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Friday 6 August 2010

The Jacques Townhouse

I've been simply dying to go to the 40 Winks hotel every since Alex S told me about it a few months back. So, offered a chance to attend an event linked to the hotel's owner, David Carter, I literally jumped, clapped my hands and squealed loudly.

Intended to promote the 'vibrant blend of style and fruit' of their drink, Jacques cider have taken over a plush address in London and, with the help of people like David, have transformed it into the Jacques Townhouse. The few lucky enough to gain places and get through its doors were granted a joyous 90 minutes of girly heaven.

We were welcomed by costumed staff as we walked through the fruit-bedecked entrance, giving a tantalizing taste of what was to follow. Directed to the 'reception', everyone was handed a cute floorplan that was printed onto fabric and a key to the bar, basically the means of snaffling the free drinks. Then we were left free to run loose.

The house was absolutely beautiful, decorated with an amazing attention to detail for something that's only temporary. Beautiful net pompoms hung down the staircase while a table groaned under the weight of magnificent cakes. There was an indoor picnic area for visitors to relax in, shown below, which was done up like a magical garden, with teacups hanging from the trees, rabbit lights, a model deer and even a wonderful man turning a gramophone.

As well as the chance to simply savour such an enchanting setting, there were various activities on offer too, such as tarot readings. While I'm pleased to report that I had a very optimistic reading, my friend was more than slightly alarmed to be told she would be having a baby within the year! To comfort her we headed to more rooms downstairs. Though sadly we were too late to get false eyelashes fitted by Benefit in the make-up area, we did get to play dress-up in a vintage room, before posing amidst props for our own photograph (you can check out the results here - extra points if you can spot the Domestic Slut). Possibly the most fun I've had since I was last let loose on a dressing-up box.

And what of the cider this was all designed to promote? There's two flavours available. I plumped for the Fruits des Bois, over the Orchard Fruits flavour. Including the flavours of raspberries, blackcurrant and cherries, it was a suitably girlie pink colour. I loved my first glass, perfectly refreshing. I liked my second glass but I couldn't have drunk a third: by then I wanted to taste something a little less sweet. Yet another good reason to take your drinks in moderation.

If I have one small criticism of the event, it's that it was slightly over-crowded. Queuing is never so fun, even with a free glass of pink cider in your hand. However, if it meant more girls got to experience this slice of glamour on a grey London day, who I am to begrudge it? The Jacques Townhouse experience left me elated, and not just because the goodie bag contained a copy of Grazia and another bottle of drink for the way home..

The Jacques Townhouse sadly closes its doors today. Check their Facebook page for more information and photographs.

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