May 26, 2017 | By Sarah Housley
Experience Lifestyle & Interiors on WGSN.
Feb 19, 2016
London is buzzing with multi-sensory experiences at the moment. Hot on the heels of Bompas & Parr’s colour-changing flower shop, we headed to Westfield to try out its new food sensorium, created by Condiment Junkie for food retailer Marks & Spencer.
Themed around decadence, pleasure and sensorial enjoyment, Indulgence 2016 is a fun park for food, serving up tasty flavour experiments topped with a generous serving of absurdism. “We wanted to explore the emotional and sensorial qualities of what makes a food indulgent,” says Condiment Junkie’s co-founder Russell Jones on the project. “Visitors can unleash their guilty pleasures, sample the most exquisite intense flavours, become engulfed in the most provocative smells and have the chance to samples the world’s rarest gastronomies.”
Here’s a taste of what you’ll be able to enjoy if you make the trip.
A trip into chocolate: drawing on research that has proven that colour can influence how we taste food, one room takes visitors on a trip into the intensity of a rich chocolate truffle – with the colour of the surroundings changing to help amplify the experience.
A guilty pleasures game show: celebrating the low-brow treats and offbeat combinations that can make food so fun, this room comes with a sprinkling of immersive theatre. If you’ve ever wanted to be on a weekday game show, now’s your chance.
Sumptuous smells: an interactive flavour experiment with a twist, this room challenges you to pair smell with taste to find out how much the former can influence the latter (quite a lot, in theory: smell is up to 90% of taste). There’s also the opportunity to guess the mystery scent (this is really hard).
Rarefied tastes: in this museum-like environment, you can try out fine cheese, caviar and dark chocolate, as well as observing the more rarefied foods of the world, including the most expensive chocolate bar in existence, and a very decadent watermelon.
All in all, Indulgence provides a refreshing change to food culture’s current laser-focus on clean eating, health and wellness. It’s a fun experience – great for families looking for a break from shopping – and it brings some of the key ideas of flavour science to life in a clever and entertaining way. It also made me really crave Chocolate Digestives dipped in tea.
Indulgence 2016 runs 19th – 21st February at Westfield London and 26th – 28th February at Westfield Stratford.
LIKE THIS? Check out Westfield’s previous food experience pop-up, Tongue Twister.
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