The reputation of 40 Winks is high. The Saturday Times voted it one of the top 60 things to do in the world, whereas the Sunday Times Travel Magazine went one better and made it one of the 14 most amazing things to do in the world! Was an evening in a strange yet unassuming house dressed in my night gown, feasting on an array of homemade nibbles and sipping gin in teacups the best thing to do on a miserable evening in Stepney Green on my first single Valentine’s? Bed Time Stories was about to be discovered.
David Carter’s house is like the man himself – eccentric, quixotic and strangely charming. A combination of the simple things in life, stories, drinks and friends, but delivered with such style and aplomb is what makes Bed Time Stories such an institution. That beautiful boudoir balance between naughty and nice, sensual and sexy, hangs over the building like a delicious perfume, and squeals of delight rung from all the small corners as attendees discovered a new and delightful distraction.
This evening was all about Lust, Love & Longing; sexy stories were delivered by the lovely Cat Weatherill, her hands and face lighting up the words, and Sally Pomme Clayton decorated her detailed telling of the story of Eros with instruments from around the world. Songs from Maud Maudlin should, and could, have been a perfect Parisian dollop of amour to the evening, but that she had to bring and operate her own cd player, somewhat dampened the magic.
If anything, what Bed Time Stories managed to convey is what libraries and authorities and people are worrying is declining. The simple, age old delight in delivering a story and communicating a message is something that will never be lost, and it’s nice to be reminded of that in such glamorous surroundings. Whimsical and intoxicating, both in ambience and liquor levels, this was the kind of dreamy bedtime that sent us all into a delighted slumber. Which is what the perfect evening should be like.