Accompanied by the sound of shining jazz trumpets, a plinekty-plunkety piano and a dumpety-double bass, you may have heard it sung that, it ‘don’t mean a thing, if you ain’t got that swing.’ We couldn’t agree more, which is why we hotfooted it down to legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, in London’s Soho once we had heard about the Sunday Jazz Lunch hosting a special menu for the under-12’s: the perfect way to introduce children to classic, toe-tapping jazzy sounds, accompanied by a five-star Sunday roast – could there be a tastier sounding combination?
Why we went:
Ronnie Scott’s has been putting on the best jazz acts since saxophonist, Ronnie, opened it in 1959. The stage has hosted some of the biggest names in the business, including Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Van Morrison, as well as modern musical maestros such as, Katie Melua and Jamie Cullum. The club was extensively refurbished in 2006 and opened its doors three years ago to welcome families for a Sunday lunch, filled with delicious and decadent food and music.
We had heard plenty about the cosy décor and cool credentials to expect at Ronnie Scott’s. Although one of the hottest tickets in town for an evening’s entertainment, it suits a family Sunday roast just as well, thanks to the relaxed atmosphere and fun, show-stopping entertainment. The seating is arranged in a well in front of the stage, around the edge of the well and in tiers on the sides. The tiered tables are in rows and have cute, red glowing lamps, which create the intimate and effortlessly cool retro feel.
After being seated efficiently by the polite staff we were instantly entertained simply by the authentic New York-style feel and unusual way we were spending our Sunday lunch. Our lunchtime jazz band was Jivin’ Miss Daisy, featuring Anjali Perin on vocals; whose 14-month-old daughter, we noticed, was watching, transfixed, in the audience. The show was loud, bright and infectious. Conversation was kept to a minimum, as we were all distracted by the personality-packed performance, which included lots of familiar numbers such as, Get Happy and Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. This jazz band has made rhythm their business and we loved watching the audience enjoying the show as much as we were, teaching children about their favourite numbers, tapping toes and snapping fingers along to the tunes.
What we ate:
We chose from a comprehensive three-course Sunday roast lunch menu, including classic corn-fed chicken, Yorkshire pudding and Herefordshire lamb options, with extra special mains including the ultimate Châteaubriand for two people, or Cornish Sea Trout and wasabi sauce, both served with roast potatoes and rainbow vegetables. The starter arrived before the music started up and continued to be served throughout the set, making for a wonderfully lengthy and entertaining lunch.
Why we would go back:
It was an unusual way for us to spend our Sunday lunch, and when it was a little disorientating to leave blinking into the sun, our tummies were filled to the brim with delicious dinner and our heads were ringing with those catchy jazz tunes. Our verdict: this is one of those ‘must-do’ London experiences to be enjoyed with the whole family. Who knows, you might end up with the next Jamie Cullum on your hands.
Sunday Jazz Lunch tickets cost from around £12, excluding lunch.
For more details and to book, visit Ronnie Scott's online or call the box office: 0207 439 0747
Doors open at 12pm, lunch and entertainment on from 1pm to 3pm.
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