London’s Supper Clubs to Watch Out For
Supper clubs are so wonderful, aren’t they? You eat exquisite food in a unique location with lovely strangers who are looking to mingle and have a good time. They’re a great way to branch out a little and try something new.
It’s no secret that London offers plenty of events like these, but we’ve picked three very different supper clubs that we’re particularly fond of.
photo credit: @countertalk
While everyone is welcome, Countertalk is essentially a platform helping chefs to network. They organise different kinds of events for people who work or have an interest in hospitality. Their Guest Chef series is particularly interesting. Freelance chefs with A LOT of talent cook beautiful food in different restaurants, which are privatised for the occasion. These events always occur on Mondays, because a) they need a closed restaurant, b) Mondays are usually like Saturdays for people working in hospitality, as it’s their day off.
When we went to taste Anais Van Manen’s delicious food at the Good Egg on a Monday night, people around us were popping bottles, while we on the other hand were still trying to bounce back from our weekend.
Anais is clearly a busy woman: she consults in research and development for Bao and XU, and organises events and collaborations through her new concept, Bastrada. Her Vietnamese heritage inspired her that night. She prepared a feast which featured some amazing dishes like the shaking beef and herb salad and a mind-blowing cookie, which was part of a dessert line-up.
We love following Countertalk to discover new chefs but since this event, we’ll also be closely monitoring Anais’ next moves!
photo credit: @hood_dinners
Dining with Hood Dinners is like being part of a community.
Three friends – Eleanor, Hannah and Amy – organise monthly dinners for women and non-binary people only. During each event Hannah (Grazia’s Celebrity Director) invites three or four inspiring female guest speakers, and interviews them on a chosen topic, like Opportunity, Adventure and Persistence. Each speaker shares fascinating personal stories, which truly help diners relate to some of their struggles and understand these issues.
Food naturally plays a big part in these dinner series. Eleanor – who has her own recipe column in The Telegraph called Tonight’s Dinner – cooks seasonal and elegant dishes, which are served on a beautifully set table.
photo credit: @hood_dinners
Amy – who is the operations manager for the all-women members club, The AllBright – puts together some mean cocktails to make sure everyone is having a good time.
While we were in reality sitting next to women we had never met, it felt like we were having dinner with friends.
If you like Sicilian food, you’re in for a treat. Emillia Strazzanti (ex-Dorchester chef) is paying tribute to her grandparent’s heritage by organising gorgeous Sicilian dinners.
Her supper clubs and festive events all take place in various locations across London. The one we went to was set in The Hackney Coffee Company, and we were lucky enough to dine under a mesmerising installation of oranges and floral foliage, created by McQueen’s Flower School, as it was the harvest season in Sicily.
Big family sized sharing plates were on the menu, which was a great way to make sure that diners who shared a table conversed with their neighbour. Deep-fried primo sale cheese with honey and Sicilian oregano; and fresh pasta of slow-cooked pork rib sugo served with ricotta and pecorino were our dinner’s highlights. Whilst this feast truly celebrated Italian food, it also featured some of Emillia’s collaborations with different East London suppliers like E5 Bakehouse or Burro e Salvia.
Finally, Emillia wanted us to experience her Sicilian roots in a unique way by inviting diners to taste her desserts while going for a Passeggiata in the space: a leisurely stroll taken after dinner to digest. This is typically a promenade where Italians bump into friends and go in search of an ice cream.