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Dolls Night Out

The Barbican with Viva Cake

Written by Dearbhaile Kitt

On the most part dolls are fairly likeable. Admittedly, some have been given a slightly sinister reputation, thanks mostly to Chucky. But, what can’t be argued with is how likeable tea is. And when served with cake the likeability factor goes off the scale. Last Thursday, as part of the ongoing retrospective of Viktor and Rolf, the Barbican with Viva Cake had a tea party celebrating these three joys.


Getting off the tube we played ‘Guess Who’s Going’, made a lot easier but the many takes on doll costumes tottering towards the Barbican. Following a toy soldier (there were a handful of guys in attendance) into the Garden Room, I felt like I had been catapulted back to the forties. The room, decked out by the Viva Cakes girls, was reminiscent of the mad-hatters tea party mixed with Gran’s best china. Even Alice (one girl had a costume inspired by the hallucinating blonde) was in attendance, but disappointingly no actual mad-hatter.

Alice and friends

It had been a long week of events for Team Amelia’s and the promise of tea had kept my stamina up to enjoy another event. But here I was at a tea party with no tea and no cake! Made worse by watching others tucking into the treats, whilst also seated. Jealously, I tore my eyes away from all the happy tea diners. What to do? Not having been too many tea parties I was unsure of the etiquette. Was I allowed to march on over to a table and nab a cake or did I have to wait it out?

A few boys enjoy cards and tea
Cake! Tea!

Whilst pondering this potential faux-pas, relief came in the form of a trolley (dolly) piled high with cakes, oozing with cream, glowing from pink food colouring, devil flavoured, butter creamed and fruit topped. I tried to act the lady by not throwing myself at the cakes, after all this was a tea party, and daintliy picked up two delicious looking cupcakes. Then has luck would have more stools were brought out and we skipped (like I said acting like ladies) on over. Now if only the tea would arrive, we would have a tea party on our hands!

Getting dolled up.

We passed the time, spotting the doll costumes we liked the most and watching others having doll cheek make-up applied. Emma wandered over to the Lady Luck Rules Ok! little stall to buy a Russian doll personalised necklace for her friend who is obsessed with Russian Dolls as a birthday present. We all cooed over the necklace, which was a distraction from the wanting of tea. But oh, there is only so much waiting you can stand! Two hours is too long to wait for the promise of a cuppa. So, with the band playing we made our way out tea-less and dishevelled, as more dolled up ladies and a few gents made their way in.

More dolls

I’ve heard really good things about Viva Cake tea parties, so I don’t want to be mean and I was told, there was a shortage of tea cups hence the tea hold up. But not having a cup of tea at a tea party is a bit of a let down. I mean, what are you supposed to do at tea party with no tea? Next time I’ll bring my own cup.

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5 Responses to “Dolls Night Out”

  1. Top Bird says:

    Ahhh, tea and cake and dress-ups, what fun. You all look amazing. My kinda party. xx

  2. Nigel Valentyne says:

    Try and write a proper review for once. From all your posts it seems that you like to ignore acts/musicians/art/designers etc for the sake of moaning about not getting a seat to something, not getting a cup of tea, not being able to see over crowd’s heads. Just arrive early and do your job:review arts and events

  3. Emma Hamshare says:

    This event actually contained no artwork to review, it was simply a tea party, that we were really looking forward to going to. I think it was a fair part of the review to mention that we didn’t get any tea.

  4. This looks like an amazing night! I am the girl with the russian doll obsession and that darn necklace is the BEST thing since sliced bread, lovely leona lady luck is a giant clever, and you are all brilliants for sharing my animation – thankyou!! Lets drink tea eat cake real soon, hoorah xxx

  5. Vanessa says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the post above. The two V&R event write-ups have been pointless descriptions of events being too packed. “Arrive early to avoid disappointment”- it’s written everywhere, no? I’d much rather read a review of what actually took place…

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