Banquet Of Hoshena

Dinner Time Stories, the producer behind the hugely successful Le Petit Chef, is launching a new projector-led dining concept in London on 12th April 2019 that promises to be an illusionary feast for the senses. Running in a pop-up venue at Westfield White City, the innovative dining concept entitled Banquet of Hoshena will transport guests to an imaginary land where flavours and emotions are intrinsically linked, and Kings, Queens, fairies and volcanoes come alive on the table.

This one-of-a-kind dining experience takes guests on a journey through a mystical land known as Hoshena. As the dinner starts and the lights dim, the Queen of Hoshena tells guests of a once-green and luscious kingdom that has banished bad emotions, such as anger, sadness and fear and as a result, removed love, happiness and courage leaving the land bare, dark and empty.  Using cutting edge 3D visual technology, image mapping, experiential props and effective storytelling through flavours, ingredients, sights, sounds and tastes, Dinner Time Story’s latest dining experience takes guests on an immersive journey to restore the Kingdom of Hoshena to its former glory.

During the two hour show, guests will dine on five courses accompanied by wine and cocktail pairings and the food offering will perfectly correspond with the storyline, with each dish representing an emotion. Accompanying the menu are clever props, sounds, illusions and scents, allowing guests to whisper their fears into a pouch and create confusion with dry ice.

The Banquet of Hoshena utilises projections, audio, your plate, your hands, the table, amazing magnetic floating devices, and a narrative journey all delivered by Hoshena’s queen (a mannequin brought to life) to pair each course with the tale of their vindicated kingdom. You’re taken on a journey of a nation at stake, the upshot of poor decisions made by the king, some more narrative tension, a few loops and turns that I can’t recall (the food was good enough to distract me), and ultimately, I think, a happy ending.

Everything is delivered through the eyes of the long-suffering, loyal queen. The highlight for me was when the queen (the sole narrative voice) broke her one-dimensional, factual account of affairs to concede that her husband, the King, was lovely, albeit a bit dim. Elements like this made her character far more sympathetic and engaging. Although, I’ve never been a fan of fantasy so I’m possibly a poor choice to appreciate the highs and lows of a storyline about a mythical kingdom.

If you picture a dungeons and dragons meet-up, but substitute a motley crew of middle-aged men with a fantastic multi-sensory fantasy world brought to life and curated by talented and credible artists; stunning visuals, set design, mind-blowing props and enough atmosphere created with light, sound, and delivery to convert even the most reluctant and staunch realist to fantasy, you get the picture.

The sense of theatre was wonderful – the whole room is brought to life, your plate engulfed in flames, your hands become radioactive, 1970s nymphs dance across the table (don’t ask why – logic is best parked at the door of Hoshena!), and the food wasn’t bad at all – five courses and drinks spaced at just the right intervals to properly appreciate the theatre and fanfare.

If I had to summarise the banquet in three words, it would be a theatrical gastronomic installation.

Westfield, Ariel Way, London, W12 7GF

Tickets cost £85-£110; Apr 12 – Aug 7; to book contact; or call +447510204003

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