20 Apr 2010

After Eight, I Left at Midnight

BAR a few stray boxes and the After Eight Alexander by mixologist, Johan Svensson, Nestlé were never heavy-handed. And that’s despite it being so big a brand that a year’s production of the minty thins could plaster 328 football pitches if laid flat. Indeed, most of the attention landed on unlikely ambassador, Jim Haynes, USA expat professor of media studies and sexual politics at Paris University, and veteran underground restaurateur...
Haynes appears in the brand’s commercial, recorded over a dinner party (or should that be party dinner) at his mews studio home. During it, on being asked how he gets guests to leave, he says: ‘I’ve never been very good at that’ before handing out the toothpaste-tasting confectionery as a last ditch solution to evacuate his house. At least, that’s my interpretation.
Tonight’s venue wasn’t Haynes’ home, but the East London domicile of software designer, Simon Fernandez and his fashion boutique owning partner, Uyen Leluu. It is regularly rendered into a respected Vietnamese.
Speaking at the event, Haynes said that he has entertained - and been entertained by - almost 130,000 guests over 34 years, placating neighbours, which include the 83 year-old Madame Pompere, with surprise meals every Sunday. ‘I have lots of allies in my alley,’ he said, adding: ‘Life’s a trip through time and space where you can only go forward. I’ll do another 34 years then stop...’
Due to a high turnout, furniture had been removed, with dishes served standing (as per Hayne’s restaurant). Considering the strong cocktails and active company, I’m afraid I remember little minutiae of F and L’s cuisine, although I can confidently say it was spankingly fresh and generously portioned. I’d happily have seen fewer baked goods obstructing otherwise brisk flavours, however.
Incidentally, the event was hosted by review site, ‘QYPE’. I asked a representative why it seems to be a more visibly successful business than rival, ‘Trusted Places’, to which he responded, ‘it’s all in a name. Trusted Places sounds like a summary of cottaging locations.’ There you have it - salacious indiscretion garnished with a minty thin, well after eight...