Gourmet Picture Company opens 2017 Marlow winter programme with Casablanca
Following successful December 2016 edition and the summer events of this year, chef Tom Kerridge and his Gourmet Picture Company have returned to Marlow, whilst also branching out to Bath, for another festive schedule, presenting a season of the finest dishes combined with a diverse variety of classic and contemporary movies. Popping up at locations across the Buckinghamshire town, the Gourmet Picture company combines the unique blend of food and cinema into a gastro-cine experience for one and all, bringing residents together under one roof in the build-up to Christmas.
When the weather is reaching arctic extremes outside, what is required is a warm and cosy environment where one can enjoy a beverage, with comforting food and a classic film. Fortunately, this is all on offer at the Gourmet Picture Company’s pop-up cinema, where you are immersed in a winter wonderland-esque bar area, with a fireplace, rustic bar and, of course, a beautifully adorned tree. The awe-inspiring tent, fully heated, offers a welcome escape from the chilling temperatures outdoors and almost instantaneously visitors will forget the outside world, being transported immediately into a festive environment that welcomes them in with open arms.
After the success of last years run, the pop-up Picture House has undergone a significant upscale, with the theatre itself now housing a mass of sofas and settees for guests to sink into. Once you are comfortable, the film begins, but since it was opening night, no opening would be complete without a speech from the organising team, including the celebrated Hand and Flowers chef, brand events CEO Chris Hughes and owner of Unicorn Productions Mark James.
Food is served throughout the screening in the three-course format, tailored to the film itself and concocted by critically acclaimed trio Tom Kerridge, Rick Stein and Atul Kochhar, all of whom will take the wheel throughout the season across various locations. Drinks can be ordered during an intermission that has been inserted into the middle of the picture, offering a refreshment and allowing a loo break that leads to less distraction during the film.
The concept is unique. By blending the formalities and etiquettes of both cinema and restauranteering, there can be a few elemental clashes that detract from each other. By focusing on eating your food, attention is drawn away from the movie in progress, and vice versa. This is, however, simply what the dining and cinematic experience is all about. If you are attending to watch a classic film, then the purpose of the event may be lost on you, likewise if you are there for luxurious food, the idea of watching a film in a darkened room may detract from your eating experience.
Aside from a few minor logistical difficulties that will easily be solved, the Gourmet Picture Company are presenting a wonderfully unique experience that will perfectly prepare you for the festivities of the month, whilst you enjoy a drink and a nibble in comfort. Value for money is once again dictated by the pleasure of the experience, but if you are prepared to embrace the concept of Gourmet Picture Company’s endeavours, even with little perspicacity, you will certainly end the evening with a full belly and a warm heart.
Photos: Anna Warrington
Casablanca was at Riley Park on 8th December 2017 as part of the Gourmet Picture Company Marlow programme. Marlow screenings take place from 8th December until 5th January 2018, Bath’s screenings from 14th December until 7th January 2018. For further information or to book visit the Gourmet Picture Company website here.