Secret Supper Clubs
Dinner’s ready; tell no-one! That seems to be the general ethos of underground supper clubs around the world, and with good reason. When something unique begins, the temptation to heavily publicise it can be strong. But often the more elite something is, the more special it remains.
Today, so-called secret supper clubs are popping up all around the world, but it’s certainly no new concept. In Europe at least, the underground Berlin food scene can take credit for bringing this type of event to people’s attention, and for sprinkling it with Germany’s unique brand of cool.
The success of supper clubs is largely down to two factors: high quality cuisine in intimate settings, and a healthy dose of Chinese whispers to create some hype. Whilst some hosts now advertise their events on social media platforms, supper clubs remain enshrouded in endearing mystery, as guests scramble around for clues about specific dates and locations.
In Berlin, it’s Zuhause that has become a buzzword amongst foodies. Founded and run by welcoming hosts Dave and Kristi (from Ireland and Canada respectively) this informal dinner setting has become known for restaurant-grade food, strong wine pairings and flawless hospitality. The trick is getting in on the action; with limited spaces around the table, and events spread across the year, it’s an elbows-out situation.
In London, the scene is just as strong. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to out-of-service tube carriages, Walthamstow is the place in which to find out. Having converted the interiors of a 1967 Victoria line train, local catering company The Basement Gallery serve up pleasingly elaborate fare comprising of mostly French brasserie dishes with an interesting Scandinavian twist.
It’s a far cry from a bag of chips on the last tube home, that’s for sure.
London’s next offering might not strike you as the most obvious place for a trendy, fine-dining experience, which is of course the whole point of secret supper clubs. Twickenham Cellar, deeply concealed within the stadium’s West Stand, was originally known as “Project X”, with its purpose being revealed only upon completion of the construction. Today, it remains a highly exclusive venue for intimate dinners, in which a maximum of 14 guests at any one time can work their way through a luxury seven course tasting menu, paired with fine wines and finished with homemade truffles.
With proficient multi-tasking abilities, the organisers of supper clubs in Sydney split the emphasis in equal parts between design aesthetic and premium-quality ingredients. Drawing upon their increasingly famed sense of style, Australian party planners adorn their venues with elaborate bursts of colour, seasonal floristry, creative table settings and other trendy touches such as calligraphy and signage.
A flair for styling by no means equals a menu lacking in allure. Sydney’s thriving and eclectic food scene draws as much influence from the east as the west, and there’s a certain quiet expectation amongst Sydney supper-clubbers that their high standards be met without exception.
Thanks to the very nature of secret supper clubs – and underground events in general – they can disappear before you even realise they’d appeared. If you want a piece of the pie, you have to stay ahead of the game. Avoid disappointment and head to The Supper Club Fan Group for the low-down on what’s cooking, and where.
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