If you enjoy films, food, and cocktails, this experience which combines the three is ideal; with ‘a new way to watch what you eat’, Taste Film is a company working in restaurants in London to provide tailored menus alongside film screenings.
Out of the two options for Christmas screenings – The Holiday and Home Alone – I chose to attend the latter and found it to be an enjoyable day out, and something different to do in the city.
The experience was £80 (£82 including the website’s service charge), for a three-course meal, two cocktails, a film screening and a couple of extras like popcorn and gingerbread trees that we could decorate ourselves.
Arguably, it is on the pricey side, but as something I had never seen before, I was more inclined to pay the price and give it a go.
There was also an additional menu for drinks, with table service available throughout the film. I found the extra menu to be quite dangerous – costing an additional £42 in cocktails.
As the experience was paid in advance, I found it was easier to spend money in the venue without realising how much you spent. With an £82 ticket, and £42 on cocktails, the experience was £124 for just me.
The venue was a The Refinery, a restaurant in City Point, Moorgate.
While small, it had a comfortable, cosy ambience, having been turned into a cinema.
The seating was comfortable, with pillows provided, and I didn’t feel too close to other tables, which I enjoyed, as it didn’t feel too invasive.
The lighting was dark during the film, for obvious reasons, but there was a lamp on the table which helped brighten things up when eating.
This wasn’t a big deal for me, but I had trouble seeing what I was doing when I was decorating the gingerbread tree, which is my excuse for why mine turned out so poorly!
The menu had timings, with the aim to have served everyone the same dish for a timestamp in the film that would relate it to the film itself.
When you are seated, everyone in your party is given a bag of popcorn each as a snack.
I thought this was a nice touch, but both portions were salted popcorn, which isn’t my favourite personally, which was a bit of a shame.
The first course, fried macaroni and cheese balls was served after the first cocktail, about 20 minutes into the film.
I thought these were amazing – the food was great quality, and although I was nervous of the portion size, I felt it was just right for a three-course meal with snacks and cocktails, considering how full I was when I left. The timings worked well, with the main arriving shortly after.
This dish was a duck confit and mozzarella flatbread, served in a pizza box.
The ‘pizza’ was served 48 minutes into the film, as Kevin McCallister treats himself to a cheese pizza while relishing being left home alone.
The flatbread was delicious and again, a surprisingly good portion size. The timings of the food also made the experience more enjoyable, however, I found I wasn’t watching the film as much as I was watching the food – so maybe go for a film which you’ve seen before.
While waiting for the third course, we were given gingerbread trees to decorate ourselves. I enjoyed the service as it was constant – the film went quickly, and it was an entertaining experience as there was always something new in front of you, whether it was food or drink.
Finally, the dessert, a milk and cookie sundae. I found this to be tasty – however, the least satisfying, as for a sundae it was mainly whipped cream on the top.
Not that I was complaining when I ate it – it was delicious, but in hindsight for £80 per person, I feel like there could have been more to it.
Overall the food and service was amazing. It was great quality, tasty, and came out quickly and at good points in the film, relating to the film itself making it a fun, new and immersive dining experience.
However, for the price, I feel like there could have been a bit more to it all. Nonetheless, the food was a great part of the experience, and one of the main components, and I did find it to be high-quality.