Over the last few months I have been writing a lot on supper clubs. From reviews on the latest London pop-ups to a behind-the-scenes look at what makes a farm-based organic supper club work. I’ve been to a lot of supper clubs so people often ask me questions about them, about the etiquette of attending one. So from my vast and varied visits I’m going to share my top tips for enjoying a supper club;
- Do be timely with your arrival, there’s fashionably late and just plain rude! The evenings cooking will have been scheduled around the arrival time. If you turn up late not only do you keep the other guests waiting you are keeping the food waiting and could spoil it.
- Don’t be early. The last few minuets before a supper club is fraught with last minute prep, arrangements and nerves! Unless you want your head bitten off my a stressed chef do NOT ring that door bell early!
- Do go to be sociable, hope to meet new and interesting people but…
- Don’t expect to be entertained all evening by your fellow guests or necessarily expect to make life long friendships. People generally go to supper clubs as couples or small groups and whilst I have always found people to be friendly and chatty they do also expect to spend time talking with their companions.
- Unless there is a dress code, do make an effort but don’t over dress – In general supper clubs are relaxed so don’t over do your outfit. Also supper club venues do tend to be quiet small and with a lot of guests it gets quiet hot. So leave your formal frocks & DJ’s for another occasion.
- Do eat heartily but don’t eat everyone else’s food! – Clearing your plate, and if you think you can get away with it! Asking for seconds shows the chef you like their food and it’s a real complement esp to a home cook just starting out. However food is often served from communal serving dishes at supper clubs so don’t take more than your far share before everyone else is served.
- Drinking – always check on the BYO arrangements. Can you actually bring your own? (you don’t want to end up surreptitiously drinking it out of a paper bag!) Is there a corkage charge? (do expect to pay a small amount at some supper clubs) Will alcohol be sold on the night? (prices can vary from cheap to rip-off, be prepared).
- And if you don’t drink alcohol consider bringing you own soft drinks and water. Once the kitchen gets busy you will find the server less tolerant of finding you alternatives to the table wine or continuously topping up your water jug.
- Finally do try to be nice to everyone. From the slightly annoying man you sit next too who is taking up all the space to the woman who talks incessantly about her last holiday. We’ve all come for a nice night out so lets all try and get along people!
- Don’t be rude to the serving staff. No matter how long you’ve been waiting don’t be rude. Wait staff at supper clubs (although some celebrity chef pop-ups do hire a professional team) in general are friends and family who are lending a hand for the evening. They are not skivvy’s or your butler, have a little patience and your food will be served.
- Finally just it enjoy it. If you get into the spirit of supper clubs, love them for all their quirks and charms, you will quickly learn to adore them. Who knows this Saturday’s ‘little supper club’ just may turn out to produce next years hot new chef.
If this blog post has whetted your appetite for supper clubs and allayed your fears! You can find a more info on nights and supper club venues here;