Not long ago, invitation posters to participate in an unusual event circulated at the University.
I knew the Dinner hopping dynamic as a walk through different restaurants or bars in the city, where one can taste (alone or with friends) several interesting dishes or drinks on the same night. However, I was surprised when I found out that Dinner Hopping Bremen does not go through specialized catering businesses, but through the homes of people! The participants in this event not only taste but also cook for others. In principle, the only requirements to participate are: having an available apartment, a kitchen, and space for six people to sit at the table. Rephrasing Remy’s favorite phrase: “Anyone can be a Dinnerhopper.”
I must admit that the concept sounded a bit strange to me at first: opening the doors of my house to strangers? Cooking without knowing if others will like my seasoning? What to cook even? Many questions and skepticism crossed my mind before exploring the proposal. So I just listened and decided to bring you testimonials from participants of the last Dinner hopping event in Bremen, who were delighted with the activity.
Dinner hopping is described as a culinary journey through three apartments in Bremen, followed by a party (after-show at the Lila Eule) in which all participants can meet. The dynamic, in short, is like this: You and your cooking partner prepare an assigned course in your apartment for you and two other teams. So there will be six of you dining. For the other two courses, you will be guests in two other apartments, where you will also meet the hosts and another team.
With the right mindset, you can get a lot out of this experience. To begin with, it has the advantage of offering its participants a full 3-course menu prepared with kindness and effort, and the opportunity to meet 12 new people —strangers willing to sit together and share food will most probably become friends by the end of the night. You also get the company of your amazing cooking partner and the randomness (surprise element) of it all. Basically, you know you’re going to eat, not knowing what, where, or who cooked it. In a world that is increasingly planned to the smallest detail and minute, it is nice to let life surprise us sometimes. Also, while on a traditional restaurant or bar tour you would end up shelling out around 20-30 euros, the ticket price for Dinner hopping Bremen is only 9 euros.
Dinnerhoppers Juan and Ricardo were kind to share the following about their latest experience:
For appetizers, we were treated to a strawberry salad with balsamic, a special hummus, and an arugula salad with tomato and balsamic, accompanied by a warm baguette with olive oil. For the main dish, we were offered saffron rice and a delicious vegetarian stew with tofu and tomato. And we prepared a Carlota (lemon pie) for dessert. All the food was delicious, and homemade, with a beautiful presentation.
Little by little we understood the dynamic and felt relaxed, the conversation was flowing more and more. We felt very comfortable; everyone came with a very good vibe. It was a varied group: young people, students and workers, of different nationalities. For most it was the first time dinner hopping. Later we got to know that a total of 72 persons participated in the event.
The time and distribution
We moved by tram, from near the University, to Schwachhausen and finally to the Viertel. Time went by very quickly, especially for the main course (where we only had 1.5 hours). We tried to be punctual and respect schedules, but also to be flexible if someone was late. Perhaps we would have liked to spend more time on the second course than on the appetizers (where we had 2 hours).
The people, the friendliness of the interaction, and the conversation: The exchange. We had no expectations and everything was a pleasant surprise. We shared contacts with everyone we met that night and we’ve already made plans together, we’ve met a couple of times after the event, so friendships were born from there. We definitely want to participate again!
So now you know: Dinner hopping is the suggested activity for anyone craving a unique meal, something different. The next event is scheduled for 21.10.2023, 18h. All you have to do is register on www.dinner-hopping.de and let yourself be surprised.