Food

13 glittering immersive dining experiences you need to try in London

Posted by
Megan Murray and Alessia Armenise
Published

There are just too many fabulously unusual and immersive dining experiences in London for you to stay at home. Take a look at some of the best that are happening in the city right now. 

Esteemed designer, feminist and badass Londoner Vivienne Westwood once said, “There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.” And we have to say, especially when it comes to the city’s dining scene, we have to agree with her.

This colourful, bustling, ever-changing metropolis is bursting with unique people and places that could entertain you for years. But arguably, at the centre of the bright lights is the capital’s expansive food offering.

They say the kitchen is at the heart of the home and, for many Londoners’, exploring and socialising in the city they call home is best done by going for dinner. It’s easy to see why; every week there’s a new pop-up food market, immersive dining experience, supper club or concept restaurant opening. 

With so many unusual dining experiences in London to try, we’ve selected our favourites for every one of you keen to take this crazy city for all it’s got. We dare you to try just as much as your diary (and bank balance) will let you.

From cabaret dinners to gospel choir brunches, this round-up is unusual and immersive dining at its best. Enjoy!

Take A Shot in the Dark at The Bedford 

Beautiful bar, restaurant and rooms, The Bedford, was built in the 1930s, and it’s the venue’s authentic glamour which makes it such a perfect venue for an immersive, vintage-themed event such as this. 

The theatre and cabaret experience will take you back to the time when The Bedford was first built, with gangsters and flapper girls at every turn. After your arrival there’ll be a complimentary glass of prosecco waiting for you, before the show unfolds around you, eventually pulling you into its dramatic storyline. 

The show starts at 7.30pm and runs until approximately 10pm in the Club Room with a DJ following this until 2am, so you can make a proper night of it. Once you’ve purchased a £20 ticket, the dinner menu will be shared with you, which you can order from on the night.

Guests are encouraged to dress up, so don a trilbie or some tassels, and get in the spirit. 

Buy tickets for the next event here.

The Banquet Of Hoshena at Westfield White City

Immersive dining experiences in West London

Head to Westfield White City from the 12 April to 7 August to experience and experience an other-wordly banquet, which will take you on a journey through a magical realm where Kings, Queens, fairies and volcanoes all come alive in front of your eyes. 

Running as a temporary pop-up, Banquet of Hoshena is a two hour show and five course meal combined, which uses 3D visual technology, image mapping, experiential props and effective storytelling through flavours, ingredients, sights, sounds and tastes to tell a mystical tale on your table.

Ran by Dinner Time Stories, the producer behind Le Petit Chef, Banquet of Hoshena starts off with an introduction from the Queen of Hoshena herself, who tells guests of a once-green and luscious kingdom that has banished bad emotions, such as anger, sadness and fear and as a result, removed love, happiness and courage leaving the land bare, dark and empty. As they say, you can’t have the good without the bad.

Over a delicious dinner, wine and cocktail pairing, guests will see how each dish correlates to a different emotion and play witness to effects like dry ice, illusions and scents, to see the story of Hoshena unfold. 

For more information and to book tickets email info@dinnertimestory.com. 

The Prohibition Party Boat

No one knows how to throw a party like Bourne and Hollingsworth. The party giants not only have a plethora of London venues, serving up some of the best bottomless brunch and sky high views in the city, but they also put on glittering events encouraging their guests to dress up and transport back in time. 

This time, fun-seeking Londoners will be setting sail down the Thames, donning their best flapper dresses and headbands, as they revel in the delights of burlesque, live music, gabbling and lots of fizz. 

The party is inspired by the century anniversary of the banning of alcohol, when floating casinos and bars were erected three miles off-shore throughout the 1920s so that party-goers could shake a tail feather into the wee hours and avoid being caught by police. 

The event will take place on 23 March at 8pm from a central London dock, details of which you’ll receive after you’ve bought your ticket – after all, it is a secret. 

Tickets cost £30 and include merriment until 2am and lots of live entertainment. 

Get your ticket here.

Supper Tales at Plateau Restaurant

Harry Potter immersive dining experience London

A series of immersive dinners inspired by some of the world’s most loved novels including The Great Gatsby and Harry Potter are coming to London, launching quite fittingly, on World Book Day (7 March). 

Held at the Plateau Restaurant in Canary Wharf, the first instalment will seek to mimic the magic of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, with a four course Art Deco menu, music from the jazz era, decadent interiors and lots, and lots, of champagne. 

In the true spirit of Jay Gatsby, everything from the food to the surroundings are promised to be indulgent, with guests being met by the delights of smoked salmon and caviar on toast, duck liver pate and oysters.

The menu highlights include herb-crusted lamb rack with artichokes and rosemary-infused sauce and a caramelised lemon tart with champagne poached rhubarb to finish.

Tickets are priced at £45 and guests are asked to wear 1920s clothing to real get in the spirit. The next in the series will see Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory just in time for Easter on Tuesday 16 April and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on Thursday 23 May.

Make a reservation here

Lio Ibiza at The London Cabaret Club

Lio London Cabaret Club

One of Ibiza’s most eccentric and lavish experiences is coming to London, bringing some of the Balearic island’s special energy to the city.

For five nights a week until the end of March, the legendary cabaret show Lio Ibiza will take up residence at The London Cabaret Club in Bloomsbury. To create an authentic experience, the London venue has been completely transformed to look as similar as possible to the original Ibizan club.

The dazzling pop-up event consists of a gourmet four-course meal, rivers of champagne and – most importantly – an incredible spectacle of dancing and singing by the original cast of the Lio Ibiza cabaret.

After the show, the cabaret transforms into a real club with DJ sets until the sun rises. Get ready – this will be an experience that’s difficult to forget.

Make a reservation here

Dine in a library at The Ned 

Library at The Ned

Library Bar is the, wait for it, 17th bar to newly open at Soho House’s non-members venue, The Ned. This cosy nook is tucked away out of sight behind a sweeping jacquard curtain, with all the old-world charm you could dream of. 

Unlike the rest of this bustling establishment, which resembles a party from The Great Gatsby, Library Bar feels like a best kept secret. The limited seating creates an exclusive feel and the dark wood features, combined with carefully selected props, conjure speak-easy vibes without the faff or gimmicks.

But what makes this bar stand out from the rest? Well, it’s housed in a library of course. Book lovers will rejoice at the wall of old books in jewel colours that line the left hand side. The deliciousness of which, is further echoed in the menu that’s entirely vintage themed and inspired by the early 1800’s. Think the freshest of oysters, specialist champagne and a martini trolley. Talk about living the high life!

Make a reservation here

Sketch 

Sketch London

The Gallery at Sketch

If you’ve got a pal visiting from out of town and you’re looking to impress, Sketch is the place to take them. This café, restaurant, bar and afternoon tea venue is the height of uniqueness. Nestled on a side street in central London, this unassuming townhouse’s façade gives nothing away on at first.

But stepping inside is like falling down the rabbit hole. Push aside a thick, velvet curtain and you’ll see the outline of a hopscotch on the floor (feel free to practise your playground skills), neon signs interspersed with avant-garde artworks on the walls and utterly over-the-top furniture. There are three main rooms (and an extra, secret one only available on special request), each serving up different menus in a themed setting.

You can gorge on pastries and tea in the Glade room, which is carpeted with a dense, moss-like fabric to replicate the feeling of adventuring into a woodland. Or, in the completely millennial pink Gallery, treat yourself to afternoon tea featuring caviar and quails eggs and served in ‘drink me’ cups. That’s all we’re giving away for now, you’ll just have to explore it for yourself to know more…

Make a reservation here

Sunday Swing at The Ned 

Sunday Swing The Ned

Get your dancing shoes on…

With seven restaurants, towering pillars of marble and a live band hoisted above diners’ heads, the Soho House group well and truly exceeded expectations when restoring this redundant bank to its former glory.

But what’s already considered a special venue has upped the ante by creating an immersive experience in the form of Sunday Swing. Running from seven until 10pm every Sunday, the free events are a divine collaboration of charm, ambiance and impeccable live music - and they couldn’t have a better setting than this historic building.

Enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants and watch on as couples take to the floor, dancing along to the soulful sounds of The London Dance Orchestra. Directed by Robin Harris, you can listen to all the best sounds from the 1930s to the 1950s, including jazz, jive and Lindy hop.

Dress up in your best vintage outfit, dust off your brogues and prepare to immerse yourself in the entertainment. Whether you want to dance, learn new moves, watch or just enjoy the music while dining, the evening will have you swinging in to the week ahead.

Make a reservation here

Mare Street Market 

Mare Street Market

Feast next to this gorgeous florist at Mare Street Market 

If you like your brunch, lunch and dinner served up in an achingly cool industrial space curated by some of Hackney’s creatives, Mare Street Market will undoubtedly be a hit.

The old, “drab” job centre (as founder, producer and pub owner Marc Francis-Baum describes it), has been completely reinvented as a meeting of creativity, food and commerce all under one roof.

The market is open every day from 8am ‘til late’. This means locals can pop in for an artisan coffee on their way to work, browse the Pinterest-worthy florist and shop for vinyl records as well as enjoying pizzas, rotisserie chicken, straw fries and cocktails when the sun goes down (or before, depending how you roll).

See more information here

Gospel Brunch at Red Rooster

Gospel Choir Red Rooster

The Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch plays host to restaurant Red Rooster; a fusion of American cuisine, Southern soul food and the diverse culinary traditions of New York – and don’t take that last point lightly. Its head chef, the acclaimed restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson, was keen to bring the Harlem spirit of his original restaurant to London, which includes roping in a whole gospel choir to serenade diners every Sunday.

East London’s House Gospel Choir perform every single Sunday at 12.15pm, 2pm and 3.30pm, giving all those brunching a live performance of some of the most-loved gospel songs. Let’s just say it far surpasses your average avo-on-toast.

We would especially recommend the Bird Royale Feast which consists of a whole fried chicken, waffles, biscuits, mash and greens and Rooster sauce.

Booking is absolutely recommended and be aware that a five-pound charge will be added to your bill to cater for the choir.

Make a reservation here.  

A journey of flavours at Le Petit Chef

Le Petit Chef

Let colourful projections take you on a dining journey 

This restaurant on Dalston’s Kingsland Road takes storytelling through cuisine to the next level. Not only is the six-course taster menu designed to use unique textures, tastes, smells and ingredients to transport you around the world, but there’s a 3D animated film projected onto your table, too.

From course to course your taste buds will find themselves touring the globe. You’ll start in Marseilles, then on to Arabia, India, the Himalayas and China. Each delicious morsel is expertly matched by TT Liquor’s mixologists with a bespoke cocktail or wine pairing, to ensure the flavour of each culture is experienced to the fullest.

While you’re filling your boots, the restaurant’s miniature chef, Marco, will appear in front of you (courtesy of a projector) to talk you through the far and mysterious lands that have inspired the dishes, running along your tablecloth and underneath your knife and fork all the while.

Make a reservation here.  

Dine on the canal with London Shell Company

London Shell Company boat

Sail down the canal with the London Shell Company 

Worlds away from the over-subscribed tourist trap cruises that rattle along the Thames, the London Shell Company offers a quaint, specialist dining experience with beautiful views of Regent’s Canal.

Brother and sister team Harry and Leak Lobek run the two-hour canal cruises which specialise in five-course menus of the finest seafood Britain has to offer. From Tuesday to Saturday, you can climb aboard the Prince Regent at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm departure and sail your way through the depths of the Maida Hill Tunnel, past iconic landmarks such as London Zoo and Regent’s Park.

Set menus are priced at £45 but if you just fancy a bite to eat in an extraordinary, water-bound setting, you can try the static lunch any time from 12-2pm from Tuesday to Friday in Paddington Central.

Make a reservation here.  

Café de Paris 

cafe-de-paris

Café de Paris 

Café de Paris, in London’s Piccadilly, is one of the most famous entertainment venues in the world, with a glittering history spanning more than nine decades. Its famously jaw-dropping circus, burlesque and dance performances are now being fused with food to create a Friday night cabaret dinner that you won’t want to miss.

Discover the stories of debauched royalty and theatrical retellings of iconic moments as your host and Maître d’, armed with razor-sharp wit, expertly guides you through a night of magical immersive performances. With cheeky bellboys serving champagne suspended high above diners’ heads, acrobatic maids and plenty more surprises to enjoy, it’s a night you won’t forget in a hurry.

See more information here

Images: Courtesy of venues

Topics

Share this article

Author

Megan Murray and Alessia Armenise

Recommended by Megan Murray and Alessia Armenise

  • Food

    The 6 best vegan afternoon teas in London

    Oat milk and one sugar, please.

    Posted by
    Alessia Armenise
    Published
  • Food

    The ultimate guide to London’s most fabulous bottomless brunches

    We've searched every corner of the capital, so you don't have to

    Posted by
    Megan Murray
    Published
  • Travel

    Weekend in London: our city guide on where to stay and what to do

    The ultimate way to spend your time in the capital

    Posted by
    Megan Murray
    Published
  • Travel

    Unique and themed afternoon tea in London

    The best tea-based experiences in London.

    Posted by
    Megan Murray
    Published

Other people read

More from Food

More from Megan Murray and Alessia Armenise