One of my New Year’s resolutions is to have more fun in London, and celebrate all the little things that make up my love for this great city. This means I’m undoubtably doing things outside my comfort zone, which last night’s date definitely was. I’d been acquainted with Forza Win previously, having been to their rooftop pop-up pizza restaurant back in 2012, and lusted after their wintery fondue pop-up in 2013 (but sadly couldn’t get tickets). If you’ve not heard of them before, their website succinctly describes them as creating “wood fired seasonal dining experiences in odd places”.
Their latest dining pop-up, I have to say, is definitely the oddest one yet. Forza Win has come to the Vaults festival, a creative space deep underground in the vaults of Waterloo. It took a little while to figure out how to get there, and did involve walking past the kinda ‘legal’ graffiti walls of Leake Street, being ever-so-slightly intimidated by the coolness of the young graffiti artists who were frantically painting, seemingly unbothered by the fumes.
Having arrived in The Vaults, we progressed through the tunnels until we reached the bottom of an iron staircase where we were told to wait to be seated by the waiters at Marco’s. Marco’s is the creation of Forza Win, a theatrical ‘murder mystery’ dining experience which takes you back to 1980’s Peckham by way of an Italian restaurant recently taken over by ‘Marco’ from his deceased papa ‘Toni’. They are multiple seatings throughout the night, and each setting is an hour-long.
We were forewarned that we could get as involved or uninvolved as we liked, but both my boyfriend and I are fair game so we happily chatted to the charismatic Marco, as well as giggling at his quite brilliantly bitchy sister Arianna, who must have the best job in London given that she has total license to be as rude as she likes, in line with her character.
[The rather good house red at Marco’s, a glass or so is included in your ticket price.]
To be completely honest, the plot does involve some work given that it’s less of a ‘whodunnit’ traditional murder mystery and more just like interactive bar theatre. That aside, the actors were very entertaining and unsurprisingly given Forza Win’s reputation for damn good food, the spaghetti and meatballs were delicious. It’s hard to improve upon a classic like spaghetti and meatballs, but if you’re supplied with meat from the Ginger Pig and quite sweetly, basil from their mate Jim, you can certainly try.
I actually didn’t take any photos of the spaghetti, mostly because I was distracted by the goings on of the staff, and also because I was starving and inhaled it. However, the picture above from Forza Win’s site is actually quite accurate so as delicious as this looks, you can expect something similar if you go. If you can get tickets, I definitely recommend a trip to Marco’s. Each ticket is £15 each, and includes a plate of spaghetti and meatballs and about a glass and a half of wine. It’s well worth the price for a funny and unusual night out.