Occasionally things just come together. In a number of ways. But I reckon it’s all about the timing. It might be the arrival of a paycheck coinciding with a hefty household bill. A huge downpour to clean a fly-morgue windowscreen. Or a casserole lacking a crucial ingredient yet tasting even better. I think you catch my drift.
Anyway, last night was a brilliant example of a ‘coming together’. On the eve of His birthday, we were invited to experience the first night of London’s latest pop-ups, Kitchen Party, a collaboration of temporary dining experiences. All under one roof.
Housed in a not-quite-derelict three-floored building just off Exmouth Market, this blank canvas will be the backdrop for chefs, culinary entrepreneurs and gastronomic fanatics to show off their talent – for the next 4 months.
Skipping off to Clerkenwell with excitement, I found Him sipping an Old Fashioned in an eccentric 1920s living-room-cum-cocktail-bar. Known as The Fourth Wall, this is a roaming bar concept from the team at Bourne & Hollingsworth. And after a couple, we moved in a spirit-haze into the critically acclaimed Blanch & Shock for some food design. It was the right option for a birthday/date night but, glancing over my shoulder at Rack & Ruin, the communal open grill, and The Robin Collective, holding a garnishing workshop, they both looked like an awful lot of fun.
Four courses of art-on-plates rolled out in front of us. Curious combinations, googled ingredients and the freshest homemade bread and butter I think I have ever tasted. And the best bit is that you’re not really in a restaurant at all. Who would want to eat in a boring, old restaurant?
So – a thoroughly entertaining evening – all curated by the tall, ginger man behind Bourne & Hollingsworth. But it’s not just an installation. It’s a genius demonstration of what they (the foodies) call ‘fully immersive drinking and dining’. And it’s about the timing too. The London food scene needs a shot of energy and creative juice at the moment. And this, my lovies, is it.
Kitchen Party 42 Northampton Road, EC1 020 3174 1156