Well, it seems all the latest blog posts have begun with an apology for not being around much, and I guess this one should be no different. But as I'm sure you can appreciate we're getting to that pointy end of the year, which means that some have exams to study for, others have new contract negotiations to work on, and at the end of the day we unfortunately have to devote most of our time to our proper jobs, rather than this amusing flight of fancy. Nevertheless, rest assured we are most certainly still here, and what I lack in frequency, I shall now attempt to make up for in overindulgence...
Something I've had in mind for some time is a supper club. I've always loved the concept - not so much the implied pretentiousness of thinking you can do better than the professionals, but more so that everything a proper supper club entails quite frankly suits me to a tee. I mean, I get to design menus and table sittings, spend some quality time in the kitchen, play hostess for an evening, and then share all of this in the pleasurable company of some very dear friends. And as far as I'm concerned, you can't get much better than that. So at long last I finally took the bait, and while admittedly some may be put off by the thought of trying to cook fifteen courses while simultaneously entertaining the eight guests you're attempting to fit comfortably into your teenie-weenie flat, I like to think that I am capable of most things, and figured it was about time for a new challenge.
So after a bit of planning, some furniture Jenga, and a little time in the kitchen, it was time to kick-off with A Charming Refection. Given the lengthy Carte du jour I'll spare you the usual preparatory ramblings, and instead launch straight into a pictorial walk-through of the evenings proceedings.
Guests arrived to the quintessential nibblings of bread, dukkah and some homemade McLaren feral olive oil courtesy of the generous D&B.
Then, once everyone was settled and we'd covered the who's who six degrees of separation conundrum, starters began as a degustation-style affair commencing with tuna with Asian flavours
an asparagus vichyssoise
some whisky-cured ocean trout
and finally, some Japanese-inspired oyster shooters, before the first chance for respite.
While the guests took their obligatory breather, I made the most of Miss Rose's meat expertise and cooked up a couple more things before launching the mains as a communal free-for-all. Featuring on our shared table was lamb cutlets with coriander and honey
a Turkish spoon salad
cinnamon poached chicken
barley and pomegranate salad
baked salmon with a pistachio crust
and a clean and crisp fennel and radish salad.
Another brief respite was graced by a herbaceous palate cleanser in the form of watercress, pistachio and orange blossom salad, and then we were on the home stretch.
Burnt honey and star anise creams were accompanied by some tangy passionfruit jellies and the springtime-essential bowl of strawberries
And guests who stayed the full course ended their intense dining experience with a small petit fours in the form of prune and brandy truffles.
It was a thoroughly delightful and fun evening, and I am so glad I finally took the supper club plunge. Many thanks to some of my nearest and dearest for their sewing, equipment lending and supply acquisition services, and for their immense generosity and assistance. And an especially big thank you to my guests for not only providing an excellent selection of beverages and some quality entertainment, but for making it such a wonderful night.
The idea has always been that if I could pull this off and that people genuinely enjoyed themselves then this would become a more regular occurrence. I think I did, and I think they did too, so if we're lucky we may just find ourselves here again soon. If you'd like to be considered for future guest lists then you may wish to advise post haste as I'm rather hoping that, should the desired reputation ensue, things are going to become rather exclusive...