Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Christmas At The Criterion

As I said in my previous post I was out and about in London this weekend. The occasion was the Adam and Eve Christmas meal, at the Criterion restaurant in Piccadilly. I have a real soft-spot for Adam and Eve; the dressing service has had a major impact on my life, providing me with the impetus to come out to my wife, and helping introduce my wife to the 'other woman' when we had got through the difficult early stages. I promised myself that I'd attend one of the events they organised, and the Christmas meal seemed just right.

The plan was to get ready at A&E, taxi to the Criterion, eat, taxi back to A&E, possibly do some cocktails over the road and then head to the Way Out Club for the rest of the evening. To this end I booked up an hotel room at the Chamberlain around the corner from the Way Out; not cheap, but comfortable and very pleasant.

This arrangement presented an interesting logistical exercise. I was going to get dressed at A&E, but finish the night at the hotel, travelling back to A&E the following morning in order to pick up the things I had left there. To this end I had to go to A&E, drop of my frocks and femme stuff, then walk over to the Chamberlain, check in, and drop off a complete set of bloke clothes ready for the next morning, plus my toothbrush and all my make-up removal stuff. Then back to A&E to actually get ready.

There were seven of us, all told; myself, Jo, Christine, Helen, Jackie, Stevie and (of course) Josie. I had met Christine and Helen before, but only in bloke mode; the others (aside from Josie) were new to me apart from in photos. Getting trannies ready for a night out is like herding cats, but we just about managed to get ourselves presentable in time for the taxis, and got to to the restaurant just in time, despite the best efforts of London traffic to prevent us.

The meal and the restaurant were fantastic, and the conversation very pleasant. We got plenty of opportunity to parade ourselves in public, including getting pictures taken in Piccadilly. I have to admit it; part of the fun of being a tranny is being out and being seen. If that makes me a bit shallow, then so be it; I'm a bit shallow.

The meal finished we taxied back to A&E, where most of us changed for the next part of the evening; cocktails. It was at this point that the others decided, for various reasons, that the Way Out was probably an event too far. This left me in a tricky position; I had booked my hotel on the assumption that a group of us were going to the Way Out. Now I was in the situation of being all dressed up, but with no-one to go with. Those who know me in bloke-mode will know that I'm not really a club kind of person, but I had set my heart on trying out this tranny venue, and decided that if I had to do it on my own, I would.

So I did. After a few cocktails with the other girls, I took a taxi to the Way Out; the first time I had used 'public' transport alone as Rachel. The driver knew of the club, and didn't seem fazed by having me in his vehicle (they see all sorts, I'm sure), but was surprised that I was all dressed up and not on the pull. He seemed to think that we (as in trannies) all just dressed because it made us horny (as he put it). I hope I modified his views a little in that respect; he was certainly surprised that I was there with my wife's full knowledge and approval.

The club was all I expected it to be, and I had a great time, despite being on my own. This surprised me; as I say, I'm not a 'club person', but I was intent on enjoying myself, and parading Rachel to the world, and made sure I did. After an initial drink I stepped out onto the dance-floor and, apart from short breaks for drinks and a longer break for the cabaret ('The Wizard of Oz', as a pantomime), I stayed there all night. Dance, dance, dance; that's pretty much all I did. I did manage to chat to a few people - the Way Out is a friendly place - and had two men make advances to me, which I dealt with by polite refusal. Polite, because even though I'm straight it's always flattering to be thought worth chatting up. Does that make me even more shallow? Perhaps. I don't care.

Half past three, I decided to call it a night, and headed back to the hotel. After a few photos (you have to, and I hadn't had an opportunity at the WOC) I stripped off the slap, and went to bed. Where I discovered that the Red Bull I'd had earlier wasn't going to let me sleep.

Later that morning: After a couple of hours' sleep I gave in and did breakfast, before checking out and heading to A&E to pick up my stuff. Went home. Uploaded photos. Fell asleep. Properly, this time.

And that was my weekend. Thank you to Josie for organising the meal, and to the other girls for being great company. I'd certainly love to meet up again some time.

From my point of view I learned a few things:

(i) It is possible to walk into Fairy Goth Mother, various markets and a shop chock-full of vintage clothing and accessories, with money in your pocket, and not buy anything. I know; I did it. I was amazed.

(ii) When leaving a set of bloke clothes at an hotel, don't get so wrapped up in making sure you have pants and socks that you forget that you need a belt for your trousers. Unless (as I was lucky enough to discover) the trousers will just about stay up without one.

(iii) Rachel is far bolder than the my Bloke Self (I must find a name for my Bloke self, aside from the traditional Bob. Or my real name. Although some of you know that anyway. Sorry. Digressing). My Bloke Self (whatever his name is) would have baulked at the idea of doing a late-night taxi across London, and walking into a club on his own, then spending the evening there enjoying himself. As Rachel I happily did so. She worries me, sometimes.


My WOC Frock:

Posing On The BedBack From The Way Out

Outside the Criterion

Posing By Eros

Inside The Criterion

Evening Dress


Penny M said...

It sounds absolutely great Rachel!!! For a fraction of a second I ready A&E as the other sort, (doh).

Becky Storm said...

Must admit when I saw A&E I thought "why would she want to get ready at hospital?"

>It is possible to walk into Fairy Goth Mother...and not buy anything.

Only because the prices there are so expensive... but the clothes are gorgeous!

Sounds like a great night out :)