Dining at The Cob Gallery, London

The table is set for the first in a series of dinners at The Cob Gallery in London, with a backdrop of works by artist Walter Hugo
The table is set for the first in a series of dinners at The Cob Gallery in London, with a backdrop of works by artist Walter Hugo
(Image credit: Liam Hess)

Nothing makes you linger over an exhibition quite like eating dinner in its presence. Such was the theory of The Cob Gallery (opens in new tab) when it launched the first instalment of a series of conceptual dinners in London last night, watched over by Walter Hugo's (opens in new tab) dark, shadowy nudes. Nibbling on squid quavers and guinea fowl popcorn, we had ample time to admire the artistry of his forms.

The Cob Gallery is a new gallery-cum-studio opened by young play-write Polly Stenham (opens in new tab) and gallery director, Victoria Williams in February on an unassuming side street in Camden. Designed by Llowarch Llowarch Architects (opens in new tab), it aims to be a springboard for emerging artists like Hugo, who creates his works using a self-coined 'photographic fresco' technique. Applying his deliberately over-exposed images onto wall fragments salvaged from his studio, he creates a series of eerie, textured and smudged forms that look as if they are emerging from the shadows.

The evening's inventive menu came courtesy of chef Daniel Morgan (formerly of the Ritz (opens in new tab), Maze (opens in new tab) and The Square (opens in new tab)). Setting up camp in the gallery, he concocted a light selection of culinary surprises, including watermelon tartare with honeydew yolk, and 'deconstructed' Waldorf salad, with celery milk pannacotta, raisin purée and walnut granola. To leave us feeling fresh, he rounded things off with his own specially devised apple chewing gum.

Stenham plans to host two more dinners this week, followed by one at the start of each new exhibition, as a means to encourage people to interact with the gallery's artworks in a relaxed environment. 'We are always looking to do different things to help people view art in new ways and we hope this is going to be one of them,' she says. Hosting up to 24 people, the next dinners will take place on Friday the 4th and Saturday the 5th of November, and will be open for bookings at £40 a head, with a welcome glass of Prosecco.

Chef Daniel Morgan prepares his inventive menu, watched over by Hugo's shadowy nudes

Chef Daniel Morgan prepares his inventive menu, watched over by Hugo's shadowy nudes

(Image credit: Liam Hess)

The squid quavers with wasabi pearls

The squid quavers with wasabi pearls

(Image credit: Liam Hess)

Black olive popcorn

Black olive popcorn

(Image credit: Liam Hess)

Morgan prepares the watermelon tartare with honeydew yolk

Morgan prepares the watermelon tartare with honeydew yolk

(Image credit: Liam Hess)

The finished product

The finished product

(Image credit: Liam Hess)

The popcorn guinea fowl, served in Chinese takeaway containers

The popcorn guinea fowl, served in Chinese takeaway containers

(Image credit: Liam Hess)

Level one of the Apple Pie Screwball dessert: apple chewing gum

Level one of the Apple Pie Screwball dessert: apple chewing gum

(Image credit: Liam Hess)

The topping of the Apple Pie Screwball dessert

The topping of the Apple Pie Screwball dessert

(Image credit: Liam Hess)

Guests enjoying their meal in the gallery-cum-dining room

Guests enjoying their meal in the gallery-cum-dining room

(Image credit: Liam Hess)

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