Remember my experience at Gingerline last year? That was amazing. Ever since the middle of 2015, there seems to have been a wash of new pop ups, speakeasys (e.g. Cahoots), supper clubs and other amazing dining experiences.
One site trying to capitalise on this trend is Tabl. Founded in October 2015 they are on the hunt for the best dining experiences in London, Brighton and soon the rest of the UK.
When they got in touch to see if I wanted to try out one of the new experiences on their site, I jumped at the chance. "I would indeed!", I said, and began scouring the website for the most quirky experience I could find.
It became apparent pretty quickly that Tabl aren't simply some Airbnb site for dining. Oh no. Let me give you an example:
"What makes Tabl pop-ups special is that they aren’t everyday occurrences. They take place somewhere unexpected...and offer a shared and social dining experience."
That's got your attention hasn't it?
They split their food adventures into many different categories, including: Sociabl (meet people and chat), Delectabl (all about amazing food), and Unpredictabl ("only the most unique and unusual to guarantee a fun night"). Guess which one I went for? I'm so predictabl (see what I did there?).
My chosen event was called 'Cocktails N' Crack', hosted at Christabels. The theme was all about gin cocktails, and some sort of pork crack(ling) with each course. Here's the summary:
"[Including] our mouth watering chocolate pulled pork & popping salted caramel tarts... Beware there may be injections, popping and intoxication!"
I rang the buzzer for the flat, and entered.
"Welcome to Christabels!", announced a blonde lady, full of enthusiasm. "Help yourself to an amuse bouche of blue cheese and pomegranate, then grab yourself a syringe of gin and make your cocktail come alive!".
Syringe? Glittery cocktail? Amuse Bouche? This was certainly not like the start of my average dining experience!
|Syringes of Sipsmith's gin and curly straws at the ready!|
|Edible glitter cocktails in jam jars (how apt!)|
I sipped my glittery gin cocktail and headed into the main dining room. I say main dining room, this was Christabels apartment and I simply moved from the hall into her open plan living room :)
The dining table for ten was beautifully laid out, full of colour and fun! She even laid out paper and colouring pens so that the guests could get creative.
After a quick chat to some of the other guests, we were asked to take our seats. The first course was about to be served.
It was gin infused smoked salmon with rocket, pomegranate and crackling. Yum!
It barley touched the sides.
Another gin cocktail was served, this time a pomegranate and thyme prosecco number!
This was followed by the main course: Soy, Sipsmith gin, honey and chocolate pulled pork with crackling, with purple ginger carotti and kale, and mustard mash.
Yes, you read correctly. Chocolate, gin and honey pulled pork. This was most definitely new food territory for me (coming from the guy who has tried sea urchin).
But you know what? It tasted AMAZING. The combination of the sweetness of the chocolate and honey, combined with the sour soy sauce and richness of the pulled pork made it incredibly yummy. So much so I had seconds...
After a short rest and another gin cocktail, we were all set for dessert: Salted caramel chocolate tarte with crack(ling) and popping candy.
Please excuse the half eaten food photo - I got so excited that I dived straight in without remembering to take a pic (but it was good, so you'll forgive me, right?!).
Eventually this fun evening had to come to an end....but not before some glittery shortbread jenga!
From rude table drawings and a dressing up box to chocolate pulled pork and popping candy with crackling, this night had everything a typical restaurant couldn't have.
It was a refreshing change and experience!
And if that wasn't enough, I checked out Christabels website and found a little gem...
They have a glampervan available for hire. Her name is Ruby, and she is an old ambulance, converted into a campervan. She even has a wood burning stove, look!
How cool is that?!
As you can probably tell, I had a fantastic night. If you're looking for a new foodie experience in London, head over to Tabl, choose an experience and give it a try. You won't be disappointed! :)