no doubt pop up at some other interesting spaces in the New Year. It's a great concept with a great crowd, and it's a very well produced event… you really need to check them out.