SUMMER POP UP: Edible Playground at Christabel’s
A Thursday evening in Spring, and we’re spooning deep red quinoa into a plastic bucket, trying in vain to build a half-decent sandcastle at the dinner table of a complete stranger, alongside two dozen other complete strangers. The search for fun things to do in London that don’t constitute wandering around landmarks in the rain (to save money) or (splashing out and) spending £30 on another average dinner has brought us to Christabel Beeson’s pop up dining experience. And it’s bloody wonderful.
A loft conversion in Whitechapel isn’t your average dinner date venue, but hear us out. The space is beautiful, decked out by chef Christabel and her lovely team, who welcome you then buzz about in cheerful aprons, cocktail in hand. A rainbow of faux flowers, jam jars, candles and toys transform her home into an oasis for eating and experimentation.
Tonight’s theme? ‘Edible Playground’, asking guests to eschew adult life and actively play with their food. Game on!
First up, Snakes & Ladders. A cheese version. Yep, we can get on board (sorry) with this. Next, those quinoa sandcastles we loved so much – some healthy competition developing among diners as the booze flowed (mine was clearly the best).
For the third course, painted chicken. Handed a tiny paintbrush, guests were encouraged to daub their chicken (very well cooked – the meat fell off the bone) with as much sauce as they pleased, crisp vegetables served alongside it. While mains were fun and filling, the desserts stole the show.
First up, shortbread Jenga, doused in edible glitter. Hilarity ensues as neighbours drunkenly start cheating and squabbling (BYOB means most guests are tiddly by now) before giving in to temptation and ending the game completely (just like most children, then).
The last course was our favourite – handmade dark chocolate ganache Lego pieces were delicious as they were nostalgic, served with salt caramel tarts, pick up sticks (we’re pretty sure they were Mikado, another childhood favourite) and a dollop of something pink and sugary.
Check out the list of upcoming events and book in for an evening of childlike wonder. You can pick the ‘Edible Playground’ experience we’ve detailed here, or opt for something new – there’s the ‘Botanical Cocktail Lab’ running on various dates from now until September, ‘Wimbledon Wonderland’ (no prizes for guessing the theme) around tennis season, or the ‘Mad Hatter’s Brunch’ (we love the sound of this one – the Mad Hatter’s Mess sounds delicious!).
For something a *little* more grown up, try ‘Cocktails ‘n’ Crack’ (Breaking Bad has a lot to answer for, we reckon) or ‘Edible Vacation’ – where we bet there’ll be more chances to build sandcastles sandcastles (and knock them down. Into your mouth).
Address: Whitechapel (location given after ticket purchase)