Top 5 Supper Clubs and Pop Ups this October
Written by: Sophie Taylor
You know you love a good supper club.
I bet you’ve secretly imagined creating your own, maybe even made a WhatsApp group with some foodie friends called ‘Supper Club Crew ✊’. Except now you just use it to talk about the meatball pizza you’ve just ordered and wasn’t it funny when Steve fell over in The Shaftesbury on Friday and didn’t spill his pint.
Well. Round up the gastronomy troops and get ready for some heavyweight dinner club inspiration this October. It’s our pick of the best foodie pop ups around. Yes, they are in chronological order because yes, they all sound equally alluring.
1. The Cheffy One
Smoke & Salt Team Up with Adam Rawson, 11th October
Adam won the YBF Award for Best Chef last year and has been working with Smoke and Salt for the best part of 2016, collaborating on pop up ideas. (Yeah, probably through a WhatsApp group called ADAM DA BOMB or something). At last their menu has arrived: a unique and mouth watering take on small tasting plates.
Smoke & Salt was an idea started and developed by two chefs with different backgrounds: Aaron Webster (Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Penny Hill Park) who first came up with the idea in 2013, and Remi Williams (Deuxave Restaurant, Craigie on Main; both Boston, USA).
They’re a smiley duo and their enthusiasm is palpable in their menus. Not one to miss.
2. The Bookish One
The Literary Hour: Cider With Rosie, 14th October
Five course feast. I repeat, five course feast. Inspired by CIDER. I sat uncomfortably close to the person who decided to tell me about this one. Cheek to cheek we were.
The Literary Hour are a house of foodies creating delectable menus inspired by their most loved books they ‘once devoured at bedtime’. These supper club heroes are back this Autumn with a new chapter (I stole that from them. Good isn’t it). You can expect a harvest inspired feast infused with fermented apples and peppered with readings throughout. Oh, and it’s bring your own booze.
I’m going to go. And I’m going to bring cider. How do you feel about that? Good. Me too.
Don’t forget The Literary Hour give 10% of their profits to the Refugee Community Kitchen who they also volunteered with in Calais and Dunkirk earlier this year.
3. The Potent One
That Hungry Chef: Perfume an Edible Scent 5th Edition, 20th October
“Odours have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. There is no remedy for it” – Patrick Suskind, Perfume.
Persuade yourselves with That Hungry Chef’s edible scent pop up.
Have you ever wondered what cedar wood, vetiver or sandalwood might taste like? I mean, they smell delicious sprayed out of a glass bottle on to your neck, but I’ve never been tempted to drink from said bottle. UNTIL NOW. After months of nostril enlightening research and experimentation, That Hungry Chef have created an awe-inspiring menu like no other. Using organic and pure natural essential oils, absolutes and essences, they’ve designed a dinner that transforms the fleeting and surreal world of perfume into a meal. Blumenthal, eat your conceptual heart out.
House Rules: Carriages by 11pm. Don’t you just love that phrase. Whenever I read it I assume I’ll be going home via two white horses and the bus reaches new realms of sweaty disappointment afterwards.
BONUS FUN FACT: Want to know why The Hungry Chef is so hungry? Apparently it’s because he is too busy cooking you delicious international cuisine to eat himself. Which is wonderful and worrying all at once.
4. The Conceptual One
The Gramounce: You Have Not Been Honest, 23rd October
Edible sand, poppy liquer and mist. Get ready for some high concept shit at the Gramounce this October. At this particular supper club, the dinner is a gallery, the gallery is a menu and the exhibition is the supper club itself. YOU ARE ART. The menu is based on the art works, which by that line of thinking means the food is based on you. Did I get that right? I personally think I’d taste divine. Second helpings of this delicious mess if you don’t mind.
The actual menu involves a Kraken rum and poppy liquer cocktail, venison and berry bush as well as white edible sand and mist. Real life mist up in your mouth.
The Gramounce supper club funds art projects and organise dinners once a month in different locations around London. All the money raised is invested in art production or research. They collaborate with different artists to create the events. Run by artist Nora Silva, The Gramounce was born out of MilesKm as a fundraiser in 2014. With events changing every month, so far they have organised musical suppers, a food competition between Spain and Sri Lanka, as well as a Tortoise & the Hare food race with an Indian twist.
5. The Jazzy One
The Elmore Jam at The Cuckoo, 28th October
Who doesn’t enjoy a live jazz trio with their meal? On the 28th October The Elmore Jam supper club are teaming up with award winning Cordon Bleu Chef Alex Cooper of Underground Dining (you know, that supper club on the Victoria Line). They’ve created a gourmet four course meal inspired by the freshest of local ingredients with vegetarian options always available.
The Elmore Jam is the father daughter uber team Nick and Ro, who started the supper club in their home in Islington. Their backgrounds are in show production and design, which isn’t surprising when you see the kinds of events they produce from their most magical of chef hats. They rotate a rosta of professional chefs like a lazy susan set to live music with complimentary cocktails. I am all over this.
Not enough supper club inspo? Check back for more suggestions later this month. Greedy.
“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.
Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.
Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.
At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.
Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.
Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.
Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.
Healthy chocolate mousse and sexing up your smoothie with Kate Oates. We have found ourselves a yoga guru in Kate Oates, a healthtastic yogi based in Crouch End. When we met her last year she hinted at a few of her own culinary creations and boy were we intrigued. Asking for an exclusive recipe for you health conscious readers, we received a taste sensation of an idea for chocolate breakfast.
“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.
In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”
The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?
Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).
Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.
Finding myself wandering around Limehouse Basin craving a pint and perhaps even a slice of pizza, I needed to get home to my local Crate Brewery sharpish (they do the freshest craft beers and have award winning pizzas). But how to get there? Stumbling in to Limehouse Station and towards a huge sign saying CLOSED, I consider walking there instead. A short meander riverwards, I reach the canal and begin to notice a group of people donning chunky waistcoats stretching their arms around. I pause for a second, swaying slightly on the spot, watching this mesmerising circle of humans yielding huge double ended spoons.
"Ooh they’re doing a psych night at Moth Club Tina!” "What, again?” It’s a familiar sentence. Fast becoming a buzzword for young musos and Beyond Retro dwellers alike, psych music is no longer just for the suede fringed waistcoat wearing Acid Jazz lovers who curse their parents they weren’t born in 1966. No no. The psych music spectrum has spread it’s bendy wings and shaken off it’s lava lamp skin to embrace a whole host of musical genres. From William Burroughs to Pet Sounds to Thee Oh Sees, the genre’s had a birth, decline and resurgence. Nambucca in Finsbury Park are totally capitalising on this revival with their new monthly night, SIKE! This Thursday 11th May, they’re bringing four different acts who are all covering different elements of the psych scene.
Back in 2014 The Good Egg was hatched, mixing Californian sunshine with Tel Aviv traditions to bring one heck of a menu to Stoke Newington. Food critics, instagrammers and swathes of Stokey baby holders flocked to it’s doors to get stuck in to the Jerusalem breakfast, merguez sausage and indeed eggs washed down with spicy brunch cocktails.