Spoiler alert! If you are going to The Complete History of Food, do not read on. Given it is sold out (of course – how very London), however I am tipping lots of people are not able to make it and so want to read all about it.
The first room where we were diagnosed
Was it art, was it theatre, was it just a giant drinkathon? I’m still not sure – all I know was that it was truly fabulous. Bompass and Parr have taken over an amazing mansion in Belgravia for a few days and kitted out each level to represent a different period in the history of food. Standing in a darkened, wood panelled room on the ground floor we were each assessed by a white coated man. “Hmm” he said, staring at me “Calm demeanour, rosy cheeks, slim build, I think you are choleric”. My medicine was to be matched food and a cocktail from the medieval period. We entered a room filled with water, swimming with eels and walked a gang plant to enter a boat. I could almost swear the boat was rocking but perhaps that was just the effect of my rose water cocktail teamed with a white wine, caper and artichoke snack from Saf.
Gauthier’s take on Ferrero Rochers
From here we ascended slowly in a rickety lift to the rooftop and the future. Alexis Gauthier had made the nibbles, amazing balls of foie gras surrounding a port reduction and covered in crunchy almonds and gold leaf. They looked exactly like a Ferrero Rocher but tasted oh so different. This was teamed with a champagne cocktail. Then it was time for a little break from eating and drinking in the 1950’s lounge room where we watched tv and played with our “scratch and sniff” TV dinner card. For exercise we bounced into the huge inflatable stomach in the next room, at first glance it looked like a standard bouncy castle but it was actually an “inflatable installation”.
Roof top bar
Our main meal was served in Victorian times seated in a huge Iguana, reminiscent of the dinasour sculptures at Crystal Palace. Created by Bistrotheque, pink and tender duck confit was teamed with puy lentils, cubes of beetroot and a black champagne sauce, giving the classic dish a modern twist. Our duck was paired with my favourite drink of the night, a summer punch of Corvoisier with green tea, apple juice and elderflower cordial. I always did think I was perhaps born in the wrong time period.
The grand finale was the Renaissance dessert banquet complete with a model of the Gherkin building made out of biscuits and a giant rotating cake which acted as a display for what else but jelly. This was Bompass and Parr after all, there had to be jelly at some stage. It was also served with a posset of whale vomit, yes really, the posset was made from ambergris and it was delicious. The matching drink was Courvoisier XO which was a bit much by itself given I am more a cocktail sort of girl than a hard liquor lover.
Delicious, delightful, witty, boozy and just a little bit bonkers. You may still be slightly hungry when you leave, as this event is more about the drinks than the food. That doesn’t matter though, as you won’t be able to stop talking about The Complete History of Food.
The jelly and whale sperm finale
Details: Belgrave Square, Belgravia SW1X, Tube: Hyde Park Corner
Damage: £25 a ticket – pretty reasonable in my view
Gourmet Chick was a guest of Courvoisier and Bompass & Parr