Floridita’s Resurgence – The Alex Mendham Orchestra album launch

by Katie on April 4, 2013

Floridita in London’s Wardour Street is one of those restaurants that’s on your radar as you first went there years ago when it first opened but have never really been back. Such is the fickleness of Londoners and their infatuation with the latest themed restaurant or cocktail bar. Which is a shame. As it’s not only a fabulous central restaurant space but has a stage area and dance floor that are primed for better use. I’d forgotten about these. 

Enter some smart people in Floridita’s marketing dept who have tumbled to the fact they’re sitting on a hidden gem that can be outsourced for events and theme nights. The first I saw of Floridita’s resurgence was an episode of E4’s ‘Made In Chelsea’ where the young MiCs had their usual stare-offs, pouts and nervously bitten lips shenanigans with the opposite sex, centred around a fashion show, set in Floridita. I also remember lovely Cheska’s more than hideous frou-frou dress from that episode. But that could be a whole blog post in itself. Nevertheless, it made me think “Floridita, I didn’t know that was still a thing?”.

Well, it most certainly is. To a whole new legion of fans who turn up for Floridita’s inspired ‘Live Programme’ which gives attendees the choice of ticket types from standing at the bar to dance floor front row booths and tables. The booths are a selling point. Vast white cavernous ’30s type leather semi-circles of gorgeousness give intimacy as well as great views of the act and revellers. Cocktails are wide ranging but we kept to traditional French 75s to kick off the evening seeing Alex Mendham and his Orchestra who was launching his album of ’20s and ’30s covers. 

Alex Mendham has quite the following on the London vintage scene. His style is traditional enough to appease the purists while being modern and spontaneous enough to bring new energy to their repertoire. It’s all jolly nice. Like a lighter, happier ‘Dancing on the Edge’ set. In fact, the resurgence and infatuation with ’30s high jinks in austerity Britain is more than coincidental.

Then there’s the food. We were served grilled sea scallop appetisers, in the shell with samphire, serrano chile and breadcrumbs. The scallops were fat, juicy and filling, so much so that my guest refused a main mail. I, of course, didn’t and continued with a really delicious churrasco of grilled, organic chicken with wild lemon, garlic and pico de gallo. This drew envious stares from my guest who then admitted she wished she’d ordered something else. We both eschewed ordering dessert. I know. A travesty for most women. But there we are. But, we were served a rich chocolate platter of nibbles to finish. This was a lovely unexpected touch which we shared with some friends who we’d bumped into by this point.

The Alex Mendham Orchestra has guests foxtrotting and charlstoning to their set with gusto. The vintage crowd wore a range of authentic ’30s to ’50s and those not clad in authentic vintage were as enthralled by the outfits as by the band’s set.

Floridita was packed out for this event in all their areas – the Havana lounge, the Bar Constante and VIP Salon Rojo lounge. The restaurant has a whole series of wide ranging live music nights throughout April and May worth checking out.

Me? I’d return for the super attentive service, the food and the vibe alone. Great fun.

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