The Great Gatsby: Party Like It's 1929

The Great Gatsby movie premiere is this week, so let us help you embrace the glitz and glamour of the 1920s as we get in the mood for Baz Luhrmann's long-awaited movie

The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
(Image credit: Rex features)

The Great Gatsby movie premiere is this week, so let us help you embrace the glitz and glamour of the 1920s as we get in the mood for Baz Luhrmann's long-awaited movie

Was there a more unashamedly decadent era than the 1920s? In these mega-depressing times of triple dip recessions and bailouts what could be a better distraction than to sip on a dangerously strong afternoon cocktail or attend a lavish party?

Here's how you can get into The Great Gatsby swing of things:

1) The drink. The 21 Club in New York has created the Beautiful Fool cocktail. Inspired from a line in the novel, the Beautiful Fool, is a combination of gin, lemon juice, crème cocoa white and a splash of crème de violette. To save you from traipsing over to th Big Apple, make it yourself with the recipe below (and sip whilst listening to some jazz):

Ingredients: 44ml Greenhook Gin 22ml St. Germain 22ml chamomile syrup 22ml fresh lemon juice 14ml grapefruit juice Preparation: Place all ingredients and ice in a shaker and stir. Strain into a chilled Coupe glass. Garnish with a piece of rosemary.

2) Do the Charleston. Learn the famous dance of the 1920s in the most decadent surroundings imaginable. Claridge's has a schedule of dance classes during which you can learn authentic Charleston steps including the scarecrow, bees knees, bunny hop, fish tail and Josephine Baker. Throw on some pearls and get to it, Gatsby girls. More information

3) Jazz Age. The Candlelight Club is hosting a series of secret Great Gatsby-themed events around London. Details of each specific soiree are being kept under wraps (right up until the night before each event) but you're guaranteed a night of glamorous decadence featuring live 1920s jazz, gramophone DJs, and an impeccably dressed crowd. More information.

4) Prohibition party. Although the Roaring Twenties were the height of decadence, it was also the era that alcohol was banned in America. Discover what it would have been like by attending a Prohibition Party. Alcohol will be served in teacups and all cocktail menus will be circulated secretly inside the pages of books. The next event is in June 2013. More information.

5) Sip while you shop. Harrods will open a Twenties-themed pop-up bar to celebrate the release of The Great Gatsby. The whole overly opulent affair will kick off on Friday May 10, with a one-off evening event, during which guests will be able to enjoy live jazz music, sample an array of canapés and take part in a cocktail-making masterclass held by award-winning mixologists. To book tickets to the evening, £50, email

6) The smell of success. If Marcel waves and flapper dresses seem too much effort, why not celebrate the return of the Roaring Twenties by spritzing a little Chanel No. 5. It was the fragrance of the era. 

7) Dilly-dally at Dillenger's. Named after notorious gangster John Dillenger, this Liverpool speakeasy is hidden behind a bookcase and serves its infamous Evelyn's Fizz cocktails from teapots. Flap-tastic.

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong
(Image credit: Rex Features)

8) Jazz up your playlist. The soundtrack for The Great Gatsby movie is going to be all kinds of amazing (it's the brainchild of Jay-Z, after all) but to give you a real taste of the twenties cue up the following artists on your iPod to hear what Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan would have listened to: 

Bessie Smith - Back Water Blues (1927) Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five - I Can't Give You Anything (1929) Duke Ellington - East St. Louis Toodle-Oo (1927) 

9) Flapper fashion. The Great Gatsby has created a 1920s fashion revival. For men, Brooks Brothers is releasing a limited-edition menswear collection inspired by the costumes from the film, and for women, Tiffany & Co. has released a line of vintage-inspired treasures, some of which are seen on the big screen. For truly one-off 1920s style, it's best to scour your local vintage shop.