Supper clubs have been around for donkeys’ years, so anyone who wants theirs to make a mark on Londoners’ consciousness these days has to have a pretty awesome USP. Luckily, the capital continues to provide a wild night out with a side order of delicious dishes and cocktails. Here are ten envelope-pushing London supper clubs with a difference, all offering a lot more than food.
London's coolest supper clubs
The Underground Supper Club by Basement Galley
First-class tube travel without the travel
Taking the idea of ‘underground’ dining events from the metaphorical to the physical, this supper club whizzes through four courses eaten within a decommissioned tube carriage parked in Walthamstow – the only journey involved is a gastronomic one. The chef behind it, Cordon Bleu-trained Alex Cooper, serves up dishes such as ricotta and chervil pierogi with lime and samphire butter, or almond tart with rhubarb crisp, banana sorbet and liquorice powder, at a long banquet table. Ditch your tube-travel rulebook, meet people’s eyes – talk to your fellow passengers, even – and enjoy the ride. Just don’t order the Oysters…
The Underground Supper Club is currently sold out until December.
The Art of Dining
Five senses in one meal
Like Gingerline, The Art of Dining is another company that doesn’t do its experiences by halves – its designers are as much a part of proceedings as its chefs. Each unique event is a collaboration between former Moro chef Ellen Parr and set designer Alice Hodge – along with their teams, they conjure up avant-garde experiences, such as meals where everything changes colour with each course, and immersive re-visitings of the classic 1970s play 'Abigail’s Party', with diners as the dinner-party guests.
Find out more about forthcoming events from the Art of Dining.
Supper in a Pear Tree
Art on and off the plate
What meal doesn’t taste better after spending an hour or two staring at a naked stranger? No, it’s not just us – once a month, Supper in a Pear Tree combines a life-drawing class with a gourmet meal at Lavender Hill Studios in Battersea, and it sells out pronto. Artist Charlotte Partridge leads the class; chef Annabel Partridge, who trained under Skye Gyngell at Petersham Nurseries Café, then brings out a series of dishes that could pass as artworks themselves – from totes Instagrammable lobster with ‘green goddess’ dressing, tomatoes and samphire, to cumin-seasoned pork belly with salsa verde, borlotti beans, radicchio and chard.
The next available Supper in a Pear Tree event takes place on October 8.
Singles Supper Club
A dinner date with a difference
Rather than going to a restaurant with a date, this supper club encourages you to go out for a meal on your own – and pick someone up once you’re there. Diners sit down to six courses that marry Nordic and Italian cuisines (and if those two can make a go of it, anyone can) – think venison lasagne, or Norway’s version of tiramisu, tilslørte bondepiker. There’s no chance of getting stuck with a dud companion, because the table is reshuffled after every course, like a more leisurely (and much more filling) version of speed dating. Whether or not you meet The One at this group blind date, you’ll have a lorra lorra laughs.
Find out more about forthcoming events from Singles Supper Club.
A ding-dong location
Big-deal Argentine chef Martín Milesi based this supper club proposition on some of the world’s best one-table restaurants, with the aim of showcasing his high-end take on South American cuisine in an intimate environment (his dinners serve just 12 people at a time). He’s taken the underground dining phenomenon way above its station with a seven-course tasting menu served high up in the St Pancras Hotel’s clock tower – a privately owned property with unique views of the capital. With the bells this close, there’s no chance of turning into a pumpkin.
Una runs from September 22 to October 30.
The daddy of immersive dining
These masters of immersive dining are back with another ‘multi-dimensional’ experience called ‘The Chambers of Flavour’ whose next ticket release was always guaranteed to sell out within seconds. As usual, the destination is top-secret (even ticket-holders won’t find out where exactly they’re going until a couple of hours before the event) and the details are under wraps, but if it’s anything like their last escapade – which saw diners travel to five Singapore scenes, including a jungle hung with a ‘canapé canopy’, and a bustling hawker market – it should be a masterclass in how to make theatre out of food.
The Chambers of Flavour runs from September 22 to November 28.
The Town House
Dinner in an olde worlde setting
The Disappearing Dining Club was a pioneer of the supper-club-in-restaurant trend, and The Town House, a bi-monthly event located in an east-London antiques emporium, is one of its spin-offs – a dinner party set-up involving none of the pesky preparation or washing up. Diners sit at communal tables to feast on hearty dishes such as roast leg of lamb with lamb-shoulder boulangère, wild garlic and snail jus, surrounded by antiques (some of which even makes it onto the table). Ask nicely, and they might let you haggle for something that takes your fancy. If you prefer clothes to curios, check out DDC’s Back in Five Minutes, hidden inside a Brick Lane shop.
Find out more about forthcoming events from The Town House.
Jackson & Levine
A chance to hobnob with celeb hosts
Once every couple of months, Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine and TV presenter Laura Jackson host a supper club that mixes tasty nosh with free-flowing cocktails and a fun vibe – just as every dinner party should do. With nothing to prove in the success stakes, the duo – both proudly amateur cooks – started this gig purely for fun, but it’s now a hot ticket on the supper-club scene. As well as a great playlist to accompany the food courtesy of Levine (foot-stomping Northern Soul features heavily), there’s also the chance for mere mortals to peek inside a celebrity’s flat – in this case, the converted shoe factory Jackson shares with her boyfriend. Basically, it’s the after-party we’re all invited to.
Find out more about forthcoming events from Jackson and Levine.
A taste of Mexico complete with creepy-crawlies
Kitchen Theory take their food seriously – every concept they develop is a result of meticulous on-the-ground research, scientific experiment and pages and pages of, well, theory. However, the dining events that they host are the antidote to dry academia – and this autumn’s pop-up supperclub is a case in point: a burrito-free tour of Mexican cuisine as you’ve never tasted it before, packed with modernist interpretations of traditional Mexican ingredients. You’ll learn something without even realising you’re being taught – whether it’s the flavour perceptions we attach to the colour of our food, or how insects can make for a sustainable meal. You’ll even get to suck one and see… if you dare.
Kitchen Theory runs from September to December.
Let your hair down NOLA style
Slap Ya Papa have been indulging their passion for all things New Orleans since 2013 and show no signs yet of their energy, enthusiasm or ideas running low. This month, the duo are taking over The Vaults beneath Waterloo station for a supper club combining gussied-up soul food (think shrimp salad, molasses-rich pulled pork, and three types of pie prepared by Michelin-trained chefs), cocktails straight from Bourbon Street, and live performances from the likes of the Old Hat Jazz Band, Riot Jazz and Kansas Smitty. In true Louisiana style, at the weekend events, the party doesn’t end when the plates are cleared and the musicians pack up – the Mardi Gras vibes continue into the small hours. The Vaults run will also feature art exhibitions, rocking parties, street bazaars and soul food stalls.
Bayou Banquet runs September 16-27.Read more
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