If you want to do something super-festive with your friends this year that’s a change from the pub or local restaurant, why not try a supper club. Queen of supper clubs Kerstin Rodgers set up one of the UK’s first in 2009, called The Underground Restaurant, cooking for strangers in her home in north-west London.
Since then over the supper club scene has exploded, with hundreds of amateur cooks and young chefs and foodies following in her footsteps and cooking for strangers. There are now hundreds of underground restaurants happening around the UK at any one time, but the problem is that some are so under-the-radar it can be hard to hear about them until they're over. So Kerstin has now set up a brilliant website where you can find an underground restuarant near you, called Find A Supper Club. She tells us, ‘Christmas and New Year’s is a time when many people have time off, therefore it’s a great opportunity to find out about your local supper club or underground restaurant. These are brilliant home cooks or ex pro chefs. You’ll get to meet new people and have a lovely home cooked meal. Here are a few of my picks from all over the UK during the holiday period’
Kerstin’s Key Supper Club Tips:
- Take your own booze.
- It’s nice to take a present for the host.
- Be prepared to be friendly and open to new experiences.
- You will be generously fed, so go with an appetite.
- You’ll come away with new friends, new contacts.
Her Top Five Christmas Picks:
Where and when: Manchester, December 20th
The menu: Spiced clementine fizz, celeriac and pear wellington, honey balsamic sprouts, cinnamon buttered apple with calvadosall sounds deliciously christmassy.
How much: Tickets £35 plus booking fee. Book here
Where and when: Sheffield, Dec 20th
The menu: Mulled perry cider, venison, Turkish orange and almond cake.
Hosted by Danielle Coombs @bishopstonSC
Where and when: Bristol, December 25th
The menu: five course feast. Simple seasonal classics.
How much: Tickets £35
Where and when: London near Marylebone, 20th and 21st of December
the menu: Australian chef Michelle Francis sprinkles magic Christmas dust over seven courses of Christmas-like fare. No Santa hats or reindeer ears required
How much: Tickets: £40
Where and when: London near Kilburn, 31st December
The menu: Mexican food, one of my favourite cuisines, and a Mexican tradition of 'reverse Santa' whereby you write a list of all the bad things that have happened over the last year and throw it in the fire before midnight. This means that the year ahead will start with a karmic clean slate. Vegans welcome. BYO tequila and champagne
How much: Tickets: £50 tips appreciated.
Where and when: January 4th, Wolvercote, Oxfordshire,
The menu: South African influence, Pomegranate royale, cape tomato and lamb bredie with moroho (spring greens cooked South African style), cheeses, Lime tart. A bargain.
How much: Tickets: £22.50 for five courses. (You should definitely tip here)