What do you get when you cross an iconic interior brand with a Michelin trained chef who used to work at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck? A mindblowing dream of a pop up dining experience that I couldn’t have been more thrilled to experience, that’s what!
Grab a cuppa and put your feet up for this one, I’ve got a LOT to share with you!
For the past three weeks the UK’s largest wallpaper manufacturer Graham and Brown have been welcoming visitors to a townhouse in Soho’s Greek Street for their temporary installation The House of Wallpaper. During the day there were exclusive seminars and industry talks, then at night the top floor was transformed into a restaurant for a completely unique dining experience inspired by the stunning wallpapers from their collections.
My visit started on the ground floor, learning some of the brand’s heritage of which they are rightly very proud. Henry Brown and Harold Graham were dear friends all the way back in 1946 who spotted a wonderful opportunity to produce beautiful embossed metallic wallpaper. This came at a time when the public were greatly in need of escapism from the war and their designs flew out the door as people embraced the opportunity to brighten their homes. The rest, as they say, is history!
Graham and Brown might have a rich past, but its collections are always bang on trend. I saw a glimpse into the creative journey that goes on behind the scenes – textures, colours, places and people are all captured on mood boards to provide the inspiration behind the final design of each new wallpaper.
Another installation in the House of Wallpaper was the delightfully trippy mirror room, lined floor to ceiling with their 3d effect ‘Origami’ wallpaper and infinity mirrors! The 3D print made the walls appear padded and I had to keep reminding myself that they were in fact flat!
Feeling suitably inspired and taking mental notes to revamp every room in my house after seeing all of their gorgous prints and colour schemes, I headed up to the main event: The House of Wallpaper Pop Up Dining Experience!
…the stairs that led the way naturally showcased more of the stunning designs!
I have to admit it was a dream come true to go on the food journey created by chef Pedro Passinhas and his talented team over the seven courses. Each was a masterpiece in it’s own right, taking inspiration from a Graham and Brown wallpaper and translating it into an artistic, incredibly skilled and, just as important, downright delicious dish!
The first course set the scene. Named ‘Light As Paper’ and inspired by the wallpaper Tranquil Rose Gold, it consisted of a ginger and cumin foam, carrot and orange granita and an edible napkin! I can’t remember what it was made out of but they’d dehydrated it to make it look like paper which was absolute genius. (Luckily it didn’t taste like paper!)
Next, probably my favourite course: ‘Mineral’. Inspired by the design Aura Slate, this dish was comprised all oysters, horseradish cream, parsely mayonnaise and dill. I haven’t tasted anything like it before, it was incredible and just so beautiful to look at.
‘Scrunched Up’ was a scallop sheet, slow cooked pork neck, squash puree, pickled cauliflower and almonds. As the chefs brought each dish to our table they explained how each element was made. The scallop sheet, for example, took over a day to prepare to ensure that it had just the right look, texture and flavour.
A fun course was ‘Twigs’, inspired by Graham and Brown’s Wallpaper of the Year ‘Pierre Pink’ (as seen on this chair).
We’d all failed to notice that hidden in amongst the floral centerpieces on each table were edible crispy mushroom snacks, which we were then invited to tuck into!
…the courses kept arriving, each as beautiful and delicately delicious as the last. I was in awe at ‘Walk Through The Woods’ which perfectly recreated a mossy forest floor in edible form. It was fun foraging for all the tasty elements hidden in the dish, each mouthful was a new discovery!
As we got up to leave, we were treated to one final surprise – a gift bag of pampering products selected by Pedro himself after a trip overseas. What a thoughtful and unexpected end to the night!
Massive thanks go to Graham and Brown as well as Pedro Passinhas and his team for an unforgettable evening at The House of Wallpaper and of course to my dinner date for the evening FrannyMac who as usual kept me in stitches!
Disclaimer: I was invited to experience The House Of Wallpaper by Graham and Brown and my visit was complimentary. All views, general gushiness over delicious food and fangirling at chefs are, as always, completely and honestly me!