There may have been a lot of general tutting on Twitter over the cost of the upcoming Noma pop-up at Claridges, but that hasn't stopped thousands of people snapping up the tables in record time.
More than 10,000 people registered their interest for the £195 dinner in advance on Claridges' website. They were asked at 9am this morning to send in details of when they wanted to book for and how many, and by 11.30am every single table was gone.
In total more than 3400 people will try René Redzepi's food when he brings Noma to London with 170 people at each lunch and dinner sitting.
"It's completely overwhelming," Claridges' General Manager Thomas Kochs told Hot Dinners when we spoke to him today. "We knew 10,000 people had registered an interest, but we never expected all of them to book!"
We asked Kochs how they were going to bring about a true Noma experience to the diners coming to Claridges. "This is about creating a dining experience to bring Rene and his approach to food to London," he said, "so it will be René's food with British ingredients. It's not intended to be a replacement to a visit to Noma; trying to repliacte it in a ballroom in Mayfair would be too difficult. But it's a beautiful room in an iconic hotel - both Noma and Claridges stand for perfection and superb service. The ones who have managed to get bookings will be very, very happy."
"It's a very special time for London. The eyes of the world are on our city and we wanted to think of how we could contribute to the experience - that's how the whole idea came about."
As for the room itself, "We'll have our designer Guy Oliver dressing the room. There will be hints and suggestions to Noma, so the table set-up won't be very classic Claridges - it'll be very like how René and Noma would view it."
Sadly our suggestion that they might extend the pop-up due the intense interest didn't get taken up. Turns out this pop-up was only doable because the ten days that Noma was closing for refurbishment coincided with the Olympics. Sigh.
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