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A 1940s evening of food, cocktails & performance with The Black Market

The Black Market's Romy Alford

Enjoy a 1940s themed evening of food and entertainment this month at The Black Market burlesque show, writes Nick Mosley.

The Black Market is the brainchild of local chef and burlesque fan Romy Alford. Inspired by a love of all things 1940s and intrigued by the underground markets of WW2 where shoppers could discreetly – and illegally – obtain hard-to-find goods, the event on Saturday 17 September at The Old Market in Hove, will seamlessly combine themed food and drink with top notch performers.

“All of my entertainers are equally fabulous”, said Romy “We have a gorgeous drag queen hostess, burlesque performers, pole dancers and a few surprises in store”.

The entertainers are a mix of established professionals in the cabaret industry alongside upcoming talent.

“I value the expertise and creativity of my established performers as well as the fresh ideas and energy of my new talent. For me, sharing of experience and best practice creates really exciting opportunities to create unique and inclusive entertainment experiences, so I've also engaged performers from a diverse range of backgrounds”.

The canapés will also be prepared by Romy herself utilising many of the hand-crafted products she’s been selling at local farmers markets and online. She sources from local farmers and producers, ensuring they are both vegan and allergen-free. As well as creating tasty themed food, Romy’s overriding ethos is around sustainability and zero waste.

“In line with the 1940s theme of night I’m inspired by the UK government’s famous wartime public information campaigns, Dig for Victory and Make Do and Mend “, said Romy. “So ingredients will be seasonal and also utilise many staple ingredients”.

On the night, cocktails and mocktails will be served by Brighton’s Mixology Group utilising locally distilled liquors from G&H Spirits and South Saxon Spirits alongside wine from Bee Tree Vineyard in Ditchling.

“The dress code is vintage glamour”, said Romy. “You’ll be shown a 1940s experience and leave with unforgettable memories. Whatever happens on the night happens on the night – there isn’t anything standard about the event and it definitely won't be repeated”.

For those wanting to party on after the event itself, then an exclusive after-party will be hosted by The Plotting Parlour in Kemp Town.

Standard tickets including a welcome cocktail are £40 with VIP tables for six priced at £360. For more details visit


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