I’m told to look for a yellow door, but I see the doorman first. He’s big, beefy, and wearing a tux. After checking my name against his list, he invites me inside, where a second man confirms my booking. He introduces himself as “one of the flatmates,” hands me a Lego, and tells me to exchange it for a drink.
Seconds later, I’m greeted by another flatmate, Ed, and guided to the bar, where I swap my Lego for a glass of the refreshingly boozy house punch. By the time my friend arrives a couple of minutes later, I’m on a first-name basis with the flatmates, one of whom explains that the reason The Lion King is playing on a projector screen behind me is because “we knew it was your favourite film.” It’s not, but a little Simba goes a long way.
After mingling with other guests and taking selfies amidst the dining room’s kitschy bric-a-brac, we’re instructed to take a seat. We’re sitting at one of three tables in the room, surrounded by two couples, a Frenchman, and two young British women. We’re all first-timers, but we know what to do: When platters of cheesy cornbread and duck tostados emerge, we dig in and heap servings on to each other’s plates like old friends. A bottle of red is ordered and by the time the tables are put away to create more room for a party space, we’ve made new friends. We’ve also enjoyed cocktails that come with toasted marshmallows and actual cigarettes, tried on goofy hats, and wondered out loud if the “flatmates” actually live here.
The Little Yellow Door, a supper club reimagined as a house party with friends, is just one of several supper clubs luring Londoners away from their M&S meal deals and Pronto deliveries. The food is incredible, yes, but it’s the feeling of exclusivity, experiential dining, and good company that makes supper clubs feel so special and, dare we say, intimate. For a fraction of the price of dinner at the Shard, you can dine like a king in a clock tower or abandoned Tube carriage, or bond with strangers over duck ragu and game terrine made just for you.
Feeling tempted? Consider these 10 supper clubs to spice up your dining life. Because, let’s face it — your actual friends think a dinner party means picking up some crisps along with the beer.
Your version of dining on the Tube: Wolfing down a kebab on the Northern Line and avoiding evil glares from fellow passengers. Basement Galley’s version: Hosting a seven-course meal prepared by a professional chef on a decommissioned 1967 Victoria Line carriage situated in Walthamstow. New dates have opened up for late November, but act fast and book now: Spots are quick to sell out.
Underground Supper Club, 10 South Access Road, E17 8AX.
Paradise by way of Kensal Green has played host to several supper clubs over the past few months, including Hemsley & Hemsley’s summer series and Provenance Butcher’s Swine and Dine. Now, head chef Cat Ashton is devoting a night to British seasonal game. Cat’s Got Game on 21 October will feature a menu featuring terrine and venison Wellington, all for £35. Picky eaters need not apply.
Cat’s Got Game, Paradise by way of Kensal Green, 19 Kilburn Lane, W10 4AE.
Meet and greet other foodies and a very social crew of “flatmates” at this flat-themed Friday night supper club. Entry includes a complimentary cocktail, a multi-course meal served family-style and inspired by the latest new resident (currently South American cuisine for newbie A.J.), and an after-dinner house party.
The Little Yellow Door, 68 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3HT.
Think of Grub Club as the hub of London’s many supper clubs, pop-up restaurants, and themed dining nights. Here, you can join up for a meal inspired by Roald Dahl (pictured), book tickets for UNA’s dinner hosted in the St Pancras Clock Tower, or even plan your own supper club. You may never dine alone again.
Grub Club, events and locations vary.
Famed for pop-ups like the kitschy-cool Gone Camping, The Art of Dining has a new dining event planned for November. Details are scarce at the moment, but given the team’s commitment to amazing food and no-detail-spared design, it’ll be a good’un.
The Art of Dining, events and locations vary.
Here’s a restaurant with a supper club twist. As the name suggests, the 50-cover Carousel boasts a rotating roster of guest chefs, each of whom create bespoke menus for lunch and dinner services. Chef Tom Ryalls wraps up his residency 26 September, with Javier Rodriguez taking over from 6 to 17 October, Jordan Bourke 3 to 7 November, Mathieu Perez 10 to 21 November, and Ollie Templeton 24 November through 19 December. From 30 September to 3 October, the Blue Lotus Opium Den takes residence, recreating a Chinatown launderette offering dim sum, Monkey Shoulder cocktails, and live entertainment.
Carousel, 71 Blandford Street, W1U 8AB.
Take two London It Girls — Laura Jackson and Alice Levine — throw in a passion for food, like-minded diners, and watch the magic happen. Stay tuned for more details about their next supper club, due to take place in November.
Jackson & Levine, East London; more details upon booking.
You could swing by Pizza Express. Or you could plan ahead and book tickets for real-deal Italian cuisine with copious amounts of red wine. Look for events in mid-October, with more dinners slated for November.
The Italian Supper Club, dates and locations vary.
A £40 entry fee gets you a three-course meal and the opportunity to brush up your art skills. The monthly event kicks off with a glass of wine and the opportunity to sketch a live nude model, followed by good food and good company. What will they think of next?
Supper in a Pear Tree, Unit 101, Battersea Business Centre, 99-101 Lavender Hill, SW11 5QL.
Jamie Oliver and Ellie Goulding are just a couple of the high-profile foodies who have raved about Luu’s Asian feasts, hosted in her own Hackney flat. If prawn lollies and pork Saigon rolls for a suggested donation of £35 tempt you, you’ll have to hurry. Due to Luu’s pregnancy, she’s hosting one final supper club on 17 October before taking maternity leave.
Uyen Luu, London Fields, Hackney; details upon booking.
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