I’d been told about Notting Hills’ ‘Books for Cooks‘ sometime ago by a cook in the know. I’d heard about how they stocked ‘the kind of books you can’t find elsewhere and the kind of cookery books that you will actually use’! Then I found out that there is more to this bookshop than meets the eye; test kitchen cafe, workshop kitchens and supper club more!
I’ve written several times before on my love for supper clubs so when I heard that Books for Cooks ran a monthly supper club I signed up pronto. The theme for the night; Italian food inspired by Nigella Lawson’s the recent book.
Being my first visit to Books for Cooks I was completely overwhelmed by the floor to ceiling shelves of books from the beautiful to the sublime and even those containing oaty recipe inspiration for a Porridge Lady!
The venue is what I would affectionately call ‘cosy’. Perhaps a little too snug for me, being seated between heavy hitting, high financing, city gents who liked to talk shop. However great for meeting new people like the lovely lady who shared many a secret on the places to shop, eat and go in Notting Hill.
Wild Mushroom Soup
Chilli Dressed Squid
Beef Stew and Mozzarella Baked Pasta Shells (served with baked parsnips and brussel sprouts)
The Cheese Course (served with sourdough bread)
Tiramissu (the classic)
The kitchen is expertly run by Eric Treuille who with Rosie Kindersley are Books for Cooks proprietors. Even on an Italian themed night Eric’s country of birth still influences the cuisine, from cooking style to the red wine served, which comes from his biodynamic vineyard in the South of France.
Overall Books for Cooks supper club and bookshop is a little West London gem. I’m already planning to going back to buy books and sample lunch too. The supper club menu was well developed and satisfying, with the soup being the highlight dish of the evening for me. The pace at which dinner is served is relaxed without making you wait too long between courses. Getting this right in a tiny kitchen with 30 diners is no mean feat. My only comment on Books for Cooks as a supper club would be that’s it’s more of venue you would eat at and go on somewhere. For me visiting an underground restaurant or supper club is the night out so a cup of coffee and a prolonged evening of chatting would have been welcomed.
Books For Cooks: 4 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, London W11 1NN
Follow on Twitter @Booksforcooks for the daily lunch menu & supper club updates.