In late December I went along to a festive showing of the cult movie Trading Places at the iconic, prettily ornate, art-deco inspired Electric Cinema in London’s trendy Notting Hill. (Click for our guide to luxury cinemas in London, featuring the Electric.)
Through the elegant, chrome-edged doors, past the pick and mix, redolent of old-school aromas and an unmistakable array of childhood favourite sweets, cinema-goers find themselves in a low-lit magical enclave of rich red velvet, luxuriant leather chairs and table lamps that would befit something of a turn of the century ballroom.
We begin our edible experience with a business breakfast – matched to the film’s general theme. “A snobbish investor (Dan Ackroyd) and a wily street con artist (Eddie Murphy) find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires” – owners of a Philadelphia based corporate trading firm.
We receive a miniature Danish and a gin-infused breakfast cocktail – one that weeks later still makes me salivate.
The “Alexandra Kellogg’s” can only be described as breakfast bottled: Bombay sapphire, green cardamom liqueur, cornflake infused whole milk and sugar syrup. And that’s coming from someone who is no cereal fan.
Next up, perfectly timed with a bathroom scene entitled ‘Louis Winthorpe III starts the day the right way’, we reach forwards for the ‘shaving foam’ – a pump and spritz cocktail that comes in a plastic squirty bottle.
This too is based on the evening’s supportive juniper laced spirit: a fresh start to this most nostalgia-inducing 1983 film. Over the next 116 minutes at various appropriate points through the showing we are prompted by an illuminated screen to indulge in the next round of offerings on our trays.
Lobster suzette – served in time with when Louis and his ‘lady Penelope’ are feasting on both, comes to us in the form of a lobster and orange flavoured macaroon – the stuff of gods.
Next comes a chocolate cigar – devoured at the same time the ‘villains’ of the film who set the two worlds in opposite motion puff on their own.
Paper box number five is quite simply baffling – in a moment entitled ‘we’ll try to explain what we do…’ we are served a pork terrine (Duke & Duke is a company that trades food commodities on the stock exchange).
Our pork terrine, to perfectly evoke just how lucrative this business is, is sprayed in edible gold. Gold! In a foodstuff. Forget this you will not (just a shame the lights are obviously quite dim, thwarting the metallic shine that comes from it).
The story progresses, and Louis Winthorpe continues to fall further from grace, dressing as Santa and stealing a large salmon from the office party. His drunken ride home on the bus is memorably offered to us in a miniature box of noodles – complete with salmon and charcoal powder.
Beef jerky completes our culinary journey when the film comes to its conclusion on board a train. The millionaires thwarted (spoiler alert), the credits roll to a contented, thirst quenching ‘Million Dollar Cocktail’ in honour of our new most affluent heroes. It is appropriately made with fresh orange juice – such is the basis of the winnings.
Edible Cinema is a cinematic experience like no other and a must for culinary and silver screen fans who seek just a little more from a ‘regular’ London night out.
Hosted at the Aubin Cinema in Shoreditch, and the Electric in Notting Hill, watch out for the next round of film dates coming soon. I can’t wait to go again.