Jelly. A curious entity – reminiscent of school days, lumpy custard and Seventies trifles. Many would agree it’s an unlikely object of passion. Not Bompas & Parr, the oddballs behind the Horseless Carriage of Curiosities, Flavour Tripping and the breathable cocktail. Their slippery creations include wobbly wedding cake-alternatives for adventurous brides, alcoholic stars for Courvoisier, and squidgy buildings for a charitable Architectural Jelly Banquet. And let’s not forget their glow-in-the-dark, sherry flavoured Funeral Jellies, exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and accompanied by a jelly funeral march (see right). How better to add a note of solemnity to a grave (pardon the pun) affair?
Having peddled their powdered pectin and water-based confections to the masses, Bompas & Parr are dabbling in the art of cocktail making. Never ones to play by the rules, the duo are planning a cocktail construction as big as a building – a punch bowl so vast, punters will be able to row a boat across it. The event is inspired by a 17th-century sea soak, Admiral Edward Russell, who, in the year 1694, created a punchbowl so large it took 2,500 lemons to make, and was dished up by a small boy in a boat.
The particular poison to fill Bompas & Parr’s drinkable installation is still under discussion. Mixologists have submitted their entries, and the winning whimsy will be decided by a panel of judges, expert in all things liquid, edible and architectural. The shortlisted concoctions include a candyfloss, chai, orange blossom and Courvoisier blend; Red October – inspired by the 1917 Russian Revolution; and La Charante au Petit Matin, which judge Ruth Reed likened to ‘Breakfast in bed: tea, toast and marmalade.’
The winning entry will be announced on 1 December, at the Architectural Punch Bowl, 33 Portland Place. See the crazy sight for yourself (and taste the tipple too, of course) from the 8-10 December. Smith can’t wait. Tickets cost £6.50, available from www.jellymongers.co.uk, with proceeds going to the environmental charity Article 25.
All this creativity has got us thinking about some of our favourite hotels, the ones with more than a hint of the kooky about them. If we had the job of putting the likes of Bompas & Parr up for the night, we’d suggest they bed down in the following…
Winvian, Litchfield Hills
Style Idiosyncratic rural retreat
Setting Wild woodland, perfect pastures
This 113-acre boutique resort in Connecticut comprises 18 kooky cottages that surround an antique-filled, colonial-style farmhouse. Each cottage has its own individual design scheme – from fairytale Woodlands to lighthouse-like Maritime. As all are individually designed, your favourite will no doubt come down to personal taste. We loved ‘Helicopter’, based on a Connecticut Coastguard chopper, which is unbelievably bold and outrageous. The ‘Charter Oak’ cottage has an oak tree growing up through the middle of it.
New Majestic Hotel, Singapore
Style Bold boutique design doyen
Setting Chinatown’s sleepy shophouse streets
There’s something pleasantly unusual about glancing up to see someone swimming over your head while you’re at dinner. In fact, there’s something pleasantly unusual about most aspects of the New Majestic Hotel. Idiosyncratic in the extreme, it features rooms designed by the city’s biggest creative names, eccentric artworks in every nook, and a vast collection of vintage chairs in the gleaming terrazzo lobby.
Rough Luxe, London
Style Art-inspired shabby-chic
Setting Crux of King’s Cross
There’s, quite simply, no place like Rough Luxe. This is the antithesis of a conventional luxury hotel: an unprepossessing Georgian building in King’s Cross where cracked, peeling paintwork and shreds of faded wallpaper sit alongside attention-grabbing artworks both ancient and modern and weathered retro areas give way to sumptuous designer comforts. From the moment you step inside, you’re really not in Kansas anymore. (BYO jelly.)