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Dinner with a twist

Bored of your local gastropub? Try one of these supercool 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.


The Granary Club, Watlington

What? A low-key Thursday night supper club at the high street deli and cafe. Call to book – 01491 613585.

When? 8 Feb, 7pm.

Sample dish? Sticky shin rounds with cipollini onions, baby carrots and Savoy cabbage.

The damage? £22.50 per head.


The Supper Circle, Banbury

What? Fine dining pop-up that moves around various private houses in Banbury, run by ex catering industry product developers Rachel and Jo.

When? 9 Feb.

Sample dish? Butternut squash soup with orange Szechuan pepper and crumbled feta.

The damage? £45 per head.


Knife & Fork, Deddington, Oxon

What? 5 course Asian tasting menu at this B&B/intimate home restaurant in a pretty Oxon village. Run by veteran chef Tanya, the restaurant is open on intermittent weekends.

When? 9 or 10 Feb – there was a waiting list at time of writing but you might strike it lucky (or you could book in for later in the year).

Sample dish? Sirloin steak spoons with wasabi and coriander.

The damage? Around £50 per head (depending on table size).


Native Feasts: February Bounty, College Farm,  Long Crendon, Bucks

What? Cookery demo rather than a full-on dinner (you get to taste it) with Michelin-starred chef Chris Godfrey demonstrating three of his favourite seasonal dishes and his colleague Greg Jones (ex Sir Charles Napier) pairing them with the best winter wines.

When? 13 Feb.

Sample dish? Butter poached lemon sole, cider cooked mussels, Pentland Brig kale

The damage? £25 per head (including arrival cocktail, wine and dish tasting and recipe/wine cards to take home).


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? Many dates through Spring – first up weekend of 16 and 17 Feb.

Sample dish? Sweet potato bread pudding with bourbon cayenne syrup.

The damage? Pay what you want.


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 17 Feb.

Sample dish? Shredded beef with smokey mash, shallot purée, onion relish and parsnip crisps.

The damage? £47 per head. Cash only.


CiCi CoCo Kitchen & Cookery School, Watlington 

What? Pop-up cookery class and dinner to learn trad Italian dishes (and then scoff them). Prosecco on arrival, cookery class and then a three course meal with wine. Look out for various other demos and dinners from Giulia through the spring.

When? 22 Feb.

Sample dish? TBC but let’s hope there’s some delicious homemade pasta involved.

The damage? £75 per person.


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.


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


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.

Compiled by Eleni Steck

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon