If any one London hotel would know how to put on a spectacular show for the festive season, it’d be Brown’s – after all, as the city’s single oldest bolthole, opened all the way back in 1937, they certainly know how to throw a good Christmas party. But with this year’s Nutcracker Immersive Dining Experience, the Rocco Forte-owned address is serving up a particularly sweet treat for fans of ballet.
When we checked into Brown’s just a few short weeks ago, we knew we were going to be back soon, but we hadn’t quite realised how soon: there’s now a reason for anyone, young or old, to pay a visit to London’s most historic hotel, so long as the sound of a Nutcracker-themed dinner sounds good to them – and frankly, wouldn’t that just sound like music to anyone’s ears? The original event, now available to book, will play out a total of six times; on 28 November, 5 and 19 December, with early evening shows running from 5:30 – 7:30 pm and later sittings from 8:30 – 10:30 pm (we’ll be attending the latter, and grab a nightcap from the hotel’s Donovan Bar once the last nut has been cracked!).
Ballet and theatre aficionados can look forward to an evening of experiential fun from start to finish; with festive decorations and Tchaikovsky’s legendary Nutcracker theme setting the agenda in Brown’s entrance area, as well as the hotel’s popular, Adam Byatt-headed Charlie’s restaurant, where famous characters from the ballet will show diners to their table. Over the course of three, well, courses, guests will be immersed in an interactive hunt for a missing item, with clues hidden everywhere from table decorations to the wintery dishes served. Speaking of which, we hear meals will involve glazed beetroot with goats curd, gingerbread creme brûlée and more – luckily for us, veggie-friendly and children’s menus are also available upon request.
What will quite literally be taking centre stage, dinner aside, will be each sitting’s classic performances, including the famous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux. Dancers, actors and magicians involved in the Nutcracker dining experience stem from London’s Black Rabbit Projects, which Brown’s has teamed up with especially for the initiative. We don’t know about you, but we think there’s something rather fairytale-like about the whole thing: a cold winter night, a building brimming with history, costumed performers whizzing about and, to top things off, a mystery waiting to be solved… it’s the perfect Christmas adventure to bring out our inner child (although the adult in us will be sure to have a glass of mulled wine or two!).
The thing with Brown’s is that rather than resting on their laurels, the hotel is always busy upholding its reputation as a place with a ‘scene’, where people come together to drink to a successful Mayfair shopping haul or catch up over a cocktail. Visitors from abroad don’t merely check into the hotel, but they make friends with locals stopping by for tea in the Drawing Room or the latest dining concept at Charlie’s. An evening of magical performances and festive food will no doubt bring together people from all over once more – if that isn’t what the season’s all about, we don’t know what is.
For an exclusive preview of what to expect, enjoy the video below.