I wasn't ever really very sure what to make of the rather modern development of supper clubs. In fact I probably would not have been to one right now if I hadn't met a certain young man called James Ramsden one night at the splendid Drapers Arms in Islington.
Post that and from following James's twitter feed I was intrigued with the development of his own supper club, the cutely monickered 'Secret Larder' and I went along to a very early performance. It was a nice evening, I met some interesting people but wasn't overly excited with the food I ate. There was nothing wrong with it, maybe I was expecting too much, but I vowed I would return in any case to give it another go.
That other go came the other week and I was delighted to see, that in taste and feel that the 'larder' had settled down, bedded in and has grown to be absolutely charming.
I also think the attitude I went into the evening with was a better one, my expectation was more aligned to going to a friends house for dinner, not going to a restaurant.
James had drafted in support in the form of the delightful Oliver Thring for this special 'game evening', quality abounded around the nicely 'lofty' space that is their appartment, James, Mary, Oliver, the staff all calm, relaxed and great 'mine hosts'.
Celeriac soup, drizzled with truffle oil to start was good....above all, in serving twenty people it was piping hot, and perfectly tasty.
Next a pigeon breast salad with an asian sounding mushroom, it was fine. Most importantly not overcooked, perfect breast (stop it).
Main event....partridge, served up in good time, well seasoned, some better cooked than others(but there were twenty and it's damn hard to get Partridge 'a point'), good bread sauce, super braised red cabbage, it was really quite tasty.
Desert of poached pears with creme fraiche was excellent actually.
Last but not least some petits fours including some delicious marshmallows filled with strawberry's, Oliver's handy work I believe.
I took along a fine New Zealand pinot noir to drink, on our table a charming lady called Lucy had bought an amazing french white to start followed by my dream red burgundy chambolle musigny, she was kind enough to share a bit with us. That is why supper clubs are great, like minded individuals sharing and talking, an enjoyable different type of platform on which to enjoy food and drink.
I refer you to the notes on my blackberry which were the basis of this post. As usual I am really quite late in writing it up;
Veeery nice(yes was pissed)
Some one's home which you have an insight in to (nosey got shot?)
Wonderful wine, great company, good food.
Integrity...the Ramsden's have loads of that.
So if you have never been, to a supper club that is (or even if you have) it is well worth a visit to this one. You will have a throughly enjoyable evening and will be handsomely looked after by charming, young, talented people who set a fantastic tone.
'The secret larder"
holloway road ish
cost for three or four courses approx thirty five pounds.
follow @jteramsden on twitter for details of forthcoming events