Lei'd Back Sessions at Trader Vics


Photo credit: David Pearce (http://custardmag.com/) and tweet him at @CustardMag 

Ever heard of the Mai Tai? If you have then you know how great it is, if you haven't then you're doing life all wrong. Funnily enough it originated at Trader Vics on Park Lane. I genuinely had no idea - I guess I expected it to originate from some Caribbean island or something.

The Mai Tai is also synonymous with Trader Vic’s as it was created in 1944 in Oakland, California by Victor J. Bergeron, also known as Trader Vic. This world famous cocktail uses dark and light rum, fresh lime, orange curaƧao, a dash of rock candy syrup and a drop of French Orgeat. On serving it to friends from Tahiti, they exclaimed “Mai ta roa ae”, which translates as ‘out of this world, the best’ – and so, the Mai Tai was born.

We arrived and immediately are presented with Mai Tais...this is my kind of Thursday. It was genuinely the best I've ever had; fruity, smooth and tasted far too good thus resulting in drinking far too many.

Trader Vics currently are running Lei'd Back Sessions with a host of singers providing entertainment for all. This particular evening the soulful songstress Loretta Heywood, best known for her ethereal vocals with 90's electronic band Bomb The Bass, was there ready to provide us all with incredible music. 

Before Loretta Heywood took the stage - we enjoyed some cocktails and food. The bartender, who was lovely, can pick a cocktail depending on what flavours you liked. Personally preferring rum based cocktails with a sweeter taste rather than anything else he, of course, recommended the a Mango based smoothie which tasted much like the smoothies I make in the morning - either he's doing something right, or I'm doing something wrong. 

The atmosphere at the Lei'd Back Sessions on this particular Thursday was buzzing - there was a good amount of people without it being  too busy and crammed. Not to be ironic - but it really was 'lei'd back' and that suited me down the ground. You can enjoy a cocktail (or, in our case about 7) whilst having a natter and enjoying the music. 

We also enjoyed some food (created in their wood-fired ovens using natural smoke and heat) in which we had various nibbles from pork in a tangy sauce, which we cooked over a lit flame, to deep-fried calamari. It was good. After a couple of heavy meals the previous nights the light snacks were more than welcomed. 

The performance began around 8.30pm - but it's a Thursday and as I always say Thursday is the new Friday. Loretta genuinely lit up the room with her voice the moment she begun her performance - I think I speak for the whole room when I say we were immediately captivated by her. I could have listened to her for hours.

Now I am only giving you a snippet into what Lei'd Back Sessions at Trader Vics are like - and believe me I'd really recommend heading there yourselves. The third gig is on 5th May with sultry Blues singer Annie Bea, who has what some call an encyclopaedic knowledge of jazz lyrics influencing her tone and styleTickets are £10 and include a cocktail.

Trader Vic’s restaurant is open daily from 6 p.m. – 11.30 p.m.  For Trader Vic’s, call 020 7208 4113 or email tradervics.parklane@hilton.com or visit their website here: tradervicslondon.com


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