The Grand Expedition

Gingerline Presents The Grand Expedition
Gingerline Presents
The Grand Expedition
Tickets: General Seating £60 — £75
Doors: 7pm
Venue: Secret Location

by Bernie C. Byrnes

London’s exuberant dining trailblazers Gingerline are back and they have cooked-up their most sensational journey to date, The Grand Expedition. Taking place at a top-secret location on the Victoria line, revellers receive a text message with directions to the address on the day of their adventure. Part dance spectacle, part multimedia simulation, part supper club, it’s billed as a “floating, feeding, falling dream”, featuring five interactive courses paired with eccentric performance and storytelling.

It’s hard to know what to say about The Grand Expedition, not because I don’t have anything to say about it – I could rave on and on, but because the audience is sworn to secrecy. I think I am allowed to mention that diners are in a hot air balloon in a set so beautiful I wanted to take it home, and served food so amazing I actually wanted to marry at least two of my courses. The overall effect was part children’s party for adults, part the coolest wedding you’ve ever been to. The entertainment was slick, elegant and just that: very entertaining. You are encouraged to interact with your hosts and join in the dancing but there is no pressure to do so. You are invited warmly but welcome to say ‘no’.

Cooked-up by adventure-loving food fanatics Suzannah Montfort and Kerry Adamson, The Grand Expedition is Gingerline’s most extravagant experience yet – and with a track record that includes the otherworldly Chambers of Flavour, that’s saying something. Past diners and partygoers have been served–up courses in forests, gondolas and giant ball pits. They’ve been ushered onto an aircraft by a drag queen flight attendant, who performed a song and dance number while delivering the final course and pushed down a slide to mark the end of the experience. As the latest offering, The Grand Expedition does not disappoint, taking aeronauts on an incredible, edible journey among the clouds.

Gingerline exists for one simple reason: to push the humble dinner party to its limits – and then beyond them, neatly into the realms of surrealism. Creative Director and co-Founder, Suzannah Mountfort explains that her inspiration to execute this format for The Grand Expedition was powered by “the most analogue of pastimes: pop-up books and bedtime stories, the tales they tell and the dreams they can induce. It’s designed for grown-ups but inspired by the adventures we dreamed of having as children.”

If I wanted to be picky, I’d point out that the un-eaten food (not that there was much) gets thrown away. In London, in the midst of a homeless crisis, this felt unpleasantly decadent. On the whole though, The Grand Expedition is pure indulgent luxury rather than decadent excess. As someone who doesn’t like surprises, isn’t keen on interactive experiences and can take or leave eating in public, The Grand Expedition managed to blow even my cynical socks off. Totally recommend!


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