After roaming around Camden looking for the legendary Basement tea rooms, we had began to lose hope, however after going down the main staircase in the stables market, past the giant horses head, we found signs for the toilets and the tearooms! Maid’s of England 1st Birthday event was not a figment of my imagination. Amongst the vintage books and clothing we spotted a blue maid holding a sign and guiding other lost patrons.
We had the pleasure of being served by Maid Rini, Miyuu, Momoko, Ren, Dhee –Dhee, Butler Kouhei and Shen. All patrons were explained the strict rules before enjoying their MOE experience: no touching of the maids/butlers, no photography and no personal questions. The personal questions point struck me the most and I went ahead and asked someone who turned out to be a maid in training, Maid Hikari. Trainee maid Hikari explained each maid/butler had their own character profile they create and become when dressed up. Even their names were linked to their character, Hikari’s real name meant ‘light’ and she then assumed the Japanese translation of light as her maid name. They are always looking for new recruits so if you eat and breathe kawii, cosplay & cake have a look on their Facebook page (link at bottom of article).
Apart from serving mouth watering cake and playing games with customers (witnessed a grueling Jenga match with Maid Ren & Patron Vinnie who lost and punishment was to have a cat face drawn on his face) in bigger venues the maids and butlers often did
choreographed dance routines and sung. Since their clientele were mostly young teens and mostly anime fans, Camden seemed the most appropriate venue this time around to entertain patrons with its retro Victorian feel fitting perfectly with the maid theme. It was also nice to see familiar faces, regular customers returned to visit their favourite maids & butlers, even John a patron sitting on the same table had paid for two slots as he was having so much fun.
Also if you had suggestions or wanted to continue talking to the maids and butlers, you could add them to your Facebook friends list, Maid Dhee Dhee explained their characters were full time and even if the café events were seasonal and that Kohei had received a request to do more Kpop inspired routines so for Big Bang fans out there he’s working on ‘Fantastic Baby’.
For £10 you had guaranteed entry to a timeslot (of your choice upon booking online) and you received cake/sandwiches with tea/coffee. In commemoration of the 1st year anniversary they gave a free chekki (a polaroid photo with maids/butlers) and a free game with a maid or butler of choice. An interesting Japanese concept that MOE have adapted slightly for a Western audience. It was a sellout event with very satisfied customers.
For more details or to follow your favourite maids and Butlers please follow their face book page: http://www.facebook.com/maidsofengland
Photographs taken by Anty Quin.