Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when organising an event, with the usual requisite wine (or prosecco) and nibbles making, and some cursory decorations thrown up at the last minute to jazz up a venue enough to give a slightly “party” feel to the place. I know this, because I used to organise events for a living. So much time is spent on guest lists and caterers, the venue, speakers and entertainment. There are so many issues with the logistics of an event that sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what the actual aim is. The EXPERIENCE.
Yesterday I had a chance to go to an event that managed to do just that. They hit the nail right on the head with one of the most memorable and FUN nights I’d been to yet.
To celebrate the upcoming launch of TK Maxx’s new campaign, we had a chance to take part in an evening of #DuvetDining at Marlins’ Wynd on Blair Street. To say we had no idea what was in store was a understatement, but the whole evening had an Alice in Wonderland feel to it that I am a total sucker for. Down the rabbit hole into a hidden venue lit with twinkling fairy lights, we were told the theme of the evening was “Ridiculous Possibilities”. Expect the unexpected, right?
The Ridiculous Possibilities campaign had already launched these pop-up events in London and Belfast, where a 7 course menu designed by Gizzi Erskine (yes, that Gizzi Erskine) was served to diners in a blanket fort. Now I’ve been known to have a lazy dinner or two in bed, usually a takeaway on a Sunday after a busy weekend. Isn’t that the dream, to be served an incredible feast under the covers and then just be able to lie back and have a wee snooze?
The idea of the meal was that each dish was “not what it seemed”, with tasty combinations presented unexpected ways. I’ve always said I would love to go to one of Heston Blumenthal’s Fantastical Feasts, and this had those same elements of wonderment and delight.
I used to live near the TK Maxx at Meadowbank Retail Park when I moved to Edinburgh, and most days my flatmates and I would stop in on our way home. A new shirt for work, some stationary for uni work, maybe something for the flat. Sometimes we would just wander in to have a look because hey, it was there, and we always found something interesting. I’m sure everyone has at some point come out with some totally random item that they didn’t know existed and couldn’t leave without. The last time I was in TK Maxx in Edinburgh, I bought the most incredible pink and gold Venetian mask. Did I expect to find it when I went in for some dinner plates? Of course not. Did I absolutely have to have it? Obviously.
We were greeted with a drink when we came down the stairs, and some mysterious closed drapes hiding a blanket fort that would be unveiled just before dinner. There were photo props and a trampoline, and because Emily and I are unapologetically goofy, we went a bit selfie-mad. We play with the notion of normality all the time.
I decided to take photos of all the food served, though as I don’t eat meat there were quite a few dishes I couldn’t eat. Emily hit the jackpot there. Go to an event with a veg-head and you’ll get their share of the chicken (which she was very enthusiastic about) and the “meat fruits” filled with duck pâté. everything was sooo pretty that I’ll admit we probably spent as much time snapping photos as we did eating! I’d forgotten my proper camera, so the dodgy photo quality is down to me snapping on my iPhone.
Me with my “rabbit food”.
How much fun does this look?? I’ve decided I want to build a blanket fort in my own flat now, because what better way to finish off a meal than getting comfy under a pile of pillows and fluffy duvets?