In each episode of Mr Benn, the animated children’s television series from yesteryear, Mr Benn leaves his home and visits a fancy dress costume shop where he is invited in by the shopkeeper to try on an outfit. At this point Mr Benn enters a world appropriate to his costume – last Friday night I had a remarkably similar experience at the hands of the Gingerline team.
One of London’s more recent pop-up restaurants, Gingerline brings to the mix imagination and creativity, constructing events fit for a theatre as much as a dining table.
A twenty minute ride on the Gingerline (London Underground’s former East London Line, and the same thread that stitches every month’s event together) found us in New Cross Gate outside a costume shop, window shutters on. The door opened, we were greeted with top hat and tails and we stepped inside to the backstage of a Siberian Circus.
I’m not sure where to start with trying to explain what I witnessed for the next four hours. Swinging ladies on a perch, colourful characters feeding us popcorn and vodka, and all set off with the background sounds of a Ukranian accordion player.
It would be an injustice not to mention the fun my tastebuds had with three of the finest courses I’ve had in a very long time. Wild boar dumplings, venison goulash, spice poached apples and ice-cream and shot after shot of all varieties of vodka.
The evening’s memories were taken away along with the menu – a limited edition print for each guest to keep. Mr Benn may have had some amazing adventures, but I doubt he ever feasted this well.
Photographs by Emli Benxiden taken from Ginerline’s Facebook page.