Last night I had one of my most exciting London food experiences to date. I had the lucky pleasure of attending the ‘Eat, Pray Love’ DVD launch at MsMarmitelover’s original underground restaurant. The restaurant is her own beautiful home where she hosts fabulous foodie events: some are dinners, simply for the pleasure of eating and trying new ingredients and others are educational. One of her next events is in aid of new bloggers like me, (a conference on ‘How to become a successful food blogger’). Very helpful, if I had the pennies to attend.
I’d like to say that I got to this event off my own back (maybe in 4 years time I will), but my friend who is a fabulous communications specialist snagged the invite for me. I have recently joined twitter (follow me here!), and by 8pm last night, I found myself sitting at a table with some of London’s best food bloggers, critics and bakers. “Keep a cool head Hannah (or CrumpEats as I now have to introduce myself as) and don’t drink too much”, I thought to myself.
Well… the first one I managed, I think, but I may have failed at the second task. On entering I was greeted by a smart smiling guy who swiftly took my jacket and gave me a huge glass of bubbles. He led me through the hallway to the front room; stylishly lit and decorated elegantly with simple white table cloths scattered with rose petals and some fabulous ornate mismatching table furniture; I felt like I was at an exclusive wonderland tea-party.
After chin-wagging for a while, we took our seats and had a great and very humorous introduction from MsMarmitelover herself. She looked utterly fabulous, was full of character and got me very excited about what we were going to eat. The meal was built around the food-geography of film so we ate from different countries as the movie moved through settings in Italy, India and Bali.
When we were served our starter, Julia Roberts was elegantly munching on a bowl of spaghetti. I’m convinced she looked so excited because she had never eaten a whole bowl of carbs before. I however was excited by the pizzette that was put in front of me by a very smiley kitschy dressed waitress. The dough was light and crispy, the tomato sauce rich and sweet, and the toppings, a delicious mix of Italian truffle cheese from the delistation, goat, gorwydd and stichelton with oak smoked toms were divine.
The transition to India was less strange than I had anticipated, mostly thanks to the refreshing white wine we were quite quickly knocking back. The waitresses bought out a fresh salad of cucumber and onion, a bowl of lime pickle that was too strong for my taste and a bit less spicy than I’m used to, a pot of fabulous flavoursome egg curry (whole eggs in curry sauce), and an individual plate of aubergine, fruit and nut curry with dill rice. Everything combined was aromatic, delicate and packed with flavour.
A short break and we were served what was my favourite course of the meal, a quarter of a pinapple with rum and coconut ice-cream. It tasted like the pineapple had been roasted in the aga for hours so that it was smokey and stickey, and the ice cream was so refreshing that I was transported to the sunshine- I’d have quite happily blended the whole thing and drank it as a cocktail, all I needed was a paper umbrella.
The other food bloggers made a quick exit so I relocated to the journo table where I listened to my friends talk confidently about PR things I am yet to understand and drank a much needed strong black coffee out of a cup that if placed correctly on its saucer made a man doing a handstand…I’d drunk enough and it was time to go. I got my first ever goody bag and left with a huge smile and a swell of pride and gratitude to my friend and our generous host. You can read about and see MsMarmitelover’s own pictures of the night here (see if you can spot my face!). I only aspire to go back to the Underground restaurant and encourage anyone who can afford it, to go and listen to MsMarmitelover speak, she really is an inspiration. Look out for the DVD release of Eatpray love, I challenge you to travel the culinary continents like we did whilst eating!