Have you ever been to a supper club? I'm kind of an anti-social low-life (slight exaggeration there, but mostly true), so they're not really my thing, but last week I put my anti-social tendencies aside to attend Christabel's Edible Playground with Alexandra of Where2DoWhat (and fellow American, might I add) in North London (truth? The venue was less than a 10-minute walk away from my flat. Score.).
I'm skeptical of supper clubs (ew, strangers), but after being greeted at the door by Christabel herself (who's a dead-ringer for Sienna Miller, btw) with a gorgeous glass of prosecco and purple glitter popcorn, I was sold.
We were instructed to select one item from the fancy dress chest to wear (tiara for me, obvs, and an oversized, sequinned bowtie for Alexandra) and sat down to the adorable place setting above. What's even more impressive was the fact that Christabel cooked and prepared all the food with just one oven (how is that even possible?).
The first course of Snakes 'n Ladders (cheese with chilli honey on rye toast and peppers cut into the shape of snakes) was sweet and perfect for whetting the appetite, but was nothing compared to the main course of "Build Your Own Quinoa Castle and Paint Your Own Chicken".
Yes, you read that correctly. Provided with golden buckets of pink quinoa and purple-dyed eggs, we literally dug in (with mini plastic shovels and rakes) and carefully shaped the foundations of our castles. However, taking a sneak peek at the castle-builders around me, it became quickly apparent that I was one of the few dinner guests unaccustomed to being given artistic licence over their food (that or I have no creative streak whatsoever). Before prizes could be awarded for the best castle, however, I'd already dug in - this time with my fork. Oops.
The chicken, which I ate with relish before a photo could even be snapped, was delicious and served with a chilli sauce, which we were meant to paint on with the paintbrush provided above (halfway through, I got too impatient and just ate the chicken, leaving the sauce on the side!).
But the dessert of Shortbread Jenga, Chocolate Ganache Lego, and Chocolate Mousse was ... legendary.
Doesn't that gold glitter make this dessert look like it's straight out of a fairytale? The spray-gold walnut was supposed to resemble a beetle and, though I'd sacrificed my spoon to heap dollops of the chilli sauce onto my chicken, I easily substituted a piece of shortbread for my spoon, dunking it into the chocolate mousse and not worrying too much if I got some around my mouth - this was an edible playground, after all.
Christabel's whimsical evening definitely brought out my inner child (well, that same reserved, repressed child I actually was - I couldn't bring myself to color outside the lines, for example) and was so, so much fun. When I wasn't busy ogling the children's books carefully placed around the table and (non-edible) lego pieces scattered next to my plate, I tried to take in all the magnificent colors of the food and decorations, which truly created a storybook feel.
If you're up for a similar, magical experience, why not book a place for one of Christabel's upcoming pop-ups, like the Mad Hatter's Brunch (which I've been dying to try) or the slightly more risque Cocktails 'n Crack (yes, really)? Places start at £25 and it's the perfect place to take a date or a group of friends.