Go to a slumber party in London — Photo courtesy of MadEmoiselle Sugar
London has always been innovative in the things that are on offer for the discerning tourist. And now the interior designer and fashionista David Carter has created the perfect mix of old and new in London, offering monthly slumber parties in his beautiful four-story Queen Anne townhouse in East London. 40 Winks is his own home and a beautiful space which has created acres of column inches.
The house itself is the kind of place to create its own stories and sweet dreams. All year round, it functions as a tiny bijoux hotel with just two rooms, beautifully appointed and perfectly dressed. Staying over after the slumber party might be a little more difficult precisely because of the supply and demand, but it's worth trying to book way ahead.
Even if you can't stay over, you will be so seriously relaxed after an evening at 40 Winks, chillaxing in your best silky pajamas or boudoir gear that it won't really matter where you sleep, that is, as long as you can recreate those elegant surroundings when you get back home.
Forty Winks was created to let people mostly in the fashion and art worlds stay over in a home away from home when they are in London, and that's exactly what the slumber party also creates.
The house itself is just a few steps away from Stepney Green Tube, which is on the District and Hammersmith and City lines, both of which will take you in to Central London and way out west to Chelsea, and Fulham. Stepney Green is also one stop away from the Central line, which is the fastest way to cross London east to west.
You're also near enough to walk to trendy East London areas like Brick Lane, Bethnal Green and Victoria Park, through the gritty, the picturesque, the old and the new communities who jostle in this part of the city.
Opium den meets Paris boudoir at 40 Winks — Photo courtesy of Paris on Ponce & Le Maison
But back to the slumber parties . . . Attendees report an attractive and fashionably dressed crowd, but despite the beauty and the glamour, this is not about sauciness but about bedtime stories. The interiors create an atmosphere of make-believe and magic, and then pull you back to that very British tradition of nostalgia and a delight in the bedtime stories your mother or father may have read to you.
But this time, the evenings are themed, and the storytellers are people like Katrice Horsley, who is just the second storytelling laureate that Britain has ever had. To honor her winning this prize, she was given a one-kilogram bag of dried beans, a simple compass, a packet of love hearts, a clear glass bottle, a tall white candle, a silver lucky charm bracelet and a whistle, which sounds just about like the perfect ingredients for a fine story.
When guests enter 40 Winks for their evening of bedtime stories, an evening that will incidentally set you back 30 British pounds, they will be asked to remove their shoes, put on their slippers and slip into something more comfortable - not novelty nightwear in the fluffy, cutesy sense, but lace, suspenders and the kind of courtesan gear that a woman might wear in a Matisse painting or lounge about in if a part of the book Memoirs of a Geisha.
Once dressed appropriately, you will be plied with gin cocktails and finger foods. You can sit back, relax and travel back in time to a more decadent, sexy and slumbering London. Shh. Sweet dreams.