According to its website, Volupte is a world of decadence and delight, and at points I couldn’t agree more. The burlesque club nestled in the heart of the City’s legal district is the perfect place to kick back and indulge in a night of debauched entertainment.
The small bar at ground level is very cutesy and the cocktail menu features a fruity and fabulously playful menu of drinks inspired by traditional sweets. One wall of the bar is dedicated to this, and looks like a traditional Victorian sweet shop. Pick the sweet you love the most, and the drink will be made in its honour.
After drinks we are led through velvet curtains into the show room: a low-ceilinged, secluded, basement room steeped in old school glamour. The room holds a small selection of scattered circular tables around a small performance area and grand piano. The great thing about Volupte is its intimacy, and from anywhere in the room you would feel part of the atmosphere and enjoy fantastic views of the acts.
The set up at Volupte is a three course dinner, with waiter service for drinks, all to the backdrop of entertainment throughout the evening. The starters (Teasers) were a sharing plate of mini dishes including salads, soup and seafood.
The entertainment began shortly after these were served, and we were engrossed in magic, comedy and a cheeky host who led us through the slightly risqué proceedings.
The mains (Head Liners) were not as good – at times tricky to eat (we chose duck confit and seabass, both with lots of bones and tricky to eat under candle light, when your eyes would rather be focussing on the stage) but overall still decent with a nice selection of fresh vegetables and sides available upon request.
The acts at Volupte varied in style but a traditional, soft burlesque feel over-arched proceedings. Not that is was ‘safe’ to the detriment of the show, more that is was a selection of crowd-pleasers which titillated rather than shocked and were the polite face of raunch.
Puddings (Sweet Sensations) were served as a platter of sharing dishes and were indulgent and a much more suitable accompaniment to the show (we could happily concentrate and eat chocolate fondant simultaneously, such is the art of a multi-tasking female). Cheese courses, teas and coffees are also available at an additional cost.
On Tuesday and Wednesday the set menu and tickets to the show are £55, whilst on Thursday to Saturday the offer is set at £63. The venue also offers a Voluptéa which is a nice anecdote to the usual afternoon tea options across the capital.
Volupte is very good at what it does: it gives a fun, light-hearted night out suitable for couples, but I’d also recommend groups book a larger table and generate a bit of their own sense of occasion too – the more people in the room the better the atmosphere in this venue.
The venue is kitsch, approachable and doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that is its charm. For burlesque you could take your mother along to, food you’d be happy to eat and cocktails a chic gaggle of girls would be proud of, this is a good bet.
If you like burlesque shows, read our guide to London’s best cabaret and burlesque shows.