Sunday, 14 September 2014

Dine Mile High

So here's my account of Dine Mile High, an airline themed pop up restaurant that took us from airport lounge to in-flight meal to Andalucia over the course of the night. I lived in Andalucia for a couple of years when I was a teenager, so I was really looking forward to going back for an evening.

They encouraged fancy dress, but as my matador costume was at the dry cleaners I made do with a black lacy dress and a red flower for my hair.

The location was kept secret until a couple of days before the event, and in the end it took place at One Marylebone Road. When we arrived we were greeted by two smiley air hostesses in blue Pan Am style uniforms who checked us in, gave us our boarding passes and pointed us in the direction of passport control, where a heavily bearded and surly Civil Guard waited to stamp our passports.

Finally through to the departure lounge (read bar), we drank Alhambra beer and cocktails and ate canap├ęs of Manchego cheese, anchovies, cured meats and the richest, creamiest tortilla that I have ever tasted.

We were approached by the pilot at one point, who worryingly had a cocktail in each hand. Apparently he had recently been rescued from rehab...

After an hour or so we were invited to board, and they pulled aside a huge red curtain to reveal where we would be eating our meal. The room was incredible, cavernous and vaulted, its ecclesiastical heritage was evident.

We ate salmorejo with jamon iberico and watermelon (which was intensely savoury and went some way towards changing my mind about cold soup), pan-fried hake with greens and chorizo mayonnaise (normal mayonnaise will never be good enough again), roast loin of iberico pork with pimientos padron (chargrilled green peppers sprinkled with sea salt, so simple but so good), and yogurt mousse with cherries and pistachios.

During the meal we were entertained by a couple of waiters running around with a leg of ham, slicing bits off and feeding it to people.

And also by a singer.

Who gave us a lesson in flamenco when we had finished dinner!

Later on in the night we were given churros, which was more authentic than they probably thought because I often had these on my way home at the end of a night out.

We caught up with the ham and I had a go at slicing it.

My efforts were disgraceful and I sort of hacked at it instead of slicing long, thin, hammy ribbons.

Still passed the wall test though!

Just not for long.

It was all pretty crazy and definitely took me back. There aren't any dates left for this one but in the past they have set the evenings in Gothenburg, Beirut, Sicily and Mozambique, so hopefully it won't be long before they're back to whisk us off to a different destination. 

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