One of the most salubrious of restaurants in the West-End of London during the Jazz Age was the Devonshire Restaurant. It opened in late 1926 but despite an excellent cuisine, impeccable service and delightful décor it faltered and only lasted until the Spring of 1928. But then it was relaunched several times and did find success as the San Marco in the 1930s.
One of the most novel and amusing cabaret acts from the Jazz Age of 1920s London was that of Fred Dixon and Girlie. Dixon and ‘his girl-friend’ danced at the New Princess Frivolities cabaret show in 1926 and thereafter on the stage in two touring shows.
The first cabaret show to be presented by Harry Foster and Major E.O. Leadlay at the Piccadilly Hotel in Piccadilly, London was called Dolly’s Revels. It was staged by Edward Dolly, the brother of the famous Dolly Sisters in February 1924 and had costumes designed by Dolly Tree.
After four successful years (1920-1924) of being one of London’s premier rendezvous for dining and dancing, the décor for the Criterion’s famous Italian Roof Garden was swept away and the room was re-decorated and became a cabaret with a show that was called Carnival Time.
The Criterion in Piccadilly Circus, was a large collection of restaurants all housed in one building. It became an iconic rendezvous in London’s nightlife and a favoured haunt of London’s high society in the Jazz Age especially the splendid Italian roof garden that dazzled audiences from 1920-1924.
Chez Henri was an intimate and popular dance club that flowered in London in the mid 1920s and became one of the favoured haunts of London’s high society in the Jazz Age.
Dancing World Magazine
A few years ago I acquired a magnificent run of 25 copies of the rare British magazine The Dancing World. It is a remarkable publication spanning the period from May 1920 to at least March 1924, and at the last check, only one copy is held by the British Library. As a result this is a truly unique find that will be invaluable to researchers of the Jazz Age. But the bigger picture is that it also sheds light on the activity of William Mitchell who created the Palais de Danse in Hammersmith and Birmingham and was also behind Rector’s Club, one of the most fashionable nights-club rendezvous in London.