A few weekends ago Steve and I went along to a secret dinner, so secret that we didn't even know the location until the day. Welcome to Gingerline. A clandestine dining experience born in 2010, Gingerline has expanded beyond the London Overground and this year our secret venue could be found on the Jubilee Line. With promises of a fun evening with great food we booked our tickets as soon as they came on sale.
At 5.30pm on our chosen day I was sent a text with directions to head to London Bridge, look for a person wearing a butterfly and whisper in his ear the secret password. We did as we were told and by 7pm we had found our destination, tucked away down a little alley near the London Bridge arches. I had no idea what to expect, we had previously been sent a dress code of wellington boots and pastels but this didn't really give much away.
What we discovered was nothing was beyond my imagination. Created in what I can only imagine to be an old office building, was a secret garden come Narnia come enchanted forest. I didn't take many pictures, it was too dark and I was having too much fun. The detailing of the venue was intricate, from the abundance of tress, plants and topiary to the beautifully crafted butterfly house. The experience can only be described as whimsical. Waiters were dressed in aprons and wellies, and with an excited demeanour they jumped around the venue like over-active spring chickens, singing and dancing the entire night.
We were presented with a delicious gin cocktail on arrival and shown to our table. Steve and I were lucky enough to be sitting in the butterfly house where we literally had to crawl through a tunnel to find our table and chairs. I felt like I was in an enchanted garden far away from London. Everywhere I looked were signs of magic, created from mythical sculptures, fairy lights and colourful fabric tents. It reminded me of Glastonbury's green fields but with less mud and more imagination.
Dinner was a four course meal of garden themed treats. Our starters arrived in a big woven basket and we feasted on salmon and mustard ice cream (divine), onion muffins with thyme icing and spiced popcorn. Everything was delicious, everything was inventive and everything was spell binding.
Between courses the staff entertained us with flavourology lessons, duck song and bee dances. The garden came to life right in front of our eyes and I was entranced the entire night.
The pumpkin and haddock soup was heavnly and was followed by a rich a succulent duck ragu. The food was fun and perfectly suited to the theme of the evening.
The dessert, my least favourite course, had honey in abundance. It was a little dry but by this stage of the evening I was beyond caring. I had been hypnotised by my surroundings and on a ramble around the rest of the venue I came across garden gnomes, wishing wells, compost toilets and horticultural galore.
Gingerline was the best supper club I've ever been too and whilst it is on the expensive side (£50-£60) I 100% recommend it for an evening of entertainment and great food. Don't be scared to get involved in the fun as this event works best if you throw yourself into the magic. I can't wait to see what they create next time!