How about some gin and jazz for a change? Actually, how’s about some giggle juice with the music? That’s what they would call alcohol back in the Jazz Age. And that’s where Gin and Jazz night at the Intercontinental Hotel takes us tonight. So we play the role and talk the talk. Don’t mind if I do, pal.
We lean back into our cushioned armchairs and sip on our Signature Martin Millers & Tonic. ‘Born of love, obsession and some degree of madness’ is the provocative motto behind Millers’ premium gin, which features in all of Gin and Jazz menu’s cocktails. Accompanied by the smokiness of cracked black pepper and fruitiness of sliced strawberry, it is a nod to the indulgent speakeasy feel of the roaring twenties. With a classy kick to it. The distiller said himself: “After all, gin isn’t some boring neutral spirit; gin is the most seductive of drinks.”
And seduced proves just the right mood as the Shirt Tail Stompers get ready to play for the candlelit lounge. They are one of London’s rising vintage jazz bands, drawing inspiration from the prohibition era’s musical greats such as Fats Waller and Wingy Manone. A young quartet, stylishly suited up, on the trumpet, bass, clarinet and guitar. After the trumpeter and lead vocalist livens up the intimate venue with a few wisecracks, they take a swift dive back into the swing and trad jazz era. And we eagerly follow.
In keeping with the alcoholic theme of the evening, a bouncy track ‘Fancy Gin’ has young and older heads around the room bopping to nostalgic beats. Pretty soon, the bassist starts scatting and the other band members’ eyes are closed while their fingers dictate the instruments. A glance around the room reveals relaxed faces, fingers drumming on tables and tapping feet.
Swanky jazzers. More giggle juice. And the night is over before we know it – back in 2014. But the twice-monthly Gin and Jazz night here remains an inviting escapism from what can sometimes seem a samey London nightlife scene.
One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London W1J 7QY
Table reservations with a minimum spend of £10.00 per person