The Art of Dining celebrated another exciting pop-up opening as diners poured in to see what or rather who Martin Parr had cast his critical lens over this time and how his unabashed photography had been transformed into a luxury five-course banquet.
We celebrated his work in Rosie’s Cafe (that’s Cafe without the pronounced e at the end – the old fashioned English way) a fabricated 90s traditional English cafe that served all of our favorites from chicken pie to steaming hot tea. Nineties memorabilia littered the room, with old newspapers, chintzy furniture, china ornaments, board games and of course Martin’s photos adorning the walls.
His snapshots of modern English life are brash and unapologetic. They capture life as it is and he manages to squeeze the real essence of English living and all of its flaws into his photos. One of the walls was dedicated to Parr’s shots of the English cuisine in all its glory and this was to serve as the cafe menu. The photographs are fun and amusing with a heavy hint of irony.
Each course was a genius interpretation of one of Parr’s photos, from the classic chicken pie to the English tea which was actually a massaman beef and mushroom broth served from teapots into flowery teacups. Every course was delicious and the experience of matching the food to the photos made it doubly fun. The food was classic and comforting, whilst still retaining an elegance. For those with a sweet tooth, the highlight would most definitely be the lemon curd mousse, served in a jar with a crunchy cardamom and sour cherry biscuit.
The cafe waitress Shirley, kept popping up to provide the entertainment which was light-hearted and served with that classic British self-deprecating humour. She told us stories, sung a little and even drew a raffle, provoking raucous laughter and evoking fond memories of the blue eye-shadow and pink lipstick days of the early nineties.
The Art of Dining has an eloquent technique of transforming art into food form and creating an evening, which is both a feast for the eyes and the belly. A cross-sensory experience, art and food lovers can rejoice by gazing at some wonderful photography whilst enjoying an exciting menu amongst an eclectic London crowd.
Dining tickets for Say Cheese are £65 and include a welcome drink, a five-course meal, a limited edition Martin Parr signed postcard package and entertainment.
Say Cheese runs until 29th March and tickets are available to buy here.