Who would want to visit a fancy restaurant with a nice ambiance and comfortable chairs, when they could get together in a run down flat, sit on plastic chairs and eat off tin plates? And who wouldn't want to pay £35 for the experience?
It's these very questions that you would think would preclude the opening of a 'fine dining experience' in a 'derelict' flat in London. The group behind the idea have taken over a flat, daubed graffiti over the walls, installed a dodgy old sofa and some tables, and launched it as a cutting edge 'pop up' restaurant called the 'Derelict Flat Dinner Party'.
Diners who hope to take advantage will have to pay £35 a head for dinner of shrimp tacos, grilled cod and an ice cream sundae - and they'll need to bring their own booze. The advertising suggests: "The general idea is to present y'all with a yummmmmy four course dinner where you'll meet some new reprobates, drink yourself into oblivion and generally have a damn good time." The blurb also promises "one of those amazingly edgy experiences that you will tell your grandchildren about when you're old and wrinkly."
The organisers specialise in unique dining experiences - from dinner in a Peckham warehouse, to a meal in an underground train carriage. They are part of the wider supper club movement, and the idea that there's an alternative to the traditional restaurant experience.
There are all sorts of unusual themed cafes and restaurants that have opened in the UK in recent years. Five of the most unusual may be:
1. The crisp sandwich cafe that has just opened in Keighley, West Yorkshire, and features more than 50 varieties of crisps in three types of bun - with the option of toppings ranging from ketchup to peanut butter.
2. The Cereal Killer cafe in Shoreditch, which hit the headlines for its menu featuring creative combinations of an enormous number of cereals, toppings and flavoured milks. It has been such a success that a second branch is set to open in Camden
3. The cat cafe. Lady Dinah's Cat emporium is a cafe with resident cats for the visitors to pet while they eat. The business has been open for more than a year, and goes from strength to strength.
4. The dog cafe. Scooby's is a slightly different offering to the cat cafe. You can bring your own dog, and buy a toasted sandwich for you, and anything from a home-baked dog biscuit to slobber globber loaf for the dog.
5. The owl cafe. Following the Japanese example, for six days earlier this year, this cafe offered dinner in the company of the resident owls - with some customers paying extra and being allowed to handle the birds. The event was designed as an educational and compassionate opportunity to understand more about owls and raise money for an owl conservation charity, but after pressure from animal rights campaigners it opened in a secret location in the East End.
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