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Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London, SE1 9DT.
V&E road-tests a Bard-themed dinner event, hosted by Mask Event Design & Production at Shakespeare’s Globe.
On November 15, Mask Event Design & Production invited us to a Shakespearian dinner in The Swan at The Globe’s intimate PDR. This gave us a taster of a larger-scale event – 400 guests, arriving by boat – taking place in The Underglobe that evening.
Both spaces were draped in rich red fabric, while stacks of Olde English books, grand floral arrangements (created by Hybrid florists), candelabras and skull candles (a nod to Hamlet) made up the table centrepieces. We loved the breadsticks – rolled into quills with squid-ink nibs – and an ‘ink jar’ filled with pesto for dipping that greeted us as we sat down.
Elizabethan tradition dictated that the wealthy ate delicacies grown from above ground, such as apples and meat, while peasants consumed food from below – radishes and oysters, for example. The in-house catering team tailored our banquet with this theme in mind.
Our evening kicked off, as we like it to, with a glass of Champagne and a selection of canapés presented on Perspex scroll trays. We were served radishes with pea hummus, alongside Hereford beef on a mini potato and truffle cream. Then we tucked in to chicken foie gras on toasted rye and lemon sole goujons with a pea and tartar dipping sauce.
We chose from a selection of bowl food for our main course: there was braised beef cheeks with thyme mash, parsnip crisps and a Guinness reduction; pork shoulder with apple and turnip bake; Cornish crab cake with a spicy tomato relish; or kedgeree.
For dessert, there was a feast of macaroons, orange jumble in tea cups, lemon and strawberry cheesecake pots with a brioche crumb, sack posset (a spiced, creamy drink made with sherry, brandy, cinnamon and cream – in case you were wondering), chilled apple soufflé, and a clotted cream rice pudding with bramble jam. This was topped off with a handsome board of cheese and chutneys.
Merry and full, we then walked through the museum (which can be opened for guests if required) to The Underglobe, where the Elizabethan theme came into its own. Lush tapestries and chessboard flooring combined with waiting staff dressed up as fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our own evening ended just as a live band – Urban Soul Orchestra – started to blast out a bit of crowd-pleasing Bublé but not before we managed to sneak a peek at the Bardacious party in full swing.