Courvoisier’s The Complete History of Food with Bompass and Parr

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.
Duck confit
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
If you liked reading this you might be interested in other gourmet events in London like Taste of London or The Real Food festival.
Gourmet Giveaway
Update – the winner of the Gourmet Giveaway for an Amazon voucher for £50 is American in London, drawn by using by virtue of being the tenth comment. Congratulations American in London!


  1. It looks fantastic and sounds great value for such an experience. Not sure I like the Victorian medical assessment, that sounds very creepy!

  2. I was desperate to go to this!!! It was all booked up though, and when it wasn’t I was at work… Gutting.
    Bompas and Parr are my heros…

  3. It was fun, wasn’t it? Although the scratch & sniff was pretty vile! I loved the Ferrero Rocher-esque nibbles and the table in the dessert room that monitored your heartbeat – inspired!

  4. I have 4 tickets for sale for Saturday 17th July at 9.00 pm –

  5. What a fascinating experience. I love the look of those rochers 🙂
    Have a fab weekend ahead.
    *kisses* HH

  6. I thought the event was very disappointing. £25 a person for a walking commercial for Courvoisier? I feel like a sucker. My boyfriend liked the foie gras but I don’t eat foie gras. The main course was a rushed very gamey duck. Lentil and beets were an afterthought. The music was kind of cheesy. I think this could have been pulled off if it wasn’t so blatantly commercialized. The show came off as a good idea poorly executed.

  7. Sarah – That was one of my favourite parts – it had a bit of theatre to it

    Lou – I really, really enjoyed it – I had missed out on getting tickets as well so was very happy to get an invite later.

    Jeanne- Yes I forgot to mention that heart beat thing it was quite freaky but fun

    Heavenly Housewife – they were very clever

    Laura – I agree there was a commercial element to it but how else would you get a ticket price of £25 for that many cocktails plus food? Good to hear a different point of view on the evening though.

  8. OMG this is just too cool, what a great experience. Love Bombas and Parrs work, they seem to have the best job doing fun things with jelly!

    Jetsetting Joyce

  9. How would they pay for it? Corporate sponsorship, which they already had. Plus, the cocktails were small tasters and most of the food was too.

  10. […] reviews (and much better pictures) from: Eat Like A Girl | Gourmet Chick | Fernandez & Leluu | Londonist | Cook Sister | the Telegraph | Domestic Sluttery { […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *