Pub gives Thanksgiving star treatment

AN American theatre set designer who has hosted dinners attended by stars of stage and screen has joined forces with her village pub to offer up a “pop-up” Thanksgiving meal on Thursday .

AN American theatre set designer who has hosted dinners attended by stars of stage and screen has joined forces with her village pub to offer up a “pop-up” Thanksgiving meal on Thursday .

Astrid King will be raising the curtain on the evening celebration at the Anchor Inn at Walberswick, along with the pub's co-owner and chef Sophie Dorber.

The five course menu costs �24.75 per person and the aim of the community event is merely to break even, she said. Pop-ups are the new recession-busting dining experience usually based in people's homes. Due to lack of space, Mrs King's will take place in her local.

Mrs King said she had sent her husband, Denis King, who wrote the theme music for Lovejoy and The Adventures of Black Beauty, to the pub with some sample menus to suggest the idea.

“I guess it just started because I love cooking,” she said. “It's kind of nice and it brings the village together.”

The size of their own house precluded the couple from holding a large gathering there, so they had asked the pub, she explained.

Most Read

“I think this is a lovely way of bringing people together,” she said.

“We are commemorating I suppose the first Thanksgiving, the first harvest which was 1624, but also it's an opportunity to get people together and I like the idea of a big family table.”

The Kings moved to Walberswick five years ago. Previously in London, they hosted a number of large Thanksgiving meals and guests have included Albert Finney, Twiggy, Bill Oddie, Ronnie Corbett, Maureen Lipman, Ian McShane and Barry Cryer.

“I'm used to large groups. I'm totally undeterred if Denis came home today and said we have got 50 people (to dinner),” she said.

Her husband was preparing some American background music for the evening, and often at previous dinners they have had someone on the piano, she said. She also plans to devise a quiz to entertain guests.

Mrs King, a god-daughter to Margaret Hamilton, who played the wicked witch in the hit film The Wizard of Oz, said she had got to know many of her showbiz friends in England through her husband's work.

They lived in Hampstead for many years, but moved to Walberswick because of its sense of community.

“We absolutely loved it. We stumbled into Walberswick and here we are and people were so welcoming. It was just the antithesis of what I had been led to expect,” she said.

The meal will include American recipes, some of which have been handed down through Mrs King's family, such as New England clam chowder, turkey with pilgrim stuffing and pumpkin chiffon pie.

To book a place at the meal, phone 01502 722112 or visit www.anchor@walberswick.com.