Dinner with a twist
Bored of your local gastropub? Try one of these supercool new supper clubs. There's loads popping up in the coming months.
As far as memorable nights out go, you can’t beat the thrill and mystery of a pop-up supperclub. Where will it be? What will we eat? How many bottles of BYO wine can you possibly squeeze into your handbag? And who the heck will we sit next to? (Please, not the village nutter!) And these days you don’t have to trek into the Smoke to find one – in fact there’s a whole bunch of them upcoming in our glorious ‘hood.
Sneaky Supper Club, Oxford
What? A five course fine dining meal in the barn at the Isis Farmhouse Pub by Iffley Lock, with live gypsy jazz performed by the new owners of the pub no less! We haven’t tried this pop-up before, but we’re looking forward to giving it a whirl! You need to pre-book so email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
When? Fri 2 Mar
Sample dish? Pork head to (not quite) toe, roast garlic mash, savoy, apple, tarragon.
The damage? £40
Smoke and Thyme, central Oxford
What? Young chef/blogger Jack Greenall (he occasionally cooks at The Magdalen Arms in Oxford) hosts dinners at his Ferry Road home. His upcoming dates feature guest chef Finn Baird.
When? Various dates through Spring – next ones are 2-3 and 16-17 March, then 6-7 and 20-21 April 2018.
Sample dish? Sweet potato bread pudding with bourbon cayenne syrup.
The damage? Pay what you want.
Waddesdon Pudding Club, Waddesdon Manor, Bucks
What? Paradise for sugar fiends basically – a five course tasting menu of desserts creating by Waddesdon Manor’s head of pastry, Craig Clark and his team. Each paired with a sweet still or sparkling wine.
When? 10 March.
Sample dish? Vanilla and almond cream with crusted figs, thyme ice cream and olive oil
The damage? £55
Nelson St pop up, Buckingham
What? The fine dining Nelson St in Buckingham has morphed into Louis’s (named after the owner-chef), a laidback pizza and sharing restaurant, with Nelson St now appearing only occasionally as a pop-up.
When? Sun 11 March, for lunch 12-4pm.
Sample dish? Belly pork, 50/50 mash, creamed bacon cabbage, burnt apple purée, buttery cavalo nero, jus
The damage? It’s a la carte so starters are £7-8, mains £14-20, desserts £7.
The Secret Supper Society, North Oxon
What? Popular long-running home dining club that’s been frequented by Raymond Blanc, no less.
When? Various weekend dates throughout Spring. Next one with availability at time of writing is 9 & 10 Mar.
Sample dish? Shredded beef with smokey mash, shallot purée, onion relish and parsnip crisps.
The damage? £47 per head. Cash only.
Tapas Social, Tap Social Movement, Oxford
What? A new pop-up supper collaboration between Native Feasts and cool Oxford craft brewery Tap Social.
When? 28 Feb
Sample dish? Stout-braised ox cheek croquette, swede & mustard purée.
The damage? £25 per head
Dinner At The Shed Feast, Charlbury
What? Jono Harris-Bass and Ross Whitmill of Ross & Ross are teaming up to present six delectable courses inspired by Italy.
When? 21 Apr
Sample dish? They are keeping it a secret! Only hint is that the evening will take you on a gastronomic tour of Venice, Sicily, Marche, Abruzzo, Piedmont.
The damage? £35 a head (BYOB).
The Garden Café at Miserden Estate, nr Stroud, Gloucs
What? Just across the border in Gloucs but well worth travelling for, this is a new pop-up in a gorgeous 1920s greenhouse setting (think Petersham Nurseries) in a family-run rural estate in the Cotswolds. Various guests chef will be appearing over the coming months including Thai/Japanese cuisine specialist Brett Mills and Rory Baxter, who’s worked under Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc.
When? 9 March (Brett Mills) and 16 March (Rory Baxter).
Sample dish? TBC but we’re holding out for some super-fresh sushi from Brett.
The damage? £35 per head for three courses.
Pub In The Park, Marlow
What? Local celeb chef Tom Kerridge’s event is back for a second year. Yes it’s technically a festival but there’s a pop-up gastro-pubs aplenty, featuring delicious dishes from Kerridge obvs, Jason Atherton from The Berners Tavern in London and Atul Kochhar from Sindhu, among others.
When? 17-20 May, but tickets have just gone on sale, so chop chop, early birds.
The damage? From £25 for an adult afternoon ticket.
Jericho Kitchen, Warborough, South Oxfordshire
What? Scandinavian expert & chef Christian Ørner gives it some gastro Scandi hygge, lovingly presenting dishes from the land of the pickled herring.
When? Sat 23 June, in the cookery school garden
Sample dish? Baked Cod, Salt Baked Swede, Watercress
The damage? £80
Other clubs to keep an eye out for:
The Granary Club (Watlington)
The Supper Circle (Banbury)
Knife & Fork (Deddington)
CiCi CoCo Kitchen & Cookery School (Watlington)
Any brilliant ones I’ve lamentably left off? Let me know!
Compiled by Eleni Steck