We received an invite to a mysterious treasure hunt from the infamous Trader Vic’s in Mayfair a few weeks ago. The Tropical-themed bar tucked away at London Hilton on Park Lane beckoned with its Polynesian cuisine, rum-laced cocktails, Latin sounds, and island decor.
As the venue celebrates its nearly 55 years of paradise invited members and press to experience its exotic atmosphere bedecked with authentic artifacts and trappings from around the world and get an introduction to its exclusive membership end members events.
We were welcomed amongst other invitees with their signature Mai Tai’s and lead to our own private bar for the night to await the rest of the party.
Once all arrived it was time for our mission. We received our instructions on the treasure hunt. In true style, our clues were presented together with a map for Hyde Park inside a glass bottle. We were randomly put together into groups and sent out in 2 minutes apart with a gong as our start signal.
The initial reservations amongst strangers quickly melted away as each clue was solved giving room to a jovial atmosphere and a sense of making new acquaintances and friends. By the time the 10 questions and the wild goose chase in search for answers through Hyde Park were completed everyone had worked up an appetite upon their return. As our group arrived as a close second we were never privy to the elusive secretive first prize.
However, we enjoyed a great night courtesy of and as an introduction to the Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Club. It is a fabulous venue for celebrations and occasions with its unique ambiance and international flair.
As two of our group have been around during what they described as the Vic’s heyday in the 60’s & 70’s we got a little insight to the culture in London and, in particular, the venue then (slightly reminiscent of studio 54) all over fabulous platters of food that continuously seemed to stream out of the kitchen.
The Trader Vic’s rich history began in 1934 when Vic “The Trader” Bergeron built a cozy little saloon on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, California called Hinky Dinks. After going to Cuba to refine his skills as a bartender and explore rums from around the world, Hinky Dinks was transformed into a tiki-bedecked tropical retreat aptly named Trader Vic’s and where he put into practice his research on rums. Ahead of his time, Vic began serving simmering plates of island-style cuisine, and Trader Vic’s quickly became one of America’s first fusion restaurant concepts.
As the popularity of Vic’s grew, Trader Vic’s expanded to internationally in 1963 at London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane followed by the Middle East in 1994 with multiple restaurant openings. Today, the Trader branches are in 17 countries across the globe.
With the festive season around the corner, it is worth snapping up its membership to receive discounts and offers.