DIY Dining with Ikea – Retrospective
by Tony Chambers
“Welcome to The Dining Club, where diners can become the restaurant owners for the evening, and can celebrate the joys of cooking together”.
IKEA have just experimented with this new idea, right in the heart of foodie London – Shoreditch. Progressing from DIY furnishing to DIY dining! We wrote about the idea when IKEA initially announced it but we thought it was worth a retrospective re-cap now it has come to fruition and we have some more details.
The pop-up was called ‘The Dining Club’. This was a trial pop-up restaurant concept which ran from 10-25th September. As of yet, it is not clear whether IKEA intend to run further pop-ups or transfer this to a more permanent destination but it looks like a very clever extension of their overall offer – the pop-up restaurant also links to a kitchen showroom and a homewares shop. In line with England’s fast growing foodie culture, IKEA also included an educational aspect to the experience with a series of additional food workshops running alongside the restaurant itself.
Guests could book a brunch, lunch or dinner slot during this trial period and could bring up to 20 guests with them. Perhaps the most impressive element about the experience was that is was free, no charges. Guests got to prepare the food – then dine together on their own cooked menu. In addition to this the guests could run and manage the restaurant for their slot – with support from a professional Sous-Chef and Maître d’. The restaurant menu consisted of Scandinavian inspired modern dishes – with a focus on fresh and simple. Fish, seafood, fresh ingredients, vegetables, gravadlax, raw food, tartars, curing, pickling, smoking.
The Dining Club sought to enact the atmosphere of a dinner party. Customers got their own welcoming personalised A-board at the entrance welcoming their guests, another nice touch. All guests were also encouraged to broadcast their ‘dinner parties’ under the hashtags #MakeMoreThanJustFood and #TasteOfSweden.
You can find out more about how this fascinating trial pop-up went at ikea.com/the-dining-club. It is also worth checking out the snippets from the ‘Food for Thought Workshops’ at the bottom page. A series of seminars with inspiring speakers across a range of topics from the future of food to to save money saving tips.