The 200 Club – crazy dining in London

  A couple of weeks ago we saw an article on Timeout London for a new weird and wonderful one off dining event in Bermondsey from Bompas and Parr. (They’re the people doing the inhalable alcoholic cocktails down in Borough Market). So this article announced a 24 hour eating extravaganza, aiming to serve 200 different courses over 24 hours in 10 colour coordinated sittingS. For a crazy few, tickets were available for just under £2000 for 2 to attend the entire thing – that’s just eating and drinking for 24 hours straight! For us mere mortals, you could get tickets for a 2 hour sitting from £49. With only 8 diners per session (including the 24 hr diners), time slots were limited. We (my sisters and I) ended up booking the 3am slot! Probably a foolish choice but it seemed like a good idea at the time…

In the run up to our slot we were kept informed on events as the craziness got underway. Mostly because the whole thing was running late. Like an hour late. (The event managers blamed the diners, the diners blamed the chefs for the delays…). We ended up rocking up at 4am, greeted with a welcome drink (a choice of wine, tea or coffee) in a warehouse that looked suspiciously like where they film Dragons Den.

We met our fellow diners and were seated by 4.45am. (Perhaps a bit late (or too early) for dinner but by this point you’ve just got to roll with the show). Of the four 24hr diners with us, one was asleep in the corner, the other three looking really rather exhausted and uncomfortable… Two of them were journalists, another in the entertainment industry. There was definitely a feel that this was a big PR stunt.

And then the food started rolling in. Created by Marshall Buxton, out came 20 courses under the title Brown Blackout. There were definitely some high points – burnt meat with aubergine, a calamari crisp, a mushroomy surprise and a root beer ice – mixed with some definitely bum notes – a potato yeast ice cream was completely unpalatable.

Overall though? Definitely a one off experience and worth trying out! I don’t know if I’d have been able to manage the complete the 200 courses in 24 hours (kudos to those who did!) but it was definitely worth the 3am wake up call for our dining slot to be a part this crazy, weird and wonderful event.



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