That opening question is a far cry from the usual, ‘would you like water for the table; still or sparking?’. I’ve also never been asked my age and gender just after being seated, hardly polite table etiquette is it? This start gave me an inkling that this was hardly going to be a polite dining experience, this was an experiment… and here we were, two tables of hungry, intrigued, and perhaps somewhat nervous guinea pigs.
Leading us through this experiment were two truly talented (but quite frankly mad) scientists; psychologist Charles Spence who has worked with another well known gastronomic experimentalist with a very expensive restaurant, numerous tv shows and even a range of appliances, and Jesse Dunford-Wood, creative chef extraordinaire and owner of The Parlour in which we were dining. When I received the invite with the rather ambiguous description of the evening I had no idea what to expect; after listening to these two enthusiastically introduce the concept, I decided there was no point trying to anticipate what was coming and just go along for the ride!
I talk a lot. I love a good natter, can spin several yarns, have been known to embellish a little, digress a lot… basically I love telling stories. If you’ve been following along you might have guessed this already, while those who actually know me will no doubt be nodding your heads in agreement. Ask me what I thought about that restaurant we went to last night or where we ate during our weekend away and you’ll rarely get a simple ‘good or not’ or recited list- there’s always a silly tidbit or memory because it’s always more interesting that way.
This story starts like so… last Friday night I took a certain someone out for a birthday dinner at a surprise location, a much-lauded establishment that has been on our hit-list whiteboard for some time- Restaurant Story. This is where I usually launch into my tale before telling you about the dishes, what we liked, what we didn’t, what we would eat again, you know the drill, but the truth is, I am lost for words. The theatrics of the Full Story experience, the military precision with which we were served, the creativity of the food, the meticulous beauty of each plate, my story telling skills have been trumped by those of chef Tom Sellers.