Supper clubs have been quite the thing over the last few years. From Michelin starred chefs inviting guests around to their swanky loft, to aspirant amateurs opening up their living room, there is a huge amount of choice. You can see the appeal - so many people have great skills and great ideas when it comes to food, and want to find a way of sharing it with other people who love food.
I hadn't been to a supper club until last week, when I joined the inaugural Clapton Pot supper club. I saw a posting about it on Yeah Hackney and signed up. The Clapton Pot is run by two lovely ladies who live either side of Clapton Pond: Violaine (West side) and Diane (East Side), who've lived in the area for a while, love living in Clapton (who doesn't?!) and wanted to meet some interesting new people. The suppers are the last Sunday of the month, and Violaine and Diane take it in turns to host.
We were at Violaine's this time - surely one of the most stylish apartments in Clapton. It was all open, spacious, light and artfully accessorised. My fellow E5 dwelling friend Laura and I arrived at the same time as most of the other guests, and we supped wine as we started getting to know each other. It was a nicely varied group of people - tech types to slam poets, architects to graphic designers - and conversation flowed really easily.
First up we had pear, fennel and watercress salad. Everything was super crisp and fresh. Violaine revealed that they bought most of the ingredients from Ridley Road Market in Dalston; an excellent way of keeping costs down, as the Clapton Pot is FREE to attend (you just need to bring a bottle of wine per person).
The pace was leisurely and there was time for more chatting while the final bits of the main course were prepared. It was a polenta and sundried tomato cake, served with a moist and rich portobello mushroom, peppery puy lentils and a sweet and deep gravy. The flavours worked well together, with lots of tasty and different flavour combinations to be had with each fork-full.
We finished with pears poached in peppery red wine (great combination!) and served with vanilla infused yoghurt.
Time flew by with good conversation and by no time it was 11.30pm on a School Night and everyone was pooped. It was a great evening, and I think everyone left feeling warm from the generosity of our hosts and how nice it is to get to know your neighbours, swap stories about the neighbourhood and get the lowdown on all the local controversies. If you want to find out more, you'll have to get down to the next Clapton Pot. Follow them on Twitter - I think the next meal will be open for registration soon.