We all know Airbnb for their huge range of unique accommodation options – it’s often the first place we turn when booking a weekend away – but did you know they’ve recently branched out?
Yep that’s right, welcome to Airbnb Trips! It’s an extension of the original ‘living like a local’ ethos but with trips you’ll get more than just a bed for the night. Now local people are offering their knowledge, skills or even just sharing their social life with travellers to create a truly immersive and unforgettable travel experience. There’s everything on offer from violin making in Paris to marathon running in Kenya, a Samurai Swordplay workshop to an immersive multi-day experience driving classic cars in Malibu.
We decided to keep things local and check out A Taste of Spitalfields. Set in a beautiful townhouse, just round the corner from the market, we were greeted by Emma with seasonal Bellini’s and smoked salmon blinis and given the chance to explore the property. By day the space is an antique shop and contains a whole host of treasures. Space had been cleared for one long table, and candles were lit creating a beautiful ambience. We got to know our fellow dining companions for the night and learnt that some were living locally, others from as far as Taiwan and America. Some were Airbnb owners themselves and all of us were keen to learn more about the history of the building. Emma explained that some of its previous occupants included Jewish silk weavers and furriers and there had been French Huguenot settlers too, all of which would feed into the theme of tonight’s menu.
After exploring every nook and cranny (including the gorgeous farmhouse style kitchen in the basement!) we settled down at the table to read the hand written menus and devour the first course. Platters of fresh oysters were presented to us, fresh from Billingsgate market that morning. A true taste of East London! Next up was roasted chicken with pommes dauphinoise, sweet peas and juicy lardons to incorporate the French influence.
Courses are presented leisurely, so expect the whole experience to take a good few hours (we didn’t leave until gone 11!). We eventually ended the evening with plenty of chat and Raspberry & Rose sorbet with pistachios and super-sweet sweets from Brick Lane. Even host Emma joined us when Mia from Taiwan insisted we go round the table introducing ourselves. You could see the British contingent cringe at the suggestion whilst the American’s didn’t bat an eyelid. But in fact it was brilliant and we ended up crying with laughter, and taking part in numerous selfies.
Of course, with these types of events you never know who you’ll get for company, but that’s also the beauty of it. It reminded us of how Crummbs came about, back in the day when supper clubs were really kicking off and we loved the nostalgic feel of it all. Overall it was a really fantastic way of meeting people, particularly if you are travelling alone as some of the guests were. Although we might give the Samurai Swordplay workshop a miss….