Towards the end of last year, I received an enthusiastic email from a manager at Airbnb who'd come across my blog through a brief feature on the Londonist website. In the email was an invitation to check out the beta version of Airbnb's new 'Experiences' feature on their app.
Airbnb 'Experiences' (launched officially in mid-November) are all about giving travellers the opportunity to get a taste of local culture and try something unique during their time in a particular city. So far the project has been launched in 12 cities, including London, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Cape Town and Seoul, to name a few. Within these cities, hosts - made up of individuals from various creative walks of life - design and lead bespoke experiences that are immersive, memorable and a little off the beaten track. This is why you'll get anything from pottery masterclasses to a tour of London's grime scene to food tastings.
I was instantly interested in the project and it didn't take much to convince me to sign up as a host. What followed was a month or two of working with the team virtually to build a profile on the app. The project got real when we had a photoshoot during the 6th instalment of The Vegan Nigerian Pop-Up Restaurant. The promotional shots and video footage went towards spicing up the app profile, providing a general overview of what guests can expect.
There are many similarities between the experience I'll be offering and the pop-ups I've hosted so far. Just a bit more amped up. My Airbnb experience is called Relish Vegan Nigerian Cuisine, an intimate dining event for 4-10 guests at a time, which will play out over two hours and will be accentuated by specially curated Nigerian music and interactive discussions around vegan/Nigerian cuisine.
If you've followed my blog for a while, happen to live in another part of the world, and ever find yourself planning a trip to London, then you now have the option to see vegan Nigerian food brought to life. Simply look me up on the app and book a spot on one of the many evenings I've indicated on my event calendar.
For anyone wondering what this means for the future of my current pop-ups, the short answer is that I plan to continue, but will be hosting them less frequently. Rather than every month, I'll likely organise one once every 2-3 months. I see this as a positive and sensible step because it means I'll have more time to plan and put loads of careful thought into the running/execution of the pop-ups, which should hopefully make the events more enjoyable for guests in general. It means I can even start to plan towards one-off pop-ups in fresh locations around the world. To find out when the next one is, by the way, keep up with me on here by subscribing to the website (enter your email in the little 'Subscribe' box in the top right sidebar), as well as my social media channels: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
I look forward to sharing more with you along this journey and am extremely excited about what this opportunity means for the continued celebration of Nigerian AND vegan food.
|Pop-Up #6 - October 2016|