The lowdown: April Fool's Day

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

The lowdown: April Fool's Day
April 1 is coming up, and some restaurants can’t pass up the opportunity to play pranks on their customers.

I haven’t seen any…
Maybe you just haven’t noticed. Have you heard of the spaghetti-tree hoax? Panorama showed a fake film of a Swiss family harvesting spaghetti from a tree, and many Britons had never seen the pasta before so took it to be true. Some actually called up for advice on how to grow their own spaghetti trees…

We aren’t as gullible these days as we were in the 50s.
Fair enough. And some of the pranks we’ve seen over the years could easily be true. PR company Jellybean Creative fabricated a seven-day, 45-cover gruel pop up for April Fool’s Day in 2015. The brainchild of an “experiential collective of culinary pirates”, Gruel Dudes supposedly featured a menu of basic gruel, made using a mix of hot water, oats and millet sourced from Dalston, and invited people to pimp their porridge with kale shavings. Now that you mention it, the mark-ups would probably be huge.

Alright, so I can see how people might fall for that one.
Jamie Oliver once got people talking when he posted a recipe on Facebook for a ‘placenta pie’, with an accompanying picture of a shepherd’s pie which we will now never be able to look at in the same way again. Most of his fans spotted the joke, which also invited readers to go to his website for “100 other placenta recipes”.

Was anyone fooled?
Well, there was one dyslexic fan who commented saying she had misread ‘placenta’ as ‘polenta’, and missed the whole joke. But aside from that, no.

Couldn’t someone give the old spaghetti tree a re-run?
Galvin at Windows had a crack at something quite similar, although nobody believed them. Last year, the team assembled a false vineyard on the 28th​ floor terrace at the restaurant, to “create a cuvee” for the restaurant. “The project has been underway since 2013 when two tonnes of soil and a number of vines were brought from Rheims,” said Sirieix, gesturing to bunches of grapes strung up on fishnets.

And people believed him?
We think he might have given the game away when he said that UNESCO had granted the restaurant’s terrace the right to claim itself as French territory because “the climate is just like Champagne”. The prank they did the previous year was more believable.

What was that?
The team announced their participation in the upcoming James Bond Film, Spectre. In a YouTube video, they told fans of the restaurant that Sirieix and Chris Galvin would be making cameo appearances. In fairness, Sirieix wouldn’t look out of place as a bond villain’s butler. The video features guns and a bond girl, although perhaps the poisoned Camembert should have set alarm bells off.

Have there been any floating around this year?
Well, a few weeks ago steakhouse STK announced the launch of a beef scented cologne and perfume line. We know that you can buy bacon chewing gum and KFC scented lip balm, but we think they might be pulling our leg, here.

Any more?
Vegetarian restaurant Tibits has said that it is launching a ‘veggie gym’ with “dumbbells made from bananas”, “kettlebells replaced by watermelons” and “the aubergine, which is being used with a squat to improve strength and agility in the lower body”. The great thing about the gym, says the brand, is that “after a hard work out you can enjoy a nibble on the edible equipment.”  Not fooled.

And there was that other one… where the number one spot on TripAdvisor was taken by a guy making microwave meals in a shed in a Dulwich backyard.
That actually happened. It’s 2018.

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