‘Pace yourself!’ was the instruction we originally received before tucking into a multi-course James Bond food and drink extravaganza.
‘That’s not very in the style of James Bond,’ I thought to myself, as I imagined the infamous spy having little restraint in many aspects of life, especially on the subject of pleasure.
The event was taking place at one of my favourite venues in London, The Distillery on Portobello Road, and I was sat in the upstairs private dining room with 20 other guests.
There was a group of Americans, a man from Norway and Londoners, all brought together by one thing – a love of James Bond.
Throughout the year, The Distillery runs a mix of immersive dining experiences and the James Bond night had instant appeal for me – especially with my love of martinis.
The menu for all of the Distillery’s dining experiences are kept top secret.
The only clue I could find around what we would be feasting on was a blurb stating that we would try some of the fictional MI6 agent’s favourite dishes, washed down with some of his favourite tipples.
Hence the introductory warning ‘pace yourself’.
Our engaging host for the evening, dressed appropriately in Bond-style black tie, informed us that if James Bond drank as much as was implied in Ian Fleming’s books, he would have been pretty incapable of doing anything.
Catching baddies would have proved tricky, as would his bedroom antics.
In-between each course, we were served a fascinating dose of James Bond history and told how each culinary creation was inspired by happenings in the books and films.
I can’t give anything away around the menu – as we were all required to swear to secrecy before the evening kicked off – but I can reveal that there was a mouth-watering mix of fish, meat and sweet dishes that were perfectly sized, presented and well-paced.
There was also a vegetarian option, which got a resounding thumbs up from those who selected it.
The same attention to detail applied to the drinks.
Of course, there was the martini, but it was given a slight twist by the Distillery team, given that the venue is home to the delicious Portobello Road Gin.
Along with cocktails, there were neat pours of liquor, and all libations were served up in a variation of glassware.
As mentioned, it does help to pace yourself!
There was quite a heady mix of drinks and the night slowly descended into a smoldering haze.
Summing it up, the Distillery’s James Bond-themed dinner is a stylishly-executed evening that promises to seduce you into a world of glamour and excess.
Tickets are £90 but well-worth every penny!
The Distillery is located at 186 Portobello Road, London, W11 1LA
To book a dining experience or a room for the night at visit www.the-distillery.london. Alternatively call 02030342233