18 | Nov | 12

Richard Johnson

A Merry Little Christmas?

There was me, saying food in London was closing up for Christmas. Now look.

Street food traders from Kerb doing big business in the shadow of the Gherkin; a packed-out food rave from Tweat Up in a Hackney warehouse, with barbed wire and the best bootleg chilli; and a Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe party that is about to recreate Narnia. Inside the M25. Hush my mouth.

‘The Wine, the Feast and the Wardrobe’  — the boldest of the lot — takes place in Kevington, a country pile in Kent decked out in period splendour . The adventure starts on arrival. Following drinks and nibbles, you’ll be sat down to Christmas dinner, and then invited to climb through “the wardrobe in the spare room” — to Narnia. You’ll discover the White Witches’ temptation, music and dancing with fawns – fuelled by Adam’s cocktail bar – until 1am.

If you’re worrying about the drive to and from London, don’t. The organisers are taking care of it. Plans are being made to ‘evacuate’ guests from an EastEnd location on December 14, (in a suitably 1940s bus) to the opulence of Kevington’s grand dining rooms for dinner. And you’ll be ferried home before sunrise. Details will posted on the website nearer the time.

“There’s a lot on offer for people to do at Christmas time” says organiser James Tabor, “so you’ve got do something more interesting than just a paper hat and a mince pie. We’re adding theatrics, amazing decoration, music, entertainment, innovative cocktails and great food, in the grandest setting we could find, to make it a Christmas dining experience people will never forget. Local people will be shocked this hidden gem even exists, and Londoners who make the trip will have a bona fide night in the country.”

Prices are from £48 on Sunday, and  £63 in the evenings, which includes two pre-meal drinks, snacks, a 5-course dinner, post-meal drinks and treats, and the “Narnia experience”. No mention of a lion………yet.