Jan 19, 2013

Lolita Blog Carnival: If I had my own Lolita Café

I nearly missed out on this weeks theme, but once I saw the topic, I knew I had to participate! This weeks prompt: your own lolita theme café. Opening my own café and lounge is something I think about often because my mister is actually in the process of opening a gourmet mobile food truck! Right now my house is filled with test menus and all sorts of business start up books and thinking about the restaurant business is always on our minds.

"Les Lounge des Sel"

Screencap from Japanese thriller "Goth" (2010). I absolutely adore the set design in this film. This cafe caters to people of dark persuasions, and is central to the plot of the movie!

Ambiance and Decor: 

My café would definitely have an old-fashioned, gothic feel, alá the aesthetic of Carnivale Salt! For the interiors, I would choose a dark hardwood with dramatic moulding, Victorian or Art Deco inspired wallpaper, perhaps with a treatment to fake the appearance of age, and salvaged antique furniture. Patrons could eat at vintage sewing machine tables, adorned with lace doilies and dripping candles, and have tea on pretty vintage china. Collections of oddities would line the walls, and I would have a collection of used books for patrons to relax with and read. My dream space would include an open area that could be used for art shows, live music and entertainment, and doubling as a seating area for private parties (maybe lolita tea parties). Ideally, the cafe would be set up as a quiet coffee-shop / tea house during the day, and then open up as a classy cocktail lounge in the evening. Entertainment could range from burlesque shows, to tarot readings, to fashion shows and fortune tellers!

My cafe would definately have a library / bookshop element, where you could come and be among old books and study or read. Lace curtains are always a nostalgic touch. The ambiance of the space would definitely give a nod to the decor of Grimoire, with lots of antiques and creepy touches. A functional spice wall would separate the kitchen from the dining space, giving a apothecary-like feel. Patrons could dine or enjoy their beverages at antique sewing machine tables.....

Menu:
Aren't these sugar skulls for your tea to die for?! (Excuse my terrible pun).
Available for a very reasonable price at DEMBONES Sugar Skulls Etsy Shop
What would we serve at Le Lounge Des Sel? Tea of course! I would pride myself on having the widest variety of artisan teas and coffees to sample, as well as offering hand-crafted tea and coffee drinks like lattes and espresso. Served of course in pretty antique tea cups!

Weheartit.com has a million pictures of tea pouring into teacups...
As far as food items, my cafe would be a melding of English tea house and rustic French bistro. I would love to offer a traditional cream tea, and formal tea service, in addition to an alá carte small plates menu, specializing in savory charcuterie, artisan cheeses, savory pies, and French traditional inspired cooking. I think it would be interesting of offering a savory cocktail-munchies service, served on a three-tier tea service tray, to accompany cocktails in the evening. 

We'd have a stunning charcuterie of ethically-raised artisan meats, and delectable cheeses. 
In the evening, the cafe would open up into a relaxed but vibrant cocktail salon. Not too crazy, but a perfect haven for like-minded individuals to see and be seen. Naturally, we would want to showcase a menu of (tea-inspired?) craft cocktails and fine spirits. And of course, absinthe with all the ritual! 
I would love to have fancy absinthe fountains and filters for the proper absinthe experience. This photo is from the Albright Restaurant and Absinthe House in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. 
  I don't usually talk about food on my blog, but I am a huge foodie and love to cook and bake. My boyfriend and I are vegan-leaning vegetarians (even though I appreciate some fine cheeses and charcuterie), so my cafe would definitely have plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, and everything would be ethically sourced.

I struggled with whether or not I wanted to create a coordinate for what the waitstaff would wear, and played around with different lolita coordinates, and even toyed with the idea of having the waitresses wear full Victorian maid uniform ala Downton Abbey, but really nothing seemed right. I would prefer for the venue to speak for itself and let the guests do the dressing up! I'd also want the cafe to appeal to a larger audience.... book worms, mori girls, hipsters, goths, eclectic professionals, foodies, club kids, fashionistas. I don't want it to be limited to only lolitas! I feel that the dark romantic aesthetic really goes beyond gothic lolita, and I would definitely want this cafe to reflect that.

All in all, I really want people of all kinds who
appreciate the old and the spooky to enjoy themselves at my cafe!
This was such a fun prompt! I can't wait to read all the posts from the blogs who participated! 
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