A Literary Feast, Hendrick’s Library Of Delightfully Peculiar Writings, Brighton, May 23 (From The Argus)
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A Literary Feast, Hendrick’s Library Of Delightfully Peculiar Writings, Brighton, May 23
The forensic-style white all-in-one handed to me as I entered the faux-Victorian tent-come-library was an odd but strangely apt way to start a night of decadence. Before me lay a chamber heavy with a fog, into which I was ushered to discover it was in fact food architects Bombas And Parr’s cloud cocktail chamber – a heady steam bath of gin concoction.
This year’s literary feast was based on Trimalchio, a character in the Roman novel The Satyricon by Petronius. He was famed for his opulent dinners, including live birds sewn up inside a pig and a course for every sign of the zodiac.
With such a tough act to follow, Bombas And Parr went all out to recreate the excess, with starters including quails’ eggs with Olympian vigour and sea urchin with eggs and garum – an ancient fish paste made from intestines.
Innards continued as a theme with a beef, testicle and kidney pie with sow’s udder and pigs’ eyes served with leeks of Rome and, of course, a Caesar salad.
Accompanying these culinary curiosities were libations and Hendrick’s had not held back either. A hearty mead, combining gin with ale, ginger and honey syrup and lemon was served in a tankard fit for excessive toasting, while the claret cobbler, an indulgent combination of gin and liqueurs to create a wine-like drink was heady to say the least.
The best was left for last, with the adventurous duo Bombas And Parr deciding to combine jelly and explosives and detonate dessert.
With gin flowing as freely as the Tiber, things inevitably got silly, with food fights and a bout of Indian leg wrestling.
Trimalchio’s dinner ended with a fake funeral for him, and after the debauchery and decadence of this meal, I too was ready to rest in peace.