Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Culture: Seduced by Tasteful but Permissive Night; French Maids and Chocolate Tart Feature as Jule Wilson Samples the Burlesque Cabaret Scene

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Culture: Seduced by Tasteful but Permissive Night; French Maids and Chocolate Tart Feature as Jule Wilson Samples the Burlesque Cabaret Scene

Article excerpt

IF you think cabaret belongs only on cruise ships out at sea, prepare to be proved wrong.

Club Boudoir and As You Like It, which bills itself as Newcastle's only cabaret lounge, offers a different kind of evening promising relaxation and indulgence.

My partner and I - neither of us a cabaret-style entertainment fan - arrived in a bit of a rush after a hectic week and, in an instant, the weekend wind-down began.

As You Like It is a hidden gem in the middle of a concrete jungle.

It is spacious enough to have a private evening, but on this occasion it was crammed with groups ready to make the most of the sold-out dinner and show combo. As we sipped our wine upstairs in the main bar, the setting seemed opulent yet lived in.

Although I wasn't dressed to the nines, having arrived straight from the office, I didn't feel out of place.

We weren't rushed to our table downstairs, where we were to be served one of the tastiest three-course meals I have had in some time. In fact, the evening's pace was gentle.

As we took our seats in an unpretentious room, the performers were casually preparing for the evening's show. We settled into a bottle of Cava and our gorgeous starters (tiger prawn cocktail for him, feta cheese and cous cous salad with asparagus and a sweet chilli drizzle for me).

The lights dimmed as the crockery was cleared and our compere, complete with French accent, introduced us to old-time Paris in the centre of modern-day Newcastle.

The acts that followed in the first section varied enormously, with tongue-in-cheek humour blended with Benny Hill-style silliness and downright sultriness to rival an Ann Summers party. The striptease was traditional enough to be tasteful, but given a modern twist in its upbeat delivery and up-to-the-minute permissiveness, and we were then given a breather to enjoy our main courses.

My partner enjoyed a Toulouse sausage and mash while I opted for a fillet of salmon suspended in a Teriyaki broth. …

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