Saturday 31st March was a night of firsts for me. It was the first time I’d worn what can only be described as ‘modern Edwardian attire’ (or at least my take on it), ate stew in an established art gallery and danced to a live DJ around banqueting tables (actually, that probably wasn’t a first, but you get my point).
The reason for all of this? I was at The Stew House – a pop up experience in an undisclosed location, which for us turned out to be The Arch Gallery near Bethnal Green. My friends and I had booked to go at the start of the year to cheer ourselves up post Christmas, choosing the last night of its winter run (just in case you’re thinking ‘great, I’ll have to wait months before I can book tickets myself’, The Stew House is back this Summer with a massive BBQ at The London Fields Brewery).
The gallery itself looked magnificent, having been transformed into a banqueting extravaganza, with two long tables overlooked by large framed hunting pictures and lit by candles. Feeling relieved that we hadn’t overdone the outfits, we were sat together and handed a food menu made up of two starters, three stews and lemon drizzle cake for dessert, all of which was covered by the £25 booking charge.
I went for the Cured Scottish Salmon at the start, served with sweet cucumber pickle, rye bread and cress, followed by the Lamb Broth, which came with chunky seeded bread. Both dishes were tasty, well presented and generously portioned – I must have had half a leg of lamb in my stew. This didn’t leave much room for pudding, but overall I was really impressed with what we ate considering it had all been prepared in the tiny kitchen at the back of the room.
When it came to the drinks, I stuck to the refreshing gin, elderflower and lychee LDC, whereas the others chose either a Whisky Sour or Dark & Stormy. The drinks weren’t covered by our initial payment, so we were pleased to see their reasonable prices of £7 for a cocktail and £18 for the cheapest bottle of red or white.
Once our plates had been cleared away, the DJ turned up the music, enticing us to the dance floor with her mixture of classic tracks that ranged from the Jungle Book’s I Want To Be Like You to Mr Scruff and Marvin Gaye.
I’m sure we’ll make another trip to The Stew House summer, having left feeling satisfied and happy. My only criticism would be the lack of toilets as the queues wasted valuable time, but I wouldn’t hold that against The Stew House as it managed to create the type of exciting and different experience that London is famous for.
The Stew House: http://www.thedeaddollsclub.com/The_Dead_Dolls_Club/about_1.html