Baileys, one of the original pioneers of the after-dinner, sweet liquor market has enjoyed universal appeal since launching in 1974. Having been a long-established guilty pleasure of my own, without fail, a bottle will always hold a special place in my alcohol cupboard. Well, Autumn is the perfect excuse to warm the cockles with Baileys celebration of the family’s new addition, Baileys Chocolat Luxe. Chief organisers, Unity failed to disappoint, hosting a cute pop-up space within the walls of Mercer Studios in Covent Garden; a part exhibition, part immersive theatre, part exclusive supper club, showcasing collaborations with various artists, producers, scientists and chefs to create a uniquely commissioned event.
On offer, the initial art space featured a large-scale edible art installation created by Artisan chocolatier Amelia Rope and stylist Petra Storrs, a Bompas & Parr scent and flavour experience, music director Tabitha Denholm’s first-ever video installation, and a musical score from pop ingénue Lou Hayter.
Next up; to the official Bailey’s bar, but realistically, more ‘theatre setting meets multi-sensory experience’. A dazzling spectacle by use of illuminated life-like topiary with hanging whisks, and a gold-leaf gilded decorated bar arena. A silky smooth transition from stage two to three was executed with finesse. Sheer floor to ceiling curtains parted before our very eyes to unveil the futuristic dining area. We all ‘coo-ed’ in awe. Dinner was themed on trend a la mode, ‘food as art’, also involving a no plate policy. (Certainly purposeful as far as ‘no washing up’ !) Team duo Blanch and Shock were placed at the helm for the all-important main event. Their agile and inventive approach to the bespoke menu used carefully-sourced seasonal British ingredients, inspired by the technology and processes of modern cookery. The beauty of the dishes, the feeling for colour – the worship of potatoes even – were all important elements. But it was their sensory imagination through presentation and theme which encompassed all that Bailey’s Luxe aspires to be…plain good fun!