9 Norwich Street
Listening to the likes of Jacque Brel and the old Vaudeville gin-house crooners can make you long to experience the days of little back street clubs with live music and entertainments. The Volupté Lounge is the modern equivalent of this once so popular amusement. Navigating the side streets of Chancery Lane, away from the prying eyes of High Holborn, the Norwich Street venue is marked with a ‘V’ above the door of its otherwise secretive location. In spite of this, it was heaving the night we visited.
As we walked into the narrow bar, we managed to scramble a cocktail menu to peruse. Getting to the bar itself however, was some feat. The staff were dishing out lots of colourful concoctions as well as a few bottled beers and the odd glass of merlot to those that could reach. If I had been asked, my poison would have been a Brandy Alexander (invented in London in 1922, don't you know). Alas I can’t tell you how it would have tasted but I’m sure it would have been grand.
Volupté Lounge proudly pronounces on it’s website that it’s ‘the most decadent little supper club in town.’ A saucy combination of drinks, dining and a little cabaret is what the venue aims to achieve and on two counts it does pretty well.
Soon enough the girl with the vintage victory curls and the clipboard escorted us down to our shared table. The dining room is set up in a multipurpose space, to host club nights and various other shows. It was dark and loud and had all the atmosphere you’d expect of a bawdy burlesque bar which is definitely a good thing. The night we attended we were required to vote, X Factor-style, for our favourite among the 10 acts who performed as we dined.
I started with a Gravelax salad which although tasty, was skimpish in portion size. Still, it whet my appetite, as did my dining partner's warm vegetable quiche. The rest of the night rolled forth at varying speeds. The next performers came thick and fast and were increasingly better at revealing elements of their, erm… acts.
The succulent cuts of tuna with a mango salsa that arrived for my main course were perfectly cooked – sweet, meaty fish with real substance but the salsa was sadly a let down. The under-ripe mango looked the part but had none of the sweet tropical punch it should deliver. My tuna dish was upstaged by the fillet of beef with mash and brandy sauce that also arrived at our table. Meanwhile, my veggie dining partner was presented with a rustic roast half of butternut squash, filled generously with goat’s cheese.
We drank, we clapped, we cringed at the bad jokes and generally had a laugh. Minutes before the end of the night, our wibbly-wobbly vanilla panna cotta arrived with the same amount of jiggle as some of the stage performances. Volupté Lounge is a lark. Good, clean(ish) fun. It’s a giggle with the cocktails that were served up, even if there was the odd glitch with the supper club menu. Go for the entertainment and cocktails, the setting and excitement.
Seated tickets for a night at the Volupté Lounge are £10 and you are required to order at least a course from the a la carte menu. Our 3 course meal would leave your pocket £80 the lighter with seats included, excluding wine or cocktails.
**Reviewed by: **Anne Giacomantonio
For more information, visit: www.volupte-lounge.com