La Plage by Bacanal

April 28, 2014
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London welcomed me home with sunshine and deceptively warm weather. Of course as I write this the temperatures have plunged back down into toe-curling depths of misery (on a scale of perky nips to icy bones, I'd put today down as 'buy that season-transitional camel suede waterfall coat from Zara). But at least on Saturday, the sun came out to play at Bacanal for the launch of their new new pop up residency, the brunch party series La Plage! The sun always shines at Bacanal, unless of course it's on of their 'by night' parties.

The sun's out, get your buns out!

The Conservatory at Millennium Gloucester Hotel was the perfect setting for La Plage's tropical themed soiree. 

With an island club setting, palm trees scaling up to the ceiling, the vast skylights filtering in the sun to create a bright (but soft and flattering, perfect light for taking food photos...and selfies, huhu) mood, buckets and bottles of Moët Ice imperial everywhere, and cabanas to lounge about in, one could almost be forgiven for thinking that one had left London for a Labor Day party (it was certainly white enough! 'The deception, this is an all white party!') or even somewhere like Dubai. I kept up my penchant for geographical fibbing and sent some friends photos saying I was in Ibiza, and they almost believed me. Almost. 

My liquid lunch on an empty stomach, which bought me a return day pass on the hangover bus.

"Are those pineapple trees?" "No, your Sexcellency, haven't you heard? The new safe word is coconut. As in 'I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts'." "Indeed you do, but those aren't coconut trees." Guess I failed to palm that off...

What did I say about the ambient and flattering lighting? This is but the first of many, many, selfies to come, consider yourself warned. But if you hated my face you wouldn't read my blog or follow me on Instagram would you? And if you do both, then you have all the logic of a vegetarian going to Hawksmoor and complaining that the menu is all meat. Êtes-vous un masochist?

Luxy, Henry (or Harry, c'est whatever), Edd and I arrived just a little late for brunch. 

The buffet spread was laden with healthy offerings; fruit, salad, fish, and tidbits with a tropical twist.

I nibbled gingerly at vegetables before deciding it is my fate to remain bloated and unhealthy, so I had some pudding and decided to go the way of Henry ie. liquid diet.

My favourite guy from Ruski's! Hello again.

He explained that Moët Ice Imperial is more potent than regular Moët, hence it is drunk with Ice and fruit. Quite like the French swimming pool cocktail 'la piscine'.  

Slices of fruit and mint make this one of my five a day, surely? Yes? Très bien, give me four more.

With Nick, co-founder of Bacanal and one of the sweetest people. Gentle giant is the perfect description, not least because every photo I take with him means that either his head or my body gets cropped out of the frame. 

Even before the party started, Henry was keeping us suitably amused at brunch with his hilarious impressions of Luxy. 

H, this better not be your impression of me... *narrows eyes* Oh God, I just did it! *opens eyes wide again*

Edd, how do you have the same face in both pictures throughout? 

Speaking of silly and well-loved faces, it was so nice to run into Cookie again! Hello, nice to eat you!

Don't worry, this time I won't need any rescuing, since we first met I've grown up and gotten quite a bit more street smart.

As Bacanal parties tend to do, La Plage started easing into the party mood, with sexy sailors attending to the guests and keeping them imbibed with enough drinks to sink a ship. Men overboad! Oh never mind, just leave them there.

I got myself a pineapple! Pineapple was the safe word (now replaced with coconuts) but their domination of the high street, as seen on all all the clothes everywhere (pineapple print, pineapple phone cases, pineapple accessories) looks unlikely to cede anytime soon. So pineapple it is.

Everywhere I go I see a pineapple following me, just lurking outside my field of vision...I wonder why?

Don't let the seemingly casual effortless of this picture fool you. In reality I spent a good few minutes in front of the wind machine, struggling to pull hair out of my mouth and eyes, to get two good shots.

The party properly kicked off with the sound of klaxons and the arrival of the performers. 

Hello sailors!

Hot damn, these women haven't got an inch to pinch, and their figures are flawless at every turn, unlike yours truly who has to flex and stretch when taking photos so as to not look disgusting. This is motivation to exercise daily, right there. Consider me inspired.

This burlesque and ballet beauty demonstrating why dance is the best work out for a lean, strong, feminine figure. 

I just tried to pirouette and leap across my living room. Far from being graceful I smashed into a table and now have a huge bruise on my thigh. Sigh...

Inspired, right after the party I went to Coco De Mer and bought some new additions for my dress up box, including some sequinned nipple tassels. All I need are some ostrich feather fans (and actual dancing ability) and I'll be good to go...

As La Plage inevitably escalated into a full out ruckus party, Luxy and I kept a safe distance in the comfort of our cabana.

Clearly for the best, it is obvious that the champagne and sun has gotten to us.

This is why I'll need botox when I'm thirty, Exhibit A. Need to stop twisting my face and smiling like a demented Cheshire Cat. When I worked at Harper's Bazaar, my colleagues were discussing aesthetic procedures and casually said "Jasiminne will be the first to need botox because she's so expressive." Worse compliment ever!

Exhibit B. Hello wrinkles, I see you!

Going tropical with my Zara trousers, Chanel boy inspired phone case (the strap is the perfect hands-free solution for parties), Zara clutch, and...seashell. From our table.

I shell call you Mi-shell!

I may have spent a good half hour photoshopping my right eye bag (not the fat deposits under my eyes, those are aegyo sal 'eye pouches' and I agree with the Koreans that they make my eyes more 'smiley') out of all these photos. But I'm glad to say that I spent a lot less time 'shopping myself to look presentable (i.e not fat), which can only mean that I'm doing something right with my change of lifestyle. Finally!

The 'lifestyle blogging facade', in which everything photo is carefully posed for and staged... opposed to this, the less than graceful reality. I will never elegantly climb a palm tree, and I'm not ashamed to say so.

La Plage brunch parties are weekly, at The Conservatory, Millennium Gloucester Hotel with other one off events to be announced separately. Membership for Bacanal is invitation only, but one can apply at the Bacanal website!


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