A foray into the world of supper clubs

We’re lucky in Bristol to be blessed with a handful (there’s five now) of supper clubs – effectively dinner parties in someone’s living room, with a group of people you don’t know, where you pay a donation to cover costs when you leave.  You hear about them through friends of friends, on Twitter or through blogs, request a seat and then get emailed an address to turn up at a few days before the event. It’s all a bit mysterious, “underground” and an alternative to your average restaurant experience.

There are huge numbers of them in London and other big cities across the world, but not everywhere has them. In the South West – other than Bristol, I understand there are a couple in Dorset, but I haven’t heard of any others. Do you know of one? Please comment below!

I went to one of the Bristol ones a couple of days ago – the Blue Door Supper Club. We didn’t know the people cooking for us but had heard good things about them – and weren’t disappointed as the meal was delicious.

My other half and I were both a bit nervous as we knocked on the door in the middle of a quiet street. And what the neighbours must think I don’t know – 12 people turning up at the same time of the evening, twice a month, and emerging all together a few hours later looking very pleased with themselves.

Anyway, it all turned out to be kosher, and not at all a swingers club. We were shown inside the lovely home of Mr and Miss Blue Door, sat down at a table with four strangers, got out our wine and tucked into some amazing bread as Miss BD made sure we were all ok and Mr BD very calmly cracked on in the kitchen in full view of us all.

The last thing I had expected was a “proper” menu. With choices. I thought we would just have a plate of food put down in front of us – especially as we had already been asked if we were veggie, had allergies, or minded offal. But there was a blackboard with three starters, three mains and two puds to choose from.

I went for devilled kidneys on toast to start, which was so, so good. The sauce was tangy and sweet, and there was a healthy serving of kidneys so my rumbling tummy started to settle down. Moving on to mains, I had oxtail, calves’ liver, mustard onions and potatoes – again a superb dish. Not too much, but a decent portion packed with flavour, and everything perfectly cooked as far as I was concerned.

And then the desserts. I can’t decide which course was my favourite, because each time I think about each one I think that that was the best. I had a rhubarb mess – a glass full of beautifully light pink rhubarby cream mess, with chunks of bright pink rhubarb, divine meringues (which I was later informed had been made with muscovado sugar) and almond brittle. I could have eaten a ton of it.

And that wasn’t it – the meal was topped off with some Tunworth cheese and more bread (Mr BD currently works at brilliant Bristol bakery Mark’s Bread) and then tea and coffee with beautiful little chocolate truffles with a subtle kick of crystallised ginger.

For more info on the Blue Door Supper Club check out the Daydream Kitchen blog, where Mr BD blogs.

This post was written by blogger Emily Koch – for more, and extra info on Bristol supper clubs, visit Eat Big Bristol.

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