Life is a cabaret: Cabaret at Scarfes Bar, Rosewood London

December 02, 2014

The magical mystical dancer lit up like an erotic traffic light. Even the crickets stopped hick-ing to observe this visual delight!

On Sunday, Henry and I joined Luxy and Mel for an intimate evening of cabaret at the 'artfully social' Scarfes Bar at The Rosewood.
To paraphrase the delightful host Dusty Limits, who has been described as ‘The Trailblazer’ of cabaret: "It's not a conventional cabaret, it's more like stumbling into an eccentric house party in the middle of London, hosted by a rather louche couple and filled with bon viveurs, where guests spontaneously do turns on the dancefloor when they've had too much champagne. Guests of the party know that at any given moment some kind of vivacious performance might take place and they might even be encouraged to join in.' There's no strict cabaret format, no 'fourth wall', no stage  in essence the whole room is a stage and everyone's a player, connected not by blood, but by their love of art, music, and champagne. There is an in-house band, guest singers, acrobats, dancers, burlesque artistes, contortionists, jugglers and clowns – it’s a place where everyone is welcome and where you visit when you want to eat, drink, be merry, be intrigued and be surprised." Perfect for a date night, non? So it was that we put on our best tunics to match our gilded and glorious surroundings, propped ourselves up at the bar, and enjoyed an evening of rip-roaring, hip-wiggling, and tongue-waggling performances from some of cabaret's most beautiful and talented stars.

Just so you know, all quotes in blue (as above) were written by Henry imitating me. I've coloured them so as to add his running commentary on the evening. 

Even the grandeur of the lobby's art deco splendour could not stop me taking a selfie or rather getting my horseradish boyfriend to do it haw haw. 

(Really, Henry? Horseradish? I've always thought of you as more of a cabbage leaf)

Scarfes Bar is currently playing host to a series of cabaret evenings featuring world-renowned cabaret performers. Held bi-weekly, these Sunday evening events complement the bar's programme of complimentary live jazz six-nights a week as well as pay homage to the golden age of cabaret, which finds its modern home in the eclectic setting of Scarfes Bar at The Rosewood, moments from Covent Garden. The evenings are programmed and hosted by Dusty Limits in conjunction with Full Circle management and feature performances by Lili La Scala, Valeriya Murzak, Sammy Dinneen, Vicky Butterfly and Laura London as well as cabaret trio Tom Carradine, Tom Mansi and Jonathan Kitching. 
For Scarfes Bar, Dusty is creating a new style of cabaret performance. "Cabaret was born in intimate venues, in which the performers could get up close to the guests, and we are thrilled to be bringing some of London’s greatest artists to such a beautiful room’ says Dusty, and adds ‘The show will reflect the glamorous and intriguing styling of the venue. It will be a heady cocktail of music, dance, acrobatics, singing and close-up magic." 

Ooh la la the fancy double doors were a welcome sight after our Uber ordeal! 

The boyfriend and I always enjoy a night out on the tiles! 

(Stop stealing my jokes Henry!)

My stomach was not the only place that had butterflies! Even the bell jars could sense the excitement! 


Inspired by the atmosphere of a drawing room and the sophistication of a gentleman’s club, the artfully social Scarfes Bar evokes a convivial atmosphere with its roaring fire, walls lined with over 1000 booked handpicked by a Portobello antique dealer and Gerald Scarfe’s collection of amusing and conversation-provoking paintings which adorn the marble walls. The array of quirky details, cosy velvet armchairs and sofas makes it a unique and intimate venue for cabaret events.  
Gerald Scarfe, renowned British artist and caricaturist has lent his name and artistic vision to Scarfes Bar at RosewoodLondon, the capital’s newest ultra-luxury hotel centrally located in the heart of London on High Holborn. Gerald’s collection of amusing and conversation-provoking paintings, highlighting his best work, adorn the marble walls turning Scarfes Bar into a living canvas, described by Gerald as “my personal art gallery, where you can see my life on walls”. Gerald’s collection of original and one-off paintings, now a permanent feature in the bar, add a unique twist and depict well-known historical and famous faces recounting the colourful history of the United Kingdom in Gerald’s witty and satirical way. 

I hate to make light (AHAHAHA good one) of such an important evening but the napkins had writing on them HOW fancy! 

(Yes, quite)

The stockings above the fire place were heating up and the guests were being heated up by the dancer lady's stocking ha lol YOLO 

(I never say YOLO or LOL!)

OMG! Did the Christmas fairy on the top of the tree come to life or summin'?

Looksie looksie looks its Luxy!

(And Mel)

Dancer man!

(The 'dancer man' is actually Dusty Limits, our exuberant host who is a fabulous singer. My personal favourite song is the one about his very illustrious, dysfunctional family of  eccentric oddballs)
Since 1999, Dusty Limits has been at the forefront of the ‘new cabaret’ scene, which has made London the top city for cabaret in the world. He has been described by Time Out as ‘The Trailblazer’, and The Stage have called him ‘the compere without compare’. He has performed throughout London and internationally from New York to Berlin and everywhere in between, and his solo shows have received tremendous critical acclaim. 


The gif that keeps giffing.... Whats a gif?

This lady was giving a talk about investing in a time share in Basildon. She was convincing. Thank God my cheque bounced! 


It's the fantastic leg arm man! It'd be more impressive if he was really fat.

(I must say, I agree)

I enjoyed the show, dare I say it, more than anything I've seen at The Box. It felt more intimate and graceful, with none of the sordid shock value of The Box. Of all the wonderful acts, it was hard to pick a favourite between Dusty Limits' naughty, Wilde-esque songs, the sweet but oh-so-saucy operatic vocals of Lili La Scala, and Vicky Butterfly's mesmerising, dreamy dancing. But if I had to choose one to watch over and over again it would be Vicky Butterfly's hypnotic dances, the way she twirled her ostrich feather fans like a cloud floating across a moon and her illuminated cape swirling about like moth's wings studded with stars.  

With tickets limited to just 60 guests per show, the next and last performance of Cabaret at Scarfes Bar is at 14 December, so catch it before it goes. I'm hoping that The Rosewood will bring back the show for another run in 2015, it's the perfect idea for a date what with the tastefully erotic nature of the show (perfect for setting the mood) or even just an evening out with friends (although you might feel a strange and compelling urge to kiss them after... great for men wanting to get out of the friendzone!) Tickets are priced at £30 per person and can be booked by calling 020 7781 8888 or online



  1. I love this! Your photos are incredible. Thank you so much for coming! xx