Tart at 40 Winks is basically playtime for grown women (with added gin and lipstick). Hosted by David Carter (the owner of 40 Winks), Naomi Thompson from Vintage Secret and 40s fashion expert Fleur de Guerre, it's a fusion of all things fabulous. There's lots of lovely things to eat, drink, try on and do - you couldn't ask for a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
So, what exactly happens at Tart? Once you step through the doors of 40 Winks (and stop gawping at the incredible interiors) you'll have to take off your shoes and put on the slippers provided. No, they might not match your floral print tea dress but it stops the lovely carpets from getting mucky.
Next we go down to the kitchen, where sweet treats are provided by Vintage Patisserie. Thirsty? There's tea of course, and pitchers of gin punch which looked delicious. Having had one too many lemonades (*ahem*) the night before, I stuck to the elderflower cordial. I can also confirm that the salmon sandwiches are a fantastic snack for hungover tummies.
Next up: makeovers! Just like when you're 12 at a sleepover, except it's the lovely (and skilled) ladies from Benefit Cosmetics doing your face and not your best friend. Lipstick & Curls are also on hand to transform hair into styles worthy of any '50s movie star.
A whole rail of dresses and suitcase full of gloves are provided courtesy of Vintage Secret, just in case you fancy a change of outfit during the day. Sounds odd, but trust me - you'll want a new dress to match your hair and face.
At this point you'll be slightly tipsy and looking fabulous. In other words, the perfect mood for trying on expensive sparkles and pretty hats. Tart plays host to a number of up and coming fashion and jewellery boutiques like Ugly Lovely, who brought a selection of fascinators and felt hats for us to play with. I also oohed and aahed over reworked vintage jewellery from Seraglia:
It's not every day you get to pose with proper jewels. I tried on the big sparkly blue topaz modelled below. And I may have twirled my skirt too.
But Tart is more than just trying on gorgeous trinkets, fun as it is. We were given cocktail-making master-classes, whilst Fleur de Guerre told us exactly how to perfect the '40s fashion look using the conveniences of modern technology. See? Tart is practically an educational experience. And if all that isn't enough to keep you occupied, there's a fortune teller and masseuse on hand too.
I love that you leave Tart feeling (and looking) a million times better than when you entered. Despite the £80 per head cost, Tart events always sell out. So if you're lucky enough to get a ticket, dig out your prettiest dress and look forward to spending an entire afternoon being unashamedly girly.
The next Tart at 40 Winks is on 17th April. Email [email protected] for bookings and make sure you get on their mailing list for upcoming events.