An innovative supperclub enmeshed in the mechanics of Prisoner's Dilemma, skilfully executed with a room full of willing guests at the mercy of luck, gamesmasters and each other, Betrayer's Banquet is more social experiment than niceties over canapés – where those placed at the top of the table are treated to fine dining, and those at the bottom have less palatable options.
Upon entering, guests are invited to draw a card at random which determines your place at the table – so if you were thinking of making gooey eyes with someone all night or planning a girlie catch up – think again. This (admittedly jammy) Londonista drew a high ranking Queen, placed virtually at the head of the table where the dishes included seared steak and salmon puffs.
During the evening, you and your ever-changing partner opposite are given a double-sided token – where you both indicate your intention to co-operate or betray each other, the ramifications of which affect your seating. Therefore, socialising is an integral part of the experience; to bond with your potential ally is, in theory, to ensure your progression up the ladder. However, it didn't stop this (suddenly unlucky) diner from being betrayed and sent hurtling ten places down the table a mere two courses in. Ouch.
This novel night of playing detective, sussing the agendas of others and meeting new people comes recommended but at £99 a pop it ain't cheap, especially when, to quote a fellow participant, you might end up 'fed-up of eating bloody cold vegetables' for most of the night. However there's unlimited wine, and we shamelessly admit to sniffing out to some premium rum to numb the pain of our fall from grace. Besides, there's no other dining concept in London that offers such an insightful, enjoyable, amusing and at times shocking, look at the human condition.
Disclaimer: We dined courtesy of the organisers, but we received no special treatment. Even though we drew an awesome card. Honest.
The next installment of Betrayer's Banquet is 21 December, tickets cost £99 (which includes booking fee), at an east London location to be revealed closer to the date. More dates to (possibly) be announced in the New Year.