Roaring Twenties

A New Year Party The Great Gatsby would have been proud to host Looking for a great way to celebrate New Year?  Then book some of the few remaining places at our Roaring Twenties themed supper and ball.

But what were the Roaring Twenties?  In this post we give you a few quick pointers and some interesting insights.  They’ll help you get into the spirit of the evening as well as give you a few facts with which to impress your friends and loved ones!

Your great great grandmother knew how to party

The Roaring Twenties, as the name suggests, refers to the decade of the 1920’s.  But why were they roaring?  Primarily because, for many, these were years of great prosperity.  The US and Western European economies were rebounding from the First World War and a lot of people were doing extremely well for themselves.  It all went a bit pear-shaped with the Great Depression of the 1930’s, then we had the Second World War, but the preceding period was a very happy one for many, especially in cities such as New York, Montreal, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin and London.

The novel “The Great Gatsby”, published in 1925, captures the spirit of the age.  Although it ultimately ends in tears, and has been described as a "cautionary tale of the decadent downside of the American dream", it does show what a great time was had by some.  If you can’t be bothered to read the book watch the movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role – he certainly knew how to put on a good party and we’ll be taking our inspiration from him on New Year’s Eve!

All that jazz

Well, first of all, jazz was all the rage, with stars such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton.  Urban and city blues also became popular with performers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey.  So, if you join us for New Year, you can expect to be entertained with classic tunes like “Ain’t misbehavin’”, “What a Wonderful World” and "Baby Won't You Please Come Home".

Get the drinks in

Then, in the states, it was the era of Prohibition – from 1920 to 1933 the manufacture, import and sale of beer, wine and hard liquor was illegal.  This just drove drinking underground, into illegal bars and clubs known as speakeasies.  These were operated by organised criminal gangs, or gangsters – this was the era of Lucky LucianoAl Capone, Bugs MoranMoe Dalitz and the like.  The Great Gatsby himself, we discover at the close, is a bootlegger.  In best speakeasy style the liquor will be flowing freely at Clevedon Hall on the 31st of December!

Where Strictly started

Dance clubs, and dance music became enormously popular in the 1920s with dance music dominate all forms of popular music by the late 1920s.   The foxtrotwaltz, and American tango led the way, along with a variety of eccentric novelty dances such as the Breakaway and Charleston.  With this in mind we’ll have a live band for you on New Year’s Eve, so you can start 2017 with a real swing.

Girls behaving badly

The 1920’s, coming off the back of the Great War, was a period of huge change.  The inhibitions of the Victorian era were finally cast aside, the younger generation took an “anything goes” attitude and women became considerably more liberated.  A host of young, rebellious, middle-class young ladies, labelled 'flappers' by older generations, burst onto the social scene.

Flappers did away with corsets and donned slinky knee-length dresses, which exposed their legs and arms.  They cut their hair short in chin-length bobs and started to wear cosmetics.  They were high spirited, flirtatious and recklessness when it came to their search for fun.  They drank, smoked, drove cars, took a casual attitude to sex and generally delighted in flouting convention.  The contemporary writer Dorothy Parker, something of an expert in bad behaviour herself, penned an “Ode to a Flapper” that described this creature thus:

“She’s not what Grandma used to be, — You might say, au contraire.”

She also once remarked “If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised".  Queen Victoria, who passed away just a generation earlier, would not have been amused!

Don’t miss the fun

There are still a few tickets to be had, and a few rooms available if you don’t want to head home.  For further details and to book just click here.   Then all you have to do is get your outfit sorted and then roll up for a Great Gatsby of a party!