Some books are good enough to inspire you to travel the world. For fans of literature, travel, and food, one pop-up supper club is combining all three with an event series that pays homage to one of the greatest travel books of all time.
This February, Grub Club returns to London with their wildly popular series The Literary Hour. The theme for the first event of 2018 will be “Around the World in 80 Days.” The backstory and inspiration are, of course, plucked straight from the classic Jules Verne novel. The dinner “starts” in 1872 in The Reform Club, the favorite spot for protagonist Phileas Fogg. Every cocktail, appetizer, and entree of the five-course dinner is a surprise. All are inspired by traveling around the world in the same way Fogg did, from the Suez Canal across Asia and the Americas, and back home to Europe. Every course is preceded by a brief reading from the book to set the stage and introduce the foods within. As with all of The Literary Events, the location is kept strictly top secret which only adds to the overall excitement.
For 2017, The Literary Hour included other culinary events based upon and inspired by classic literary tales. All blend an appreciation for popular books with great food and a healthy dose of whimsy. The group kicked off 2017 with a “Feast in Narnia,” inspired by the frozen fantasy world of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Diners entered the banquet hall through none other than an ornate, purpose-built wardrobe. For fall, the group coordinated a The Wind in the Willows-themed event dubbed “A Banquet in Toad Hall.” The gourmet “picnic” featured a five-course dining experience inside many of the book’s most memorable locations such as Toad Hall and Ratty’s picnic on the Riverbank. Other past events included Dr. Hannibal Lecter-inspired brain fritters and a three-course Willy Wonka dinner with gourmet chewing gum.
Booking well in advance is highly recommended as most of Grub Club’s experiences sell out fast. Tickets for The Literary Hour and all other events are available directly through the Grub Club website for around £50 (USD $67). All events are adults-only (18-plus) and BYOB is encouraged.