AVM Curiosities – Historical Aphrodisiacs at the Queen of Hoxton

Photo credit: Graham Turner

Photo credit: Graham Turner

totally transfixed

What do a hairy coconut, a humble potato and sticky honey have in common? One bitterly cold Sunday evening noted food historian Tasha Marks, held an almost occult-like gathering on the top of the Queen of Hoxton to share the secrets. The mystical effect was enhanced by walking up flight upon flight of industrial echoing empty stairs and then entering a completely magical realm at complete odds with the world we had just left behind. Through the metal doors, enter Valhalla. Greeted by an all-encompassing tent complete with a ceiling of suspended dried herbs, strung up animal furs and a gorgeous smelling wood fire from the distance. The cosy atmosphere evoked darker days of witchcraft and Viking sorcery. Tasha, high priestess in this case, took centre stage by a table laden with her magical potion ingredients, a visual spectacle for all greedy eyes to gobble up. She proceeded to cast a spell over us as she described the aphrodisiac history of each item and we sipped on hot or cold honey concoctions and nibbled on hand-made crumbly treats, totally transfixed by the tales of titillating tastes from years gone by.

This is the sort of stuff a Food Historian gets up to at AVM Curiosities.

Want to experience it for yourself? You can smell her scents at 'Relaxing with Paintings' or see how books can become multisensory with 'Pride, Prejudice & Perceptions' at Open Senses.

Share your experiences @OpenSensesUK #OpenSenses2017, this experience shared by Natasha Blok.