.. and let’s be honest, the only way I’m ever going to be “watching what I eat”!
(Can we take a minute to appreciate how great that tag line is!?)
Going out for dinner and then going to see a movie has to be one of my favourite ways to spend an evening, but I’d never done both together!
Taste Film has come up with an incredibly unique way to merge these two elements together and bring the filmic world to real life. For me, food has always been a huge part of going to watch a film – I absolutely love cinema popcorn (no other popcorn comes close in my opinion!) and we’ll always go early to get Ben & Jerry’s sundaes, chocolates and other treats – a trip to the cinema isn’t complete without all the snacks!
Taste Film take this to a whole new level, serving a full meal during the film, with each element of the menu being specifically designed to reflect the movie scene (in some cases you even get to eat what those in the film are eating!) to turn film-night into a true immersive experience.
Of course the film itself has to be good, and when I have to admit that I hadn’t actually heard of the film that we’d been invited down to. Google assured me it wasn’t a horror film though, so I was happy and I couldn’t wait to go!
A couple of days before, Taste Film send you a personal invite, with the full details of the night including the menu, just in case you need to make any changes due to dietary requirements or allergies. I loved that the menu was deliberately vague – in particular the third course was described as “Imagination Pie (to share)” – since it was after two savoury courses but before one sweet course I wasn’t even sure whether it was going to be a main or a dessert!
Jack’s Baseball Game
“Where is your father?”
Bubbledogs Dogs with Fried Onions and a Glass of Bubbles
Peter Pan’s returns to the Lost Boys
“Who’s the Shrub?!”
Seabass Steamed with Leaves under a Pile of Shrubs
1 hour and 14 minutes Imaginary Feast
“You’re doing it Peter” “Doing what?” “Using your imagination”
Imagination Pie (to share)
1 hour and 52 minutes
Pirates Vs The Lost Boys
“We’ll show you who’s Chicken. Watch this!”
Deep Fried Egg Custard with Strawberry Sauce
As soon as we arrived we were given trays of popcorn before even going into the room itself which was such a lovely touch – it was warm and buttery too, just like cinema popcorn!
About fifteen minutes before the film was due to start, we were shown through to the room, where there were long tables laid out in front of a screen, with menu cards, more popcorn and (to my absolute delight!) warm loaves of soda bread! We tucked into the popcorn straight away, and there were waiters walking round with big trays of it ready to replace empty bowls as soon as we were done!
Huge bottles of cold water were also left on the table (and refilled regularly) which was perfect, as we didn’t have to keep looking round for waiters and interrupting the film to top up our drinks – running out of water is a definite pet hate of mine! As people started coming in, Marcus said ‘do you think it’s socially acceptable for us to eat our bread!? No one else is!’ This is why I love him 😉 We asked for more bread a couple of times (even after our first course) and the waiters were more than happy to bring some over – and it was seriously good bread. I haven’t had soda bread for so long but this has definitely reminded me of my love for it!
When everyone had arrived, Amy, the Director, welcomed us all and Marcus and I were pretty surprised that we seemed to be the only ones who hadn’t seen Hook before (I actually hadn’t even heard of it prior to being invited down!). A few minutes into the film we were brought our first course – hot dogs with crispy fried onions and glasses of champagne! Frankfurter sausages take me right back to my childhood – I have so many memories of hunting round in the cupboard for those tins of sausages then chucking them in a pan of boiling water and making mountains of hot dogs – I used to love them! I have to admit I haven’t had them since I was young, but they brought back such a sense of childhood nostalgia, and with the crispy onions and some onion chutney they honestly were delicious.
Childhood nostalgia definitely seemed to be a theme of the night.. watching an old film whilst waiting to see what the next dish would be with almost child-like anticipation!
The next course was seabass, served beautifully pan fried on a bed of buttered spinach with leaves and a lemon dressing. Paired with more buttery soda bread it was perfect.
Around half way through the film there was a break so people could order more drinks, smoke or use the toilet. It was a great way to minimize interruption during the film and also reflect on the experience so far. Immediately after the interval we were brought our main course. First came the imagination pie, something clearly only Marcus and I were unfamiliar with as it was something that actually appeared in the film!
We were actually expecting that to be it, as we’d had two decent courses and still had two more to go. But then to our delight, we were presented with an absolute feast – a huge platter with a giant battered turkey leg, cauliflower cheese, potato wedges and a jug of gravy. I honestly couldn’t believe the size of the turkey leg and I couldn’t wait to tuck in! The meat was incredibly soft and juicy, the wedges were soft and the cauliflower cheese was smothered in melted cheese – the ultimate comfort food! If I’m being fussy the gravy was a little on the thin side, but other than that I’d struggle to fault it.
If the evening hadn’t already made excitable enough so far, the imagination pie definitely did it! With child-like curiosity I dug my spoon into the tart with absolutely no idea what to expect – I didn’t even know if it was going to be sweet or savoury! Everyone got slightly different colours but ours was a deep blue covered with multi-coloured marshmallows! A crispy, buttery pastry gave way to a vanilla-flavoured cream filling – whilst it would never be something I’d usually choose to eat, it’s impossible not to get wrapped up in the multi-sensory adventure and the fact that it’s served whilst the imagination pies themselves appear in the movie is just so clever!
As if all of that wasn’t enough there was still dessert to come! Deep fried egg custard with strawberry sauce. On paper, you’d think it would be hard to present that beautifully, but the egg custard came in cute little battered parcels, served with raspberries, strawberry coulis and the most heavenly sweet strawberry sauce inside an egg shell. Again, something I would never usually order, but getting into the spirit of the movie it was impossible not to enjoy it!
Overall, it honestly was an incredible evening – an ingenious idea executed perfectly. I was so pleasantly surprised with the portion sizes – they were seriously generous and over the course of the night we were given a hell of a lot of food. I know it sounds silly, but being given too little food or leaving hungry is something that can really ruin a night for me, but if you leave a Taste Film event hungry then I’d be surprised – and as you know Marcus and I have seriously big appetites! I always seem to struggle to decide what I want to eat, so to just be brought a surprise menu was such a lovely change 🙂
Places like this are what make me love London so much. There are new places constantly popping up, each one more unique and creative than the last. As the owner puts it: “In an age where creatives everywhere are finding innovative ways to deliver both forms as separate entities, there couldn’t be a better time to unite these common comforts together, and fill a void on the London pop-up scene,” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s such a simple idea yet it’s so effective and so smart that you wonder how it hasn’t already been done. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a good film and a good meal and to bring these together makes for a perfect evening. So when you’re planning your next date night with friends or your partner, I definitely recommend checking out which film is playing at Taste Film and trying something slightly different! They’re open to requests too – I think all Disney films would work perfectly as they fit with the sense of adventure and excitement, but I know they previously did a showing of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and I’m gutted I missed it – talk about the perfect film to taste!!
Link to their website: https://www.tastefilm.co.uk/tickets/