As the pop-up foodie trend continues so does the selection of innovative temporary restaurants and pioneering event spaces in London. Recently opened Carousel in Marylebone is the new home of food connoisseurs Shuttlecock, a team of creatives with a passion for imaginative storytelling and love of good food. Hosting a selection of pop-up dining experiences, parties and events, Carousel offers a three-story event space (in a revamped 1970s office block) with an industrial-inspired ground floor restaurant and bar, as well as a selection of private event spaces. Designed in conjunction with Rise Design Studio, the 50-seat restaurant will host an ever-changing selection of pop-up restaurants and events, with the minimalist interiors serving as a blank canvas for the rotating selection of world-class chefs who will be visiting the space over the next five years.
Mixing outstanding food, cocktails and music, Shuttlecock is known for hosting immersive events such as the much talked about Mile High pop-up. Inspired by the golden age of 1950s air travel, Mile High is a series of immersive dining events, taking guests on virtual global city breaks to destinations including Gothenburg, Beirut, Sicily and Mozambique. The evenings include a four-course dinner as well as cocktails, all inspired by the local cuisine of the fantasy destination.
We caught up with the founders of Shuttlecock, Anna, Ollie, Ed and Will to see what’s next and what inspires their culinary journeys.
Can you tell us a bit about your background, how you met and how you made the decisions to start a pop-up food/ events space?
We are all family so that’s how we met. We decoded we all wanted to change what we were doing, and pulled our skill sets together to create experiences that we felt were really fun. All the pop-ups we do are definitely nights we know we would enjoy ourselves, so that gave us confidence in them!
In your opinion, why have pop-up restaurants become so popular in the past five years?
We’ve only been involved in the pop-up scene for around three years but basically it’s s great way to showcase an idea. People in London enjoy doing different things to just eating out so being able to offer an experience along with a great meal in our opinion is a recipe for success.
How are Shuttlecock events different from other pop-up dining experiences?
We believe in all of the pop-ups we do. We start planning them months before the actual date, which gives us time to focus on the small details that are really important. We also work with great sets of chefs, set designers and lighting production teams- the quality over the whole production is to a very high level.
How do you select the chefs that reside at Carousel?
We select up-and-coming chefs, with great ideas and who share a similar philosophy to us. We see this as an opportunity to learn and develop our skills; so finding interesting chefs with unique backgrounds is part of it. The response has been incredible so far because what we are offering is a rare opportunity for lots of chefs, and it also broadens the network of likeminded cooks with who we can eventually have back and collaborate with on different events in the future.
How do you see the pop-up events/dining trend developing in the next couple of years?
We plan on expanding and improving. Working in new and different venues, and always wanting to surprise and delight our customers.
Can you tell us a bit about some of your upcoming projects?
We are currently in New York, debuting Mile High in the Lower East Side. It’s a really exciting time for us, so lots of energy is being poured into this. Back in London we have Christmas, our next big production, recreating an underground gin distillery (mimicking the 1800s when it was banned) – it’s called Mother’s Ruin. And of course the series of chef residencies continues with the Paris pop-up to name a few.
The current pop-up residency at Carousel is Pizza Locadeli, open for three weeks until the end of September. Run by husband-and-wife team Giorgio and Plaxy Locatelli, this pizza restaurant serves a selection of authentic Italian pizza, a selection of antipasti and handpicked Italian wine. Collaborating with renowned local artists, including Dinos Chapman (who has designed some of the tableware and staff uniforms) Pizza Locadeli perfectly fuses Italian rustic fare with on-trend London creative energy. Adding an element of philanthropy, the Chapman designed items will be auctioned off at the end of the tenancy with the proceeds going to Action Against Hunger.
Pizza Locadeli, Wed-Sun 7pm- 11pm
71 Blandford Street
W1U 8AB / 020 7487 5564
All images courtesy of Shuttlecock Inc.