007: For your eyes only – Edible Stories
Edible Stories combine a love of food with a love of literature, and their latest serving focuses on the latest of the James Bond franchise, Spectre.
The event was held in private members’ club, The Library. With its sumptuous décor and old school style (think plush carpets, burnished gold framed mirrors, a library tucked in a little nook, and a dining room spread in the bowels of the club replete with candelabras) it provided the perfect backdrop to a Bond-style evening.
The experience included a Martini reception (shaken not stirred, clearly), caviar canapes and a four course dinner. The food was good and the main was out of this world – beef which fell off your fork braised in whisky with truffled dauphinoise potatoes, courgettes and onion. Some of it wasn’t to my personal tastes (wood pigeon isn’t for everyone), and erred slightly on the side of style rather than substance – the dark chocolate ball for dessert was beautiful, but the coconut tapioca was a strange addition. But, having said that, I could tell it was great quality, just maybe not for me.
We didn’t go for the matching wines, which seemed a bit overpriced at £25.00, and got some red wine instead which more than did the job. In fact, it’s now my favourite red wine – a Chilean Merlot called Inu.
There were certain smart touches throughout. On entering, we had to have our fingerprints scanned and we were also provided with an envelope with our mission in. Inside there was also an ‘antidote’ for our palate cleanser – a tiny tube of popping candy to go along with the champagne sorbet and vodka.
There was great promise and expectation before the experience. The invitations were well thought out and encouraged you to come up with a spy name and back story. Your mission was to unearth the man behind Spectre.
This part fell slightly flat though. The Bond style nudges were few and far between – a video at the beginning explaining your mission didn’t really follow through on its intention – and occasionally felt a little strained. The voiceover at the end did make me chuckle, although I doubt that was meant to be the intention. But a disembodied voice which sounds like the guy from Saw, telling you to go back upstairs once you’d finished your coffee, didn’t quite hit the mark.
I think perhaps the issue was that there was a reliance on guests to mingle, share back stories and immerse themselves. The only interaction our party had was when someone asked my friend to take a full length pic on her phone of her friends. If you take somewhere like Secret Cinema or Gingerline, part of the reason why it works so well is because it doesn’t rely on the guests to help carry the theme. There are actors which tease it out of you and are already immersed in the tale. If this experience looked to include this, I think it would really improve it.
All in all, this was a smart experience which you could tell had had a lot of thought put into it and I’m reluctant to slam something which clearly reflected a good deal of effort. The food was clever and very good quality, if pitching slightly more towards style than substance. Did it translate into a mission fit for a Bond fan though? Sadly not.
- Tickets are available on Design My NightImage attribution: Me, unfortunately.