An intriguing invitation to “Unlock the 18th Century” tempted event planners, agents and bookers to travel back in time when we hosted a dining experience with a difference in Somerset House’s little known, but hugely atmospheric Deadhouse.
This exclusive event was dubbed the
Zafferano Subterranean Supper Club,
and was staged in the the iconic venue’s underground event spaces, evocative of a time when the first foundations of Somerset House as we know it, were still being laid.
The event began with a drinks and canape reception, featuring chef-led food installations, in the manner of 18th century still life paintings, spectacularly realised by those clever folk at Fisher Productions. Captured behind huge gilt picture frames, our chefs shucked Native Oysters and hand carved Gin Smoked Salmon to order, the latter served with Potato Drop Scones and Goosberry Compote.
Continuing the art theme, we took Hogarth’s infamous “Gin Lane” etching as our inspiration, serving gin (or “mother’s ruin”) based cocktails including ‘Bad Kitty’ and ‘Hanky Panky’ from tulip goblets and copper tankards.
Guests were then led through the Deadhouse’s winding and mysterious spaces to a “Beggars Banquet” – a candle encrusted, zinc topped long banquet table, strewn with luscious foliage from the devilishly creative Larry Walshe. The 3 course banquet featured contemporary takes on traditional English dishes, including Potted Mackerel, Soused Beetroot, Apple Salad and Herdwick Lamb Pie.
Dessert was an oh-so- decadent affair with guests invited to leave the banquet, and enter the Courtesan’s Parlour, where a glorious floral “Dessert Tableau” awaited them. A towering Croquembouche took centre stage, with colourful Macaron Pyramids, Golden Opera Cakes, freshly baked Madeleines and Champagne Gold Leaf Jellies in supporting roles.
To accompany the desserts, guests were served our take on an espresso martini – a “Moll King Martini”, named after a notorious 18th century Covent Garden coffee house, served in little pewter coffee cups.
Entertainment, provided by Eight Ray Music, included a live performance by classically trained composer, Okiem, famed for being Tinie Tempah’s keyboard player.
We loved creating a culinary journey for our guests – guiding them from Hogarth’s Gin Lane through to a Beggars’ Banquet before finishing in the splendour of a Courtesan’s parlour. Here at Zaff HQ we believe in providing food that sings and performance is at the heart of everything we do. The Deadhouse at Somerset House provided the most wonderful stage and backdrop!
A huge thank you to Somerset House, Fisher Productions, Eight Ray Music and Larry Walshe Flowers for helping us with our time travelling endeavours!