Birthday party for the Grapevine

Mine host, Louis, being captivated by Ellie Elaine


The Bling Crosbies bring it on

The most glamorous barmanTuesday May 16 saw the Grapevine celebrate its first anniversary at Conduit Hill and owner, Louis Swan celebrated his birthday as well. It was a dressing up glam affair and many obliged with some wonderful disguises of wigs, glasses, glitter and bell bottoms. It was an eclectic group of friends and regulars, the lovely thing about the bar being that there is always a friendly face or a person one knows.

Louis really pushed out the boat with free food, looking great in his outfit. He told me that the start of the Grapevine was actually two years ago, May 16, at the White Vine, in the High Street and that he moved to Conduit Hill a year ago. He said the business is going very well and people appreciate being able to go for a drink while listening to varied,  great music at the weekend. The evening entertainment by Alan du Sel and Ellie Laine as well as Mick Bolton, was excellent and they got us to sing and dance the night away.

Louis Swan with Rye News Editor in Chief Charlie Harkness
Judy Carne from the Laugh In was there (Sorry, you have to be a certain age to understand)


John Minter writes: The opportunity of seeing Rye’s finest at play was too much to miss, and certainly there was no disappointment. At 9pm the place was packed and the first impression was almost a scene from an Isherwood Berlin nightclub of the 1930’s – Joel Grey singing ‘Money makes the world go around’ would not have been out of place. An impression even more firmly in place after being served by the beautifully made up barman. 

…along with Richard Branson’s uncle
Cleo Lane also appears to have been a guest

Liza Minelli may not have been the cabaret but the irrepressible Alan du Sel and Ellie Lane certainly were – and a fine job they did, too. Non-stop energy, good voices, a varied repertoire the ‘Bling Crosbies’ lived up to their name. There may not actually have been a lot of Crosbie in that night’s music, but there was certainly plenty of bling and with Ellie shimmering and Alan being…er…well, Alan, the applause they received when they finally took a break showed their audience’s enthusiastic appreciation.

Wolfman and his bride – voted the most glam couple – apparently
The excellent Michael Bordon with (in the background) Louis on the sax

Their place was taken by Mick Bolton with his keyboard. Almost hiding in the shadow of the bar and occasionally assisted (or possibly not) by Louis himself on the sax, he was a talented musician with a very fine voice.

The customers had been told to dress up, and did they just! Depending on where you looked, there was flares and Woodstock from the 60s, to glam rock from the 80s and 90s to the Rocky Horror Show to well, just the very strange. The photos, here, sadly don’t begin to do it justice, but really all very Rye.  

Photos: John MInter

Image Credits: John Minter .



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