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Parliamentary Waffle House – Show Your Allegiance The Fun Way

Published 26 April 2010

Culinary double act Sam Bompas & Harry Parr are certainly inventive! Their most recent venture is a Parliamentary Waffle House eatery that gets the public politically involved in the election through their stomachs. With the excitement of the local & national elections looming and the UK’s first series of televised political debates, a new weird and wonderful politics themed eatery has opened up on Central London.

Voters are encouraged to choose their alliance by picking a waffle with a scoop of ice cream and either a side of bananas for Lib Dem supporters, raspberries for Labour, or blueberries for the Conservatives. Once voters requested their dessert of choice they were assigned a paper sailor hat with a stamp of the party they wished to be affiliated with, with the hats to be donned for the rest of the evening. The event was opened by Ken Livingston whose early and flitting appearance meant that he missed the crowd and the opportunity to waltz around in a Labour party hat. As for the other punters after the novelty of wearing the party hats wore off, there was a large bin for voters to post their hats in.

It did all get confusingly funny halfway through as personal allegiances were quickly changed due to the blueberry waffle (Conservative) being more appealing than the banana waffles (Lib Dem), so although that flavour ran out first there was a large stack of conservative blue stamped hats left on the bar. By the end of the night Lib Dems were the clear favourite leaving the Tories way behind in last place.

The choice of drinks was also themed, with the Conservatives’ getting a Flying Dog Classic Pale Ale, the Liberal Democrats getting the Imperial Porter, and Labour getting Scotch Amber Ale. However, the most popular on the night was the neutral Prescott Punch, made with roses, red fruit, and Courvoisier.

The night was quite free moving, and people were left to their own devices, and a fast dwindling number of Labour and Lib Dem head attire. Conversation usually started with a political incentive but soon turned into regular chit chat between friends.  However mingling amongst strangers was limited as there were moments of caution when approaching others too jovially as you were slight weary of their political affiliation.

Pictures from the Parliamentary Waffle House:

Although the majority of the rabble were yuppies there were also so a few older professionals, students, and tourists that wandered in off the street. The highlight of the evening was supposed to be the live debate, but this was overshadowed by rounds of “Prescott Punch” being circulated across the room and in front of the screen. Interest perked up just in time for the final comments, despite being practically inaudible “Nick Clegg” worked up a round of applause and hearty cheers in his support. Unfortunately for the other two candidates, “Gordon Brown” and “David Cameron”, they did not receive a similar send off.

The night rounded off with an eating competition, with the contestants representing each party asked to come forward and showcase their mouth stuffing skills by forcing 10 waffles down their throats in 5 minutes, all washed down with a bottle of beer or ice cream if necessary. The representative for the Tories was an inebriated guy who looked like he wasn’t too bothered who he represented as he was just up for the waffles. The Labour representative nervously approached the feeding bench and the Lib Dem eater, the eventual winner, confidently strutted up to the feeding bench to let the feeding commence.

Located in central London on Broadwick Street, it is open from noon till 11pm every day except Sundays, and the waffles only cost £3.50 with the pints at £3. We’ve written about pop-up shops before, from the Friends’ Central Perk Cafe (at the same location last year) and the Sketchbook pop-up shop in Shoreditch, but this is the first political themed pop-up shop that we have seen.

Proving that all is fair in love and politics the evening was a success, but let’s be honest it wasn’t just about the politics, it was about the booze, banter and waffles. Unluckily for us the election won’t be quite so simple.

Address: 65-67 Broadwick Street, Soho, London W1F 9QY
Opening Hours: Every day from noon till 11pm except Sundays, with alcohol licensed for sale on Wednesday to Saturday.
Official website: www.jellymongers.co.uk (with more details of special events over the next 2 weeks)

Article written by Billie McTernan.