The Complete History of Food

Bompas and Parr are famous for putting on some spectacular events involving food and a number of other senses. It makes you think how great their own parties must be.

They’re latest venture titled, “The Complete History of Food” transformed the former Royal Agricultural Society building into a journey taking you back to medieval times stepping through a multi-course and multi-sensory trip. Entrance was timed, giving everyone a fairly intimate experience moving from floor to floor, room to room and enjoying the fun atmosphere. Below is the map decorated on the wall, describing the floor and the rooms contents.

At only £25 a ticket (subsidised mind you by a well known Cognac maker) I think it was pretty great value given plenty of spirit to walk out tipsy, some great food and an entertaining experience. We stepped inside a dark room, manned by a young gentlemen determined to diagnose our mood and there to prescribe something that fell within four different categories (a different sticker later denoting a different cocktail and finger food starter).

After a quick lighting of the various people in the room (including the very jovial picture of Bompas and Parr below), we moved to the next room (ladies taking off heels) only to find ourselves carefully balancing so not to fall into the man made moat contained in one the rooms. Stepping from plank to plank, we find ourselves transported to the interior of a ship hull moored in a pool of water (mind the eels apparently) where we are given a supplement to ease our moods – I was a phlegmatic last week thus needing a Choleric solution to help balance me out, thus starting with Cabbage, white wine, caper artichoke paired with a Courvoisier Exclusif Rose Water drink courtesy of Saf.

Next up, we ascended in an elevator that fit no more than four people, we emerge on the rooftop terrace to enjoy a deconstructed champagne, bubbles and fizz enjoyed separately courtesy of Lounge Bohemia.

We drank this accompanied by a wicked savoury foie gras equivalent of a ferrero rocher made by Alexis Gauthier of Michelin starred Gauthier Soho. What a wise move to get people to descend through the house as they pick up more food, and a lighter head.

Next up was the scratch and sniff meal, complete with a fully functioning seventies TV set whose glow radiated out towards the sofas. We inhaled aromas of minty peas, golden potatoes, pumpkin and roasted chicken as our fingernails did their magic. A strange, yet very appropriate activity.

This brought us to the bouncy castle, made up as the interior of someone’s stomach before walking through the corridor of
mushrooms (I assure you, of which, we had not ingested any of the hallucinogenic kind) before joining some other people in the middle of an iguanodon to enjoy one of the best confit duck dishes I’ve had for some time. I’m definitely going to have to check the makers of this, Bistrotheque.

Puy lentils, beetroot and a black champagne sauce combined with a really strong alcoholic punch, I was glad for this heavier dish to help combat some of the alcohol. Below is a picture of the really strong punch.

The great thing about this part is that we didn’t seem rushed to eat our meal, so we sat their conversing with a nice New Zealand couple who’d come along for the evening as well.

Golden arrows directed us towards the dessert room where a Gingerbread version of London’s very own gherkin greeted us as did a spinning monument of jelly.

The jelly served aboard an impressive spinning tower of what looked like sugar art, but ended up as decorated porcelain. Still impressive looking.

Though the jelly was a predictable and welcome finishing touch, it still did plenty to put a close to the evening. The spinning beauties being served included iris jelly, candied orange some berries and very tasty whale vomit (Ambergris Posset). A surprise feast for everyone.

Tickets for their events are limited and done so for good reason with every experience and taste to be savoured, unlikely to be reproduced. I appreciated and really enjoyed the experience walking through the Complete History of Food.

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