Christabel’s Edible Vacation

I read about this pop-up in a Time Out article Sister Swan sent to me. It was a pretty dull day at work, which made it an excellent time to make spur of the moment dinner decisions, and which is why I booked tickets there and then. Pop ups give me HUGE FOMOOF (fear of missing out on food, we’ve been through this guys, keep up). Also, the dinner was in ‘a top secret location in N1’, which sent my excitement levels through the roof and made me feel like the James Bond of food.

On the day I strolled down the canal to the TOP SECRET LOCATION (I get excited just typing it!) and then spent about 15 minutes wandering around N1 looking for the flat (which, granted, James Bond would not have done).

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^ Swans (& a cygnet!) on the canal.  I like taking photos of swans… so what?

When we were buzzed in, with a couple of other non-James-Bonds who’d been doing the same thing, we were greeted by Christabel and her team who are pretty much the friendliest, most enthusiastic people you’ll ever meet. To add to their air of friendliness they immediately handed us a summer cup cocktail with a jazzy straw, which is what I shall expect from all of my friends from now on.

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Christabel is the founder of a catering and events company (website here) which, as well as running private events, does themed pop-ups. This was the first Edible Vacation she’s done, and she really got into the vacation theme. The venue was decorated with huge flowers, toasted coconut snacks were in coconut shells and on the table were little suitcases containing postcards, comedy sunglasses and little beach towels (or ‘napkins’). There was a post box for you to post your postcards and also little bottles of bubbles on the table to play with which gave me serious holiday nostalgia…

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After some mingling (it was like a really cool dinner party, but one where you didn’t know anyone. Or an episode of ‘Come Dine With Me’ but without the bitchiness) and cocktail drinking we sat down for dinner at a long table in the middle of the room. Starter was broad bean quinoa sandcastles with edible decorations which YOU MADE YOURSELF with your own little plastic bucket and spade! Yes, Readers, that was EXACTLY as much fun as it sounds.

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^ *creativity high five*

And delicious as well! Main course was beetroot cured salmon with samphire and fried courgetti and veg. This came with a tube of ‘suncream’ (aka sauce) which was also really fun and tasted wonderful. The salmon was cooked in soy, ginger and honey which sounds overpowering but was actually very subtle and went really well with the samphire.

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Pudding was a miniature ice cream cone balanced in a chocolate brownie, and I think this was my favourite. The brownie was dense, the lime cream was fresh and the diddy ice cream tasted so deliciously passion-fruity I could’ve very easily eaten a full sized one. A tip top three courses and I left feeling nicely full.

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^ Is it really lame that I have hardcore crockery envy?

I should also say that even though it was a set menu, Christabel etc are very accommodating vis a vis dietary requirements; one of the group was both teetotal (wtf) and vegan (lovely lady, but double wtf) and she got her own special cocktail and the menu was modified for her too.

I can’t encourage you enough to get involved with the pop ups Chistabel does. It was a super-fun, interactive evening which made such a difference from going out and having dinner in a restaurant or a pub. I was slightly intimidated at first but I will DEFINITELY be going back to one of her other events (perhaps with Sister Swan, she was well jel). The Mad Hatters Brunch sounds particularly exciting, and I have well got my eye on the Wimbledon Wonderland events which are so far up my street it’s UNTRUE!

*starts planning*

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