I have learnt a lot about British History this year, in particular World War II. After visiting the Duxford Airshow and witnessing spitfires fly overhead, visiting Churchill’s War Rooms, to even The Bletchley cocktail bar, my interest has continued to grow. My most recent venture was to Cahoots – an old WWII air raid shelter that has been converted into a 1940’s restaurant and bar – how could I say no?!
WHAT IS CAHOOTS?
“Cahoots” means ‘colluding or conspiring together in secret’; a perfectly fitting name for this secret underground bar. This wonderful venue is located in an old abandoned tube station that was once used as an air raid shelter during World War II.
Hidden in Kingsly Court, this inconspicuous venue is identified by it’s misleading ‘To the Train’s’ sign, where guards will point you in the right direction. The inspiration and concept for Cahoots is post-war Britain. The year is now 1946 and London is being rebuilt after the Blitz. Cahoots is now home to a group of scoundrels who host underground parties, rebuilding the spirit of London.
The décor of Cahoots and attention to detail is incredible. You enter the venue down one of those old wooden escalators that were banned after the Kings Cross fire in 1987, where you are immediately transported into post-war Britain.
This made-up station of Kingly Court, is an imaginary part of the Bakerloo line, complete with a vintage train carriage, old tube seats, tube maps, and sandbags. The main room is designed as a platform, with an array of vintage furniture including tables, wartime posters, old lampshades, and upholstery, creating a perfectly authentic environment. Staff remain in character throughout, with the men dressed in waistcoats and flat caps, and the females in vintage tea dresses.
THE SQUIFFY PICNIC
We were seated to our table to find a large picnic hamper filled with quintessential British treats. Our sandwiches were packaged in brown paper bags and included salmon & cream cheese, and ham salad. Other treats included a mini steak and ale pie, a tin of sausage rolls, and a Victoria Sponge cake for dessert.
Mini toy aeroplanes are also included in your hamper which was a great touch, and provided added fun when assembling and flying them.
Our entertainment for the afternoon was Lois ‘Legs’ Laurelle, flown all the way from 1940’s New York.
Lois puts on a fabulous one hour show, which is broken up into two sets of her singing a variety of old-time classics. Her personality is infectious and she spends a lot of her time flirting with all the men in the room (Lois likes a British boy!) I loved how the audience were all eager to get involved as Lois worked her way around the room, interacting with every table, creating a hilariously fun afternoon. She had the men up dancing (including Dan who impressed her with his swing moves), involved people in her songs, had people up playing instruments, and even managed to get everyone up for the conga for ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’!
Cahoots is a brilliant place to visit for a quirky afternoon or evening in London. They host a wide range of events thoughout the week, including live entertainment, swing music, a ‘Cocktails, Cuppas & Cakes’ afternoon on Sundays and of course, the ‘Squiffy Picnic’ which is held every Saturday afternoon from 1pm.
For more info on Cahoots, and to book, check out their website: Cahoots Website
* I received complimentary tickets to review this experience . Views are my own.