Here at #TeamCoco we love a good pop-up…and when cocktails and cronuts are involved then we absolutely have to try it out. So we sent our writer, Rachael Lindsay, along to the opening night of the Chambord Chapter Eight Games to give flamingo croquet a go and to tackle a towering cronut cone…
Climbing the seemingly endless steps to the top of Dalston Roof Park, I’m not sure what to expect when I reach the top. When we finally arrive, the views are stunning – you can just about see the bright lights of Canary Wharf and the City in either direction – and the rooftop is filled with exciting, and slightly mad, things for us to explore.
A word about the theme: it is inspired by the eighth chapter of Alice in Wonderland where the Queen of Hearts plays croquet with live flamingos and yells ‘off with his head’ at all around her – so go expecting an evening verging on the ridiculous; but don’t worry, you’re unlikely to come across any beheadings. Oh, and as Chambord is French, there is also a French twist to it all.
We begin by trying two delicious Chambord cocktails at the bar, one classy Chambord Royale and a fruity martini, complete with floating raspberry. The bar itself is a sight to behold, with canary-yellow phone handsets hanging from the ceiling, and bar staff wearing suitably French Breton stripes.
We try our hand at the Chambord Games, which is a little like crazy golf crossed with croquet, and of course an upturned flamingo adorns each mallet (presumably live flamingos, Queen of Hearts-style, wouldn’t be firm enough to give the ball a proper thwack). I must admit, this is my first time playing croquet, so my aim isn’t always the best. But we’re charmed by the hoops in the shape of ice creams, fluorescent trumpet obstacles and pretty Chambord bottles.
With all that sport, we are ready for some food. Luckily, Le Bun is on hand serving up their indulgent French-American burgers and Cronut kings, Dum Dum Donutterie, have a stall of unspeakably sugary delights.
We devour messy but glorious Double Truffle burgers with aged brisket patties and truffled veal jam. Followed of course by a divine crone tower of fruit, chocolate and ice cream, all topped with a buttercream-filled cronut.
Dubbed by some as offering the best cronuts in London, I will be desperate to go along to Dum Dum Donutteries’ outlet in Shoreditch’s Box Park to try some of their other varieties. At least when I’ve recovered from the intense sugar hit of this Zebra chocolate crone.
My advice to you Londoners out there: get to the Chapter Eight Games in Dalston’s Roof Top Park this weekend, from 3pm onwards on Saturday and Sunday, especially if the sun is shining. Tickets for just £7.50 include a glass of Chambord Royale and a round of flamingo croquet. Make like the Queen of Hearts, mes chéris.