Secret experiences and immersive theater have become very popular activities in recent years and we’ve enjoyed a few of them, so when we heard about The Grand Expedition from Gingerline, we were looking forward to it.
We weren’t sure what to expect other than a five-course dinner and a show. If you are looking for a unique dining experience in London, I don’t think you will find a better one.
Part of the reason this experience is so special is because no one knows what to expect. To maintain the element of surprise, this post is not as detailed as usual. It’s difficult to write about something that’s supposed to be a secret! If you’re interested in going, don’t worry – there are no spoilers here.
What is the Grand Expedition?
The Grand Expedition can be summarized as a five-course immersive dinner show, but it is more than that. Gingerline describes it as a floating, falling, feeding dream, and this is a pretty good summary. It’s a multi-sensory experience: The show is imaginative & unpredictable, coupled with 360-degree projected backdrops, subtle lighting changes, audio narration – and of course the delicious food. Visually it was dreamy!
Where is the Grand Expedition?
This is a closely guarded secret. As they say on their website, it is somewhere along the Victoria Line. A few hours before the show, you will get a text with instructions on how to get to the top secret location. Don’t worry – there is a number to call if you don’t get the text or get lost. This is unlikely though, as the instructions are pretty clear and the location is only a short walk from the tube.
We didn’t have any issues finding the hidden location, so we arrived about 15 minutes early. After a few minutes, they checked our names off the list (note: you don’t need to bring printouts of your confirmation) and lined us up to enter.
A few minutes before 7 pm, we were escorted in and offered our welcome drink. Then, we were taken to our table. The tables are arranged for groups of eight, but everyone has plenty of space.
When I entered the main dining room, I felt like I had been transported to a magical dream. The lighting made it feel romantic, perfect for a date night. Russell described it as “1930s aeronaut fairytale,” although he also felt that didn’t quite do it justice. It is was more like a place where childhood dreams and wonder meet. The decor is even carried through to the bar and the restrooms.
No matter where you sit, the show will happen all around you. Don’t expect to stay in your set all night either. It is an interactive show, but don’t worry you won’t be asked to do anything embarrassing.
It’s a multimedia production that kept me entertained and guessing. In case you were wondering, we never guessed right, but that is all part of the experience! The multicultural aspects of the show were colorful, dramatic, and took place all around the room. You were always looking around to see what some of the performers were doing over your shoulder. It was well paced though, so although there was a lot going on, we always had time to concentrate on the food.
Speaking of food, it’s a five-course meal so be sure to come hungry. Each course was themed to accompany the performances and served by the cast. All the dishes were creative, artistically presented and tasted delicious. There was no menu provided on the table because that would spoil some of the surprise of The Grand Expedition, so each course came with a card that included information about what we were eating.
They can cater to any dietary restrictions, just be sure to tell them when purchasing a ticket. Two ladies at our table were vegetarian.
When you arrive, you are greeted with a welcome drink (beer) that is included with the ticket. During the meal, there is the option to purchase wine and cocktails as pairings or a la cart. There is a bar just off the main dining room. Russell and I shared a bottle of sauvignon blanc. The wine and the welcome drink were enough for me although several of the cocktails looked tempting.
The Grand Expedition was a unique experience. I was impressed by all the thought that went into the details of the production and the food. There was always something going on and it seemed like there was never a dull moment. .
The high-production values, delicious food, and overall experience make it one of my favorite experiences ever! If you go – suspend your disbelief, embrace the fairytale nature of the show, sit back and enjoy an evening that tastes as delicious as it looks.
When you think about the fact that you get a five-course dinner in London, welcome drink, and entertaining live show, the prices are quite reasonable.
Is the Grand Expedition Suitable for Kids?
While I think the show is suitable for all ages, kids are not allowed at the evening performances. Kids 12 and over can attend the matinees. The food menu might be a bit sophisticated for some children.
Showtimes and Tickets
The Grand Expedition has evening shows that start at 7:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday and matinee shows at 12:00 pm on Saturday. The show lasts three hours.
Tickets range from £60 to £75 per person plus a booking fee. Purchase tickets online in advance here.
Gingerline are pioneers of London’s immersive dining scene, they have been producing similar events since 2010. They aim to create the ultimate dining experience. Gingerline was the team behind Chambers of Flavour.
There are lots of questions about the Grand Expedition that aren’t answered here. It’s another reason why you need to experience it for yourself.
Have you been to the Grand Expedition or anything similar?
Disclosure: Gingerline invited us to attend the Grand Expedition in exchange for social media shares. We enjoyed the experience so much that we wanted to share more about it on the blog too.