Last night I went to the opening of PRET A DINER at The Burlington Social Club in the Royal Academy of the Arts in London. It was packed with around 200 people but the crowded atmosphere created a great mood and made the night a great success. 20 chefs prepared amazing Asian inspired food, while cocktail mixers broke conventions and transformed bizarre ingredients into delicious drinks.
The food was incredible, starting with sushi and coconut soup, then moving onto a beautiful teriaky ox cheek. There was such a huge variety of dishes, you could only cope with tasters once you had filled your tummy with starters and mains. When the desserts were served, including a selection of creme brulee, cakes and sorbets – despite the tiny beautiful portions I could hardly manage to try more than one.
The crowd was a great mix, there were lots of important press people, art lovers, artists, food critics, business people and the sophisticated crowd you would expect at a private members club. DJ created a great vibe the atmosphere was perfect and the delicious cocktails kept the everyone happy. The most unusual cocktail was the Tomba which consisted of ginger, tomato and basil among other things but was surprisingly tasty for a savoury cocktail.
Scaffolding was built up around dining area, big square bar and i the middle there was the open kitchen and the chefs. You could see the beautiful showing the detailed high ceilings through the scaffolding. This created an industrial feel in the midst of traditional British architecture and style of the Royal Academy, fusing the two together. The combination worked surprisingly well and the metal poles created a tight space forcing body contact and interaction among the crowd. This prevented any separation or empty corners, allowing everyone to mingle freely and comfortably.
The beautiful grand entrance was located at the back of the RA in Burlington Gardens. Everything was kept simple preventing anyone from feeling overwhelmed or uneasy. The crowded space created a very intimate atmosphere and made you feel part of the vibe and part of the event. This is the way private members clubs should be, welcoming cosy and serving great food and drinks.
The teaser video above can give you an idea of PRET A DINER. The pop up restaurant will be open from the 13th of September and closes its doors on the 17th of November. The German company also host events all over the world, in Germany, France, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Abu Dhabi and Norway.