The London restaurant scene has never been more exciting, but sometimes a slightly more unusual, informal and intimate gourmet experience is more in order – enter the supper club.
Last Friday Wild Card dined at Chicken of the Woods, located in the quirky surroundings of an old café in the faded Art Deco grandeur of Hornsey Town Hall.
The supper club was started back in April and runs until the end of October, taking place each Friday and Saturday night. The tasting menu changes weekly and is based around carefully sourced ingredients from artisanal producers from around the British Isles and Europe. The supper club is run by Chris Slaughter and James Galton best known for The Pig & Butcher in Angel, Smokehouse and British restaurant Heirloom in Crouch End.
The evening got off to a slightly bizarre start as, aside from the supper club, the town hall was hosting a Ziggy Stardust tribute evening. After fighting through the throngs of lycra clad face-painted Bowie fans, the tiny dining room was the epitome of calm – tasteful music, candlelight and a handful of tables surrounded by expectant diners. The warm and cosy vibe felt more like you were at a friend of a friend’s for a dinner party, but without the need to make polite conversation with those you didn’t know.
The seven course menu started with four vegetarian courses – throwing the spotlight on sweetcorn, heritage tomatoes, carrots and new potatoes. Immaculate cooking skills and interesting flavours and textures built the anticipation for the meat courses. Two venison courses were next: one a broth with earthy beetroot; then a seared steak served on celeriac mash with raw mushrooms. To finish stewed apples with Tonka cream left us fully satiated and happy. With a wine flight of four to accompany the meal, all carefully selected to accent the dishes, it was an evening that was a feast for the senses.
With supper clubs taking place across the country as well as the capital it’s a great way to experience something a little different in the restaurant world. With chefs looking to create more bespoke experiences in terms of location, atmosphere and menus there are also opportunities for brands to join forces to create something truly unique and in turn generate conversation and buzz.