Upcoming Festivals

Posted on by Lisa Hilton

Lisa will be speaking on "Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince" at the Althorp Literary Festival on Friday 12th June, and on Friday 26th June at the Chalke Valley Literary Festival.

Lisa to speak with Hallie Rubenhold at Bedtime Stories

Posted on by Lisa Hilton

Press Release JANUARY 2014 40 Winks Events


'Bedtime Story Nights' were created by the marvellous Mr Carter and have been running at 40 Winks since June 2009. They have had recommendations and rave reviews in The Evening Standard, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Observer, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Stylist, Tatler, Marie Claire, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Le Cool, Daily Candy and too many other publications to mention without sounding immodest.... although we could also tell you that they have been included in the Saturday Times list of the '60 Best Things To Do In Britain', have had several

Critics Choice awards in Time Out and even popped up in a Sunday Times Travel Magazine hot list of the 14 most amazing things to do in the world!!

Our story nights are a totally unique experience in London, bursting with genuine charm, warmth and humour. We work with a fantastic team of professional storytellers, actors and musicians, handpicked for their virtuosity by Mr Carter. They are a much loved institution and will have you squealing with delight for months to come.


With Sally Pomme Clayton and Nell Phoenix Music from Tricity Vogue on the 12
th and Tom Price- Stephens on the 13th
Two deliriously romantic nights to celebrate Valentine’s. Perfect not just for those fortunate enough to have already found love, but also for those still yearning for it and possibly in need of a bit of gentle encouragement. Come on your own, come as a couple, or come as a threesome or moresome. With two of this country’s very best storytellers as your guides, you will soon rediscover the magic and wonder of love, and be swept away in its sweet, seductive caress.


With Nell Phoenix
Music from Jessica Carmody
A night of dark deeds, betrayal and exquisite revenge with the mischievous Nell Phoenix. Have you ever been stood up on Valentines Day or suffered some other social embarrassment or humiliation? Forget forgiveness... savour the not-so-guilty pleasure of getting your own back with some illuminating and instructive tales.

April 16
With Robert Lloyd Parry and the Nunkie Theatre Company
Music from Jessica Carmody
‘A Pleasing Terror’ is a new show comprising of two stories by the illustrious M R James (not previously performed at 40 Winks).
M R James is acknowledged as the master of the English ghost story. He first performed his supernatural tales to friends at Christmas in King’s College, Cambridge. In
Canon Alberic’ s Scrap-book, a young antiquary discovers the devil in the details of an old book in a medieval town in the French Pyrenees. In The Mezzotint a ghoulish revenge is enacted within a work of art, before the helpless eyes of a museum curator. Robert Lloyd Parry’s one man show has had some amazing reviews:
Riveting... wonderful, magical storytelling. A pleasing reminder that the spoken word can be as spine-chilling as anything in the cinema.
The Daily Mail
Lloyd Parry is always absorbing, and catches the sense of

dread that gives James his originality.
The Times
Parry's beautifully modulated performance is perfectly judged to send an enjoyable chill down the spine. Metro
Remarkable. Lloyd Parry is a natural storyteller, well able to hold, amuse and frighten his audience.
The Stage
Superbly chilling!
Country Life

May 14
With Lisa Hilton and Hallie Rubenhold
Music from Tom Price-Stephens
Historians and novelists, Hallie Rubenhold and Lisa Hilton, dip into extra-marital pleasure on both sides of the Channel. From the brothels of Covent Garden to the boudoirs of Versailles, a dazzlingly decadent collection of stories from Ninon de Lenclos, who celebrated her 70th birthday with a collection of aristocratic tomboys to Lady Worlsey, England’s most notorious eighteenth century adulteress. What can latter-day lovers learn from the secrets of the chaises longues of the grandest of horizontales? Shimmy into your silk peignoir and leave your modesty at the door...

Lisa Hilton is the author of six books including The Real Queen of France, a biography of Louis XIV’s mistress Athenais de Montespan and more recently The Horror of Love, the story of English novelist Nancy Mitford’s relationship with her French lover Gaston Palewski. A

former columnist for the Erotic Review, she has also written for a variety of journals including the Spectator, the Times and the New Yorker. She regularly appears on TV as a presenter and contributor, and her last show at 40 Winks was one of our hottest tickets ever... selling out in just three hours!!
Hallie Rubenhold is the author of The Covent Garden Ladies. This true story of a notorious guidebook to Georgian London’s prostitutes grabbed hold of the public imagination and served as the inspiration for two separate art exhibitions, two television programmes and a student film. Her equally celebrated second book, Lady Worsley’s Whim; An Eighteenth Century Tale of Sex, Scandal and Divorce became BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week in November 2008. In addition to writing books, articles and reviews, Hallie regularly appears on TV as an expert contributor to documentaries. Her novel, Mistress of My Fate, the first book in a new Napoleonic era series was published in July 2011. She is currently working on the sequel, The French Lesson.


Times: We open our doors at 7.00pm, and start the performances promptly at 8.03pm. We aim to return you to reality by 10.45pm.
Tickets: A very modest £30 per head, including unusually nice Gin cocktails and some nutritious nibbles. Booking: Simply email us at Where: 40 Winks, 109 Mile End Road, London E1 4UJ Nearest tube: Stepney Green (a three minute stroll in slippers)
A dress code of elegant and

glamorous jimjams and nighties is strictly enforced by our highly trained pyjama police, but with with prizes for the most dazzling, glamorous and flirtatious, it is well worth making an effort to impress and seduce.


'Do we get to stay over at the end of the evening?' Although Mr Carter hates seeing you all leave, the answer is sadly not. 40 Winks is one of the best reviewed hotels in the world (recently voted one of the 50 essential places to visit in the world by Casa Vogue), but we are very small, accommodating just three guests, and are often booked up months ahead. At Bedtime Stories we typically have 40 guests attending, so spending the night here is not really an option. Sorry!!

'Do we have to arrive in our nightwear?' No... we appreciate the fact that most of you don't work somewhere like Agent Provocateur and have normal jobs where the wearing of a nightie or a pair of jimjams might be frowned upon, so we do helpfully provide rooms where you can change here.

'Who is Mr Carter?' Mr Carter is the owner of 40 Winks, and your host at Bedtime Story Nights. He is frequently lauded as one of the world's most influential interior designers by magazines like Architectural Digest, and has twice been shortlisted for the International Interior Designer of the Year Award. One of his most recent projects is the much raved about 'Oldich' in Moscow. He is mildly eccentric in both his manners and his dress, and was described as an 'elegant sliver of fin-de-siecle aestheticism' by the Economist's Intelligent Life a few

months ago. Please be nice to him... he is really not as intimidating as he sometimes appears.

'Is it true you charge extra for teddy bears?' Certainly not!!! Teddy bears are always welcome, but they are not permitted to consume any alcohol and are expected to be on their very best ‘bearhaviour’ throughout the evening.

'Can I come on my own?' While it is generally nicer to come with someone else, coming on your own is perfectly acceptable too. We actively encourage all our guests to mix, chat and engage, and we have a lovely team working here, so no one is going to feel uncomfortable or friendless for long.

For further information on Bedtime Stories, 40 Winks or indeed Mr Carter, please email us at

Christ Church Canterbury Lecture

Posted on by Lisa Hilton

On 29th January 2014 I will be giving a talk on fiction as part of the MA Creative Writing Programme at the University of Christ Church, Canterbury, at the Sidney Cooper Gallery.

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Standpoint Event

Posted on by Lisa Hilton

On Monday 23rd September, I will be speaking with Tibor Fischer at the second Standpoint Salon on the continued cultural significance of Europe.  


Hardys Restaurant, 52 Dorset Street, London W1