Back to Black


Beautiful concrete figurines by Kathy Dalwood

I have a fascination with the colour Black. I am told it is not really a colour so I have a fascination with a non colour…just to be difficult. My Interest in Black food was first realised when a few years ago I went on a Valentines date to my favourite Italian restaurant.

I devoured an inky black pool of squid ink risotto accompanied by copious amounts of red wine. Divine. At the end of a very romantic evening I looked into the bathroom mirror to find my mouth transformed into a liquorice smile…My mouth was black, my teeth were black. Valentines night and my seductive pool of black risotto had morphed me into a black toothed Mary Queen of Scotts. We cried with laughter at the Valentines chefs revenge. I am sure my tears of laughter were black too (and we did go out for four years after that so it wasn’t really a disaster)

Since that moment I have had a black food obsession. Caviar, Black truffles, Black rice, Cuttlefish, squid ink…all delicious and all very very black. There is something dark and slightly unsettling about eating black food. Perhaps it is the association with darkness and thereby death? I love the idea of a monochromatic dinner with all of the dishes and drinks being black. So much so that when I went to a supperclub thrown by a A razor, a shiny knife and we realised or mutual interest in black food we decided to throw a dinner with precisely that. Bompas & Parr who we collaborated with researched and found that Black banquets were not a new thing and did in fact have a glorious history. Of course! One of the most remarkable was hosted by Grimod de la Reyniere in 1783.

Inspired by the feasts of the past we devised an eight course menu of all black food. We found the perfect venue in the Quintessentially charitable pop up club in the House of St Barnabas. A beautiful Georgian house in Soho complete with a garden and it’s own chapel (from which we served black vodka and jellies)

I designed the tables to have contrasting black elements in a variety of materials. Black concrete figurines, shiny liquorice towers and Black matte ostrich eggs. Black object filled with the blackest flowers nature can provide…Black Dahlias, Black Calla lillies and clusters of blackberries,  blackcurrants, Black grapes (grown in my very own garden)

Let them eat black! And we did.


Our Black banquet menu


Black Pyramid Jellies by Bompass and Parr


A tower of Black Jellies in the Chapel at the House of St Barnabus





We raided all the local charity stores for object…then sprayed them black.


Liquorice and Black Jack towers and Black Waterford Crystal glasses make the table setting complete.


Liquorice strands as napkin rings. Nice to play with pre dinner



Paul Glossop our very talented in house Director of Balloon artistry…Aren’t we lucky?




Dita Von Teese came to show her support… we love Dita.


The fun bit is getting to take the balloons home. Taxi?!