So as promised, last night brought possibly our artsiest outing yet: an evening of Edible Cinema at the Bikeshed Theatre in Exeter (of course), presented by Butterscotch Cinema. It was a screening of Amelie – fun anyway – but made ten times better with the addition of an adorable little “hamper” – actually an old VHS case – with miniature dishes, to enjoy at specific points during the film. Sounds like a good night, right?
We arrived at the Bikeshed to find it already buzzing with fellow English students and other artsy types (including one of Exeter’s most popular English lecturers, which made us all suitably giggly). I’d never been in before but the theatre-bar-coffee shop is seriously cool: it’s underground, and decorated with lots of bike wheels and various bits of art work. There was also live music and obviously the bar was open. Unfortunately our poorly bank accounts meant that we couldn’t partake in yet another cocktail, so instead we stood around, people watching and admiring our tickets, which were original photos from the 1940s. Here’s mine – doesn’t that man look lovely and friendly?
Anyway, after about 20 minutes it was time to go into the cinema. We eagerly collected our “hampers” and little spoons and headed into the cinema. The screening was more or less sold out, which meant that they’d extended the seating beyond the usual theatre seats and created several rows of other, much less comfortable chairs. Obviously we ended up on these, which meant much fidgeting during the last hour or so of the film!
We had a few speeches at the beginning from the people organising the event and also a man from Love Local Food, the wonderful charity that benefits from the proceeds, and then it was time for the film to begin. As soon as the lights went down I remembered that a) I really, really don’t like not knowing exactly what I’m eating and b) after some unfortunate experiences last year, listening to other people eat makes me feel seriously sick. However, luckily the film kind of explained what we were eating – and, as we left, we discovered that everything was listed on the back of the VHS case anyway! Here’s what we ate:
I have to say, I wasn’t a fan of the quail’s egg or especially the chicken jelly, which tasted like cat food. However, the four sweet offerings were all delicious – the raspberries were so fresh, they made me remember how completely bland your average Tesco raspberries are! I was a little bit suspect when I realised we were going to be eating coffee beans but they were covered in chocolate and were delicious, and the raspberry marshmallow was to die for. I was seriously tempted to lick the inside of the cupcake case it came in, it was that good.
As we all know I’m a huge fan of all food-themed events and so this was a fab and unusual evening out – and all for a good cause! The food was all locally sourced which is obviously great and you could really taste how fresh everything was. From an English student/general nerd perspective, it was also so interesting to see what points they’d picked out as suitable eating moments – it was a good way to look at the high points of the film. All those sensory moments!
We’ve since been trying to figure out alternative movies and plan out our own edible cinema experiences…so far we’ve not been able to get much beyond various Roald Dahl movies. The chocolate cake scene in Matilda, anyone? Pancakes?
Overall, I’d definitely recommend the Bikeshed. The cocktail menu especially looks amazing and I’m sure we’ll be checking it out very soon!