The onset of winter tempts London-loving city folk to make a cheeky get away to sunnier shores. However, if you've already blown your leave on hangovers, duvet days and stag/hen dos in Europe, you can immerse yourself in the cuisine and booze of other cultures without stepping outside the M25.
The H.M.S. Plate & Shaker series of events, which takes place once a month, sees make-believe boat parties 'docked' in different land-locked locations with a new fun-filled theme at every destination. The nights are headed by Captain* David Hamilton Boyd, a talented award-winning mixologist who also graces the likes of the Candlelight Club with his bespoke (and delicious) connections, while First Mate Eleanor brings her international culinary expertise to the table. Guests will create cocktails, no doubt learning some slick Tom Cruise-esqe tending skills along the way, which are then paired with matching dishes.
For this month's outing, taking place on Saturday 2 November, the team head to Santo Domingo (somewhere in Hackney), with ginger coconut king prawns, spiced goat stew and lashings of Atlántico rum. And while we assure you your vessel won't be going anywhere, fancy dress is heartily encouraged to get into the swing of an evening of eating, mixing and dancing.
If you miss out on the upcoming voyage, fear not, as December brings us back to (cold, wet) Blighty for some gin, and the timetable continues into the new year, so keep an eye on the listings if you want to take part in more (pretend) watery adventures.
*We are yet to confirm whether he is a real captain. We suspect not.
H.M.S Plate and Shaker docked in Santo Domingo takes place Saturday 2 November 2013, 7pm-1am. The Full Monty' ticket cost £39.50 for three courses with matching cocktails. A 'booze-free' option is also available at £29.50 for 3 courses and can be booked online. Please be aware that you will need to register with Grub Club to purchase tickets.