London's princess of pop-up events and the Queen of all things quaint and certified quirky invited us down to her Mad Hatters Valentines Brunch Party for a taste of themed treats and home made eats. Christabel is seemingly the golden-haired Alice in a wonderland of custom designed eating and drinking experiences. We tumbled into the rabbit hole to sample the goodies...
Shrouded in secrecy and revealed a few days before the event, Christabel invites you down to her urban retreat where a playground of life size cards, golden, glittery pears and rose flowers awaits you. Hanging our coats by the door we were welcomed with a bubbling rose infused glass of prosecco and ushered into the heart of the flat where bacon aromas, hand decorated crockery and charming, colourful teapots awaited. An ordinary kitchen space on any other day, Christabel transformed this canal-side flat into a Mad Hatters den where Tea Pig infusions sit in wait, golden spoons lie bathed in maple syrup and pots of popcorn scatter the tables. With London saturated by pop-up events it's refreshing to experience a comforting venue where every detail has been hand selected, crafted and placed to create a totally immersive atmosphere. Blow bubbles, socialise and tuck into the delicate home made foods in an open kitchen setting where idyllic views of Regent's Canal are but a peep over the balcony away.
The Food & Drink
Tea Pigs slurping, prosecco supping and divine eats are what this brunch party was all about. With Christabel behind the menu you can expect a serving of edible delights with petal scattered Salted Caramel Tarts, Peanut Butter lathered Celery sticks and Chocolate Brownie Truffles. These are all just snacking treats adorning the table to tuck into at will. Tastebuds are tantalised by a mix of sweet and savoury flavours as Sausage Baps with a punchy beetroot spread are handed out (to much acclaim).
After tucking into that starter, stacks of heart shaped pancakes were popped on plates next to bowls piled high with the crispiest, streakiest bacon to dig into at will. Drizzle maple syrup or add a dash of popcorn - whatever takes your fancy, this was a feast of sensory satisfaction. Next came pink scrambled eggs with spicy honey and thyme dressing served on Rye bread. Although not the highlight of my dining experience, the coloured eggs were a fantastical touch and presented beautifully. Christabel's is all about exciting your senses with flavour exploration and fusing tastes you wouldn't ordinarily match yourself, and boy does she do it perfectly.
The Atmosphere & Clientele
As it was Valentines themed the crowd was predominantly couples but me and my chum settled in perfectly to the friendly atmosphere. True to the Mad Hatters Tea Party, long tables with benches formed the seating arrangements to create an open, communal dining experience. The beauty of this Christabel's event was its lovely setting and the relaxed atmosphere created by the girls serving us. Everything was personal, friendly and catered to with a no mess, no fuss philosophy. This felt something like attending a friends tea party - comforting and charming (one wonderfully creative and custom designed tea party it should be added).
Original concepts are hard to come by in London, especially those that are delivered on point and to precision, but Christabel's is certainly a testament to creative, fun and bespoke events. This Mad Hatters brunch was something of art finished with colourful flowers, 3D hearts and chocolate scattered tables. Tumbling down the rabbit hole never looked so good.