Food

17 glittering immersive dining experiences you need to try in London

Posted by
Megan Murray
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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!

Park Chinois

Immersive dining experiences in London: Club Chinois

This glittering gem in the crown of Mayfair is known, yes, for its delicious food, expert cocktail menu and decadent atmosphere, but also for its outrageous cabaret shows. Walk down the spiral staircase and you’ll find Club Chinois, where all of the magic happens.

Here romanticism, comedy, sensuality and music reign supreme, thanks to the start of a new show, which transports guests back to 1930s Shanghai in all its splendour. From acrobatic performances to risqué routines, the talented dancers will entertain your socks off. 

The menu sounds pretty delicious too, with highlights that include soft shell crab, tea smoked beef ribs, grilled black cod and an intriguing truffle Old Fashioned.

See more information here

The Cocktail Diviner at The Bloomsbury Club Bar 

Immersive dining experiences in London: The Bloomsbury Club Bar

Not only has the world of tarot reached peak zeitgeist, with everyone from your best friend to your boss wanting to be read, we’ve also entered the most supernatural month of the year, which has us more excited than ever to try out this new immersive cocktail experience at The Bloomsbury Club Bar.

The first floor of The Bloomsbury Hotel is already home to the beautiful Dalloway Terrace and The Coral Room, but take a few steps below the surface to the basement and you’ll find the seductively lit Bloomsbury Club Bar.

With a speakeasy vibe it’s already a great spot to spend an evening, but the bar’s new menu and immersive activity is about to take it to the top of your must-visit list. Inspired by a special deck of tarot cards designed in 1910 by bohemian occultist Pamela ‘Pixie’ Colman Smith, the talented bartenders have created a new menu relating to each card’s mindset. Maybe tonight you’re blissful, dreamy or melancholic – whatever it is, there’s a delicious drink to match.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how you’ll know which card relates to you, let’s just say a tarot reader of sorts will be there to tell you. We don’t want to give too much away, but the experience is all kinds of magical. 

Let your fate be read before you drink the night away (seriously, it’s hard not to when the cocktails taste this good) and try some of the tasty bites on offer, too.

See more information here.

Disco54 Cabaret at Café de Paris

Immersive dining experiences in London: Cafe de Paris
Immersive dining experiences in London: Cafe de Paris

Who wouldn’t take the chance to step back in time and visit the infamous hangout of Debbie Harry and David Bowie, Studio 54? Well, we can’t promise you a time machine, but we can promise you a bloody good time at Café de Paris’s new show which is dedicated to this iconic New York hot spot.

The Disco 54 Cabaret Show aims to transport you back to the glitz and glamour with a ceiling draped in disco balls, incredible lighting effects and a cast of talented, hilarious, dancers and presenters.

Your fabulous host will have you laughing all night as they guide you through mesmerising circus and burlesque acts, as well as the ‘54ers’ dance troupe, who simply cannot be missed. If you love sparkle, fun and the idea of recreating the hedonistic nightclub which famously housed outcasts, famous faces and wonderful weirdos, you will have a whale of a time.

Book on to this immersive experience and it’s the closest thing you’ll ever get to the heyday of Seventies nightlife in the big apple.

See more information here.

Summertime Spectacular at Bunga Bunga

Immersive dining experiences in London: Bunga Bunga
Immersive dining experiences in London: Bunga Bunga 

Bunga Bunga’s Italian-themed brunch bonanza is famed in Covent Garden for being many things: eccentric, high-energy, hilarious and impossibly silly all rolled into one – and that’s exactly what we like about it. But although we love the original show which serves up pizza and prosecco every weekend, it’s always good to try something new.

This summer Bunga Bunga is bringing a new show to its central location especially for the warmer weather, this time themed on the Italian Riviera as an all-singing all-dancing immersive experience to get you in the holiday mood.

There’ll be deckchairs, beach balls, swimsuits aplenty, holiday cocktails, inflatables and parasols so you really feel like you’ve just hopped off the plane in the Mediterranean, with the addition of burlesque dancers, stand up comics, acrobats and musicians to entertain you.

Just as you’d expect on any beach holiday, tropical fruity cocktails will be free-flowing and there’ll be metre long pizzas to keep your energy up – which you’ll need for the karaoke at the end. 

See more information here. 

The Grand Expedition 

Immersive dining experiences in London: The Grand Expedition
Immersive dining experiences in London: The Grand Expedition

We can’t say too much about Gingerline’s latest immersive experience (we’ve been sworn to secrecy), but what we will say is if you’re a fan of adventure, food from around the world and whimsical illustrations, this is for you.

Gingerline is responsible for some of the best immersive pop-ups in London, and The Grand Expedition is a creative wonder, even for them.

It has been described as “part dance spectacle, part multimedia simulation and part supper club” or as a “floating, feeding, falling dream,” so expect lots of food, imagination and entertainment – some of which will even require you getting up off your feet.

Get a group of friends together that are willing to don the theme (which we cannot reveal) and set off on a global journey with you, that may end somewhere unexpected. 

See more information here.

Tempest Rose’s House of Burlesque pop-up speakeasy at Sway 

Immersive dining experiences in London: House of Burlesque
Immersive dining experiences in London: House of Burlesque 

House of Burlesque is a roving production of talented and comical burlesque performers, curated and run by by international showgirl Tempest Rose. You can enjoy the many, many delights that House of Burlesque flaunts at a few different venues around London and beyond, but if you’re looking for a special start to your Saturday evening we recommend attending the Saturday Speakeasy at Sway in Covent Garden.

Happy hour runs from 6-7pm, so be sure to get to this underground venue before the show begins at 6.30pm and enjoy a tipple or two. From then on, you’re in for one hell of a ride. The hilarious host will have you giggling from start to finish with tongue-in-cheek offers of “sex and drugs in the toilet” and haphazard magic tricks, but it’s the sheer variety of acts on offer that will have you whooping from your seat.

We won’t give too much away, but this show is jam-packed with incredible women who will wow you with their confidence, effortless stage presence, charm and mind-bending dance-slash-circus skills. Not only is it a ridiculously entertaining show, it’s also empowering, and a joy to watch a range of women enjoying themselves so much on stage.

The show runs for an hour and a half and we really recommend booking in to start your Saturday night, which you can follow with a dinner reservation upstairs. Although the room is intimate, if you’re attending with a group opt for VIP seating so you’re as close to the action as possible and all together.

Tickets are priced from £12, buy yours here.

Take A Shot in the Dark at The Bedford 

Immersive dining experiences in London: Take a shot in the dark
Immersive dining experiences in London: Take a shot in the dark

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 London: The Banquet of Hoshena
Immersive dining experiences in London: The Banquet of Hoshena 

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. 

Supper Tales at Plateau Restaurant

Dine in a library at The Ned 

Immersive dining experiences in London: The Library Bar
Immersive dining experiences in London: The Library Bar             

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 

Immersive dining experiences in London: Sketch
Immersive dining experiences in London: 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 

Immersive dining experiences in London: Sunday Swing

Immersive dining experiences in London: Sunday Swing

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 

Immersive dining experiences in London: Mare Street Market

Immersive dining experiences in London: 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

Immersive dining experiences in London: Red Rooster
Immersive dining experiences in London: 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

Immersive dining experiences in London: Le Petit Chef

Immersive dining experiences in London: Le Petit Chef

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

Immersive dining experiences in London: London Shell Company

Immersive dining experiences in London: 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.  

Coming to London for the weekend? Check out our selection of gorgeous hotels, perfect for a staycation

Images: Courtesy of venues

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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