9 brilliant local pop up supper clubs
If you didn’t manage to get tickets for Native Feast’s pop up supper club return to LASSCO in December (*sob*) you’re not the only one. The tickets lasted a nano-second before selling out, indicative not only of chef Chris Godfrey’s Michelin-starre credentials but also our increasing collective appetite for trying something a bit different.
I’ve done a bit of digging around and lo! – turns out there are quite a few cool foodie nights coming up. So dig out your elasticated pants, here’s your chance to pop out to a foodie pop up near you.
Chateau Marmot, Fawley, Nr Henley, Fri 25 & Sat 26 Nov
I had a blast at Chateau Marmot’s Henley Regatta pop up, so I’m pleased to tell you about their return to the area, this time to the lodge at Culden Faw Estate. . The six course tasting menu is being created by Karl Doering (previously of Claridges) and Ben Harrington (Union St Cafe, The Mondrian, Mews of Mayfair) and each night is limited to 32 guests. Saturday is sold out but at the time of writing there are still 12 tickets left for the Friday, at £65 each.
Ross and Ross – LASSCO at Three Pigeons, Milton Common Friday 25 & Saturday 26 Nov
Former Head Chef of The Thatch, Ross Whitmill has already served up one weekend of pop up magic amongst LASSCO’s architectural antiques and curiosities and here comes the second. The menu sounds incredible – Smoked Eel, Celeriac & Horseradish Remoulade, Beetroot & Lemon Caper Dressing; Burrata, Blood Orange and Coriander Oil; Venison Loin, Spinach & Watercress Puree, Boulangere Potatoes, Jus & Buttered Kale; and Treacle Tart & Cream, all for £35. It’s a cash bar for drinks.
Apres Ski Supper Club at Peterley Manor Farm, Thurs 15 Dec
The Secret Supper Society, Bicester, Fri 18 Nov
This supper club is probably the most established of the lot – I’ve known about it ever since I started writing Muddy Stilettos and I very nearly made it to one of the nights. Jules who runs it describes The Secret Supper Society as a ‘home restaurant’ – you can book tables online, her husband heads the waiting staff and the five course dinners are held on Friday nights, though you can also book for private parties or other evenings if you’re coming with 12 or more guests. The house location is secret until you book but I can tell you it’s just off Junction 10 of the M40. There’s currently a table of 2 available for Fri 18 Nov, and after that you’ll have to wait until 16 December for another chance to eat here!
Smoke and Thyme, Oxford, ‘Christmas Surprise: Pay What You Want’, 18 Nov
An Oxford-based supper club at various locations including Restore’s Garden Cafe as well as a brand new location in Ferry Road, Marston. Some nights are pay-what-you-want, others have a fixed price (usually £30-50). The chef Jack Greenall is on hand to talk about the food and the vibe is experimental and relaxed. Other nights coming up include Fishmas (26 Nov), Suckling pig feast (3 Dec); Canard en croute (10 Dec) and salt beef wellington (16 Dec).
The Field Kitchen, Oxfordshire
Rupert Whitaker of The Field Kitchen has opened some of Oxford’s leading independent restaurants – The Lemon Tree, Coco’s, KazBar, even appearing on Channel 4 when he opened The White Horse in Stonesfield. But he’s also a successful film-maker so his pop ups – yes, seriously, in fields – combine great food with an artistic, quirky, slightly boho vibe. I went to one a few years back and loved it so would definitely recommend though it looks like we’ll have to wait until the sun comes out in 2017 for the next slot.
Knife and Fork, Deddington
A pop up home restaurant with rooms in Deddington and sold out for the rest of 2016, but dates for 2017 have been released. It’s run by Tanya, a trained chef, who offers a large sociable table set up (think Wagamama) for groups to eat together, or separately looking out over her mature gardens.
I ate at a Duende event in Chesham a few years back and good fun it was too. Most recently chef Tim Zekki popped up in Amersham in October and he’s looking for a more permanent home for Duende. No more events this year but I’ll keep my eye out for early 2017 for you.
Dinner at the Shed, Charlbury, Cotswolds
So word-of-mouth that they don’t even have a website, these guys just share the post-party love on instagram. Shiv and Emily offer occasional pop ups with guest chefs and from their IG feed it looks like they do it with just the right amount of quirk and panache. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a seat at the table.
They ramp up the performance and ta-daaaaa! element in the big smoke, and here are some of the most interesting ones…
Mystery! Adventure! Bonkers! Gingerline is a group of clandestine dining adventurers. For the last 5 years, these gys have thrown strictly top secret pop up experiences fusing art, performance, food, drink and design. Very cool and I really really want to go to one.
The Gramounce, next event 3 & 4 Dec
The Gramounce is a supper club to challenge the concept of the art gallery (quick, reach for the wine). Basically it’s about a dinner in which an artist is commissioned to exhibit using the idea of the supper as an exhibition with all the profit raised through ticketsales is divided equally between the curator, artist and cook. The next pop up theme is Eye Twitch which sounds a bit pretentious but I dare say it’s an interesting night to eat a meal amongst the beards and knowing nods of London arty types.
Kino Kino takes a film, and builds a pop around it. Guests are treated to welcome drinks and nibbles that are thematically tied to whatever the film will be. During the screning, chefs prepare the meal ‘behind the movie screen’, after which guests proceed to the dinning room for a multi-course feast.
Missed any goodies off the list? Let me know in the comment box below! x