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Four volumes of SUITCASE Magazine, with a new issue delivered to your door each quarter
Supper clubs may be making their way back into the mainstream but the amorphous term is increasingly hard to pin down. Without a set definition we’re starting with the basics – good food and good company – and redefining the rest as our palette sees fit. From the classic and traditional to the weird and wonderful, we’ve chosen ten of the best supper clubs in London that are doing something right.
The rise and fall of food trends (we’ve almost forgotten how to pronounce quinoa) and rapid turnaround of restaurants has meant that good old Sunday roasts are few and far between. Amid the bustle of London’s constantly evolving food scene, The Secret Sunday Lunch Club offers a comforting constant. Known purely on a first name basis, like a long-time friend, Emily opens her cosy Notting Hill home to ten discerning diners looking for “a proper Sunday lunch”. Expect the usual suspects of seasonal vegetables cooked to perfection, lashings of gravy, condiments aplenty and a succulent main dish at the heart of it all, whether that’s roast beef, confit of wild duck or pork belly with crackling. The main course is followed by traditional puddings that will leave you with that warm (and incapacitated) feeling you get following a feeding at your granny’s.
For those looking to host a supper club of their own, one look at Clodagh McKenna’s impressive Instagram bio is enough to see why this celebrity chef is the perfect person to teach you how. Chef, cookbook author, restauranteur and broadcaster, Clodagh is as well-seasoned in the cooking sphere as her delectable dishes. Despite her enviable credentials, at the heart of McKenna’s cooking is simplicity (albeit highly skilled simplicity). Running until December, Clodagh is offering Supper Workshops which promise to inspire, teach and enrich. The full-day events are hosted in Clodagh’s intimate studio in northwest London and consist of hands-on lessons in preparing and plating a delicious three-course menu, mixing a cocktail pairing, decorating the table and flower arranging. Staying true to her love of natural ingredients and seasonal cooking, Clodagh’s sample menu boasts fresh plates like tarragon and mustard roast chicken and rosewater panna cotta with honeyed figs. You’ll leave armed with some leftovers, and the knowledge to recreate a similarly magical supper in your own kitchen.
Good food and a good film, a marriage seconded only by food and wine. Upscaling the cherished tradition, we’re trading in our takeaway for a culinary feast and swapping reality TV for something a little more highbrow. At KinoVino, you’ll begin the evening with a film before tasting a menu inspired by the movie in an environment designed to immerse you into the cinematic world. Previous events have transported diners Down Under to reflect the chosen film’s Australian origins, but themes for upcoming supper clubs remain a tight-lipped topic.
Acclaimed chef Pratap Chahal has cooked at the The Cinnamon Club and Claridge’s. For a more relaxed take on white-tablecloth dining, Pratap and his wife, Nikhat, open their North London abode to offer city weary urbanites a peppy, seasonal menu. Meals range from a three to six courses, and a traditional Indian thali-style experience is also available. Past menus have taken inspiration from literary works such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland while more recently, “Perfume: An Edible Scent” explored the world of scent through taste, bringing perfumes like frankincense, cedar wood and vetiver onto an entirely different palette.
Bibliophiles will delight in The Literary Hour, a supper club which takes you on a journey into your favourite novel. Whatever the chosen book, this supper club’s attention to detail – from flavours and plating to the design and soundtrack – combines in an immersive experience with you at the centre. Each course is accompanied by short readings of passages from the night’s book to contextualise and spark conversation with your fellow diners. Previous chapters include A Feast in Narnia, complete with a wardrobe entrance and a Turkish delight guess-the-flavour game. A supper club which prides itself on surprises, you’ll have to get a ticket to find out more.
Sisters Flo (a registered nutritional therapist) and Jos (a self-taught chef) have combined their skill set to create Wylde Feasts, a supper club with an emphasis on naturopathy. The concept was founded with an ethos of creating an open and thoughtful space in which diners can learn the importance of a clean diet, while feasting on lovingly prepared, seasonal foods. Across five courses, Flo and Joss are on hand to share their knowledge of menu – from the ingredients and their origins to the health benefits they promote. Leave a Wylde Feast enriched mentally and physically, with a new mindset on eating, plus a book of recipes from the evening. Recent themes have included gut health, with the sample menu starring enticing dishes like cacao pudding with orange-blossom cashew cream and lots of pickled ingredients packed full of probiotics. Whether you’re health conscious or not, Wylde Feasts dishes up scrumptious food and a thoughtful approach to eating which everyone will savour.
A dreamy collaboration between chef Ellen Parr and set designer Alice Hodge, The Art of Dining is where gastronomy and design meet to produce a particularly unique experience. Drawing from her professional career at Moro, Middle Eastern and Spanish influences are commonly found in Ellen’s dishes. Alice’s immersive creations are always a surprise but a lover of interactive elements and her eye for detail mean that your expectations will always be exceeded. A travelling supper club, you may find yourself dining in a charming National Trust house, grungy underground bunker or a candlelit garden depending on the theme. The Art of Dining is renowned for knowing how to put on a show, having worked with household names like the V&A, Nike, River Island as well as charity collaborations with Crisis Action and Action Against Hunger.
The first rule about Gingerline is that you do not talk about Gingerline. This elusive supper club has been producing nights of mystery and dining since 2010, ingeniously fusing together performance, food, drink, design and art to offer you an absurdist and unforgettable adventure. From casting to costume design, a night with Gingerline takes “dinner and a show”to new heights A travelling troupe of sorts, this supper club conjures itself up in top-secret locations along the East London overground line (after which it is named). You won’t know where you’ll be dining until the night of the event but what is always certain is edible experimentation. Brace your tastebuds – this feast is for the courageous.
Born through a shared love of eating, hanging out and listening to music, Laura and Alice’s honest, unfussy cooking ticks all of the boxes. Although you shouldn’t expect anything too fancy on the menu, vintage crockery and wildflower arrangements accompanied by flowing wine are more than enough. The highlight of these occasions tend to be the conversation, with guests often leaving with a new friend (as well as a goodie bag). Commonly dubbed “the coolest supper club in town”, what began as a hobby for the pair has reached stellar heights of popularity and praise. Staying true to their roots the duo still operate on a first come, first serve basis with Instagram followers in their hundreds messaging for a seat at the table. If you can’t get on the list, the duo published their first book, Round to Ours, last year so you can try your hand at recreating the experience chez toi.
If only to sneak a peek into Hanna Goldsmith’s reimagined 1930s home in Maida Vale, a ticket to Building Feasts is entirely worth it. The interior designer’s exceptional taste continues to shine in the kitchen where she and friend Jeremy Coleman cook up a storm for an intimate group of diners. Both with a background in the creative industries, Hanna and Jeremy know how to cater to both stomach and eyes. Dishing up unpretentious food that is as delicious as it is Instagrammable, watch as the creative pair work their magic in the kitchen with animated cooking demonstrations and engaging conversation flowing. Expect a celebratory evening, packed with flavour and personality.
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