Try it out with friends first. Take a look at Kerstin's new book 'Supper Club'. Kerstin is also doing an event called How to run a supperclub see details here. http://www.wegottickets.com/event/108906
Visit a couple of Supperclubs/Underground Tea Rooms. Have a look at the Supperclubs by location list and see if there is one near you.
Get a feel for what it's like to attend one that way you will have an idea of what guests expect.
Hope this helps. I'm sure other members will be able to help you.
I also think the venue, so long as it is clean and tidy matters, but not as much as the food and the hosting.
If you are a fab host, as I am sure you will be, and you do your research, I see no problems with it being a small venue.
It's best to start small.. I recently did a tea party for 20 all by myself...and it was hard work to say the least on your own...and I travel with mine too... so it was back breaking. My advice is start small and see how comfortable you feel : )
Kerstins book is fab for advice, and Lynn will also be speaking at the next conference, so get yourself down there if you can and I think you will feel ten times more inspired for it : )
And friends and family can be a great way to start, just make sure they are asked to be brutally honest with feedback : )
Have so much fun with it!!! x
What do you do with your family/pets? With a daytime do its easy for the house to be emptied but if its an evening event what do you do with the others in the household?
I've just had my first Sunday Roast event during the day and had my children (3yr and 6yrs) in the house. I did warn guests that there'd be children around and they were all fine. I was also very worried about the presentation of my cooking and my clean but unfashionable loo (!). When I joined the guests at the end of the meal we talked about their reasons for attending and it was all about meeting new people and trying out a new experience. My anxieties about the non perfect nature of my flat and the fact that I had my wild 3yr old running about added to the feeling that the guests were joining in a family event. That is what is special about this movement, it's so different to fancy cafes & restaurants. Don't worry. The fact that you are worrying about what people will think indicates to me that you're probably a very generous host and that is all that matters. Good luck!
I'm based in Edinburgh. I did Sunday Roast for 12 (including 3 children). I charged £20 for adults and children ate for free. Most paid a bit more. I gave out envelopes with the cups of coffee at the end of the meal for the donations - I wrote "Thank you, Suggested donation £20 per adult" on the outside. They left the envelopes on the table and I collected them after everyone had gone.
I got my guests via Twitter so you really should sign up to that if you're not on it already. Do you have a blog? That's a place where you can send your Twitter traffic to, they can then see exactly what you're offering. Mine is here http://myhomesupperclub.squarespace.com/.
Well done Aoife, I read your blog and it has made me crave a Sunday Roast... a rare treat for me of late!
If I lived nearer, I would have been there like a shot!! : )
Have you planned and scheduled your next event? It's addictive isn't it!?
Nothing wrong with 'humble' surroundings, it's the food and the welcome that counts.
Regarding actual dosh, some people leave a box on the table for the suggested donation, or give little envelopes....
I use booking sites like wegottickets.com to prevent no shows and loss of money.
I'd start small, with maybe eight people. I tend to use a friend to help when I have twenty people, which is my max number, but I didn't start with 20, it's exhausting doing the baking and serving tea to that many, even with help. I don't think elaborate menus or an elaborate house is necessary, stick to things you know will work and you're good at. Sponge cakes always go down well, and sandwiches are easy enough. Lashings of tea, a few varieties, and off you go! I didn't charge much for my first teas, it was more for practice. I now feel confident enough to ask for £15 but it's a groaning tea table, with four "courses" and I give 10% to a charity, so I don't feel like I'm asking too much. Make sure you cover your costs of course. I put envelopes around towards the end and ask people to put their "donations" in the envelopes. I also pass round a visitors book for comments. Good luck!