I’m excited about the idea of supperclubs, underground restaurants and the like – the idea that for one night only, or very few nights, you host a restaurant for paying strangers in your house. How cool is that?
I heard about it first, I think, somewhere on the internet, and then it was cemented in my mind by a feature on Woman’s Hour which led me to circling the block and being late for leafleting so I could listen to it all.
“That sounds cool,” I thought. “Maybe I could do that in my house, once I’ve tidied up a bit?”
Would it be scarier than Come Dine With Me? At least if you fail and massively suck, only a few people find out. And you can close the bedroom doors and not have anyone rifling through your things. Or even going in the massively dusty, cluttered rooms.
There was a list of supperclubs on a website somewhere that I perused. And there seemed to be none in Notts! Or at least one, but with a “we’re no longer hosting events for family reasons” caveat on their website. I later also found someone who hosts afternoon teas for six on Friday afternoons in the South Notts area. But apart from that, no-one at all in the whole East Mids! An opportunity, I thought.
So when my friend, the vegan blogger Cat of Stripes started talking about wanting to host a couple of pop-up restaurant nights, I put our house forward as a venue. We’ve set a date – the last weekend in November – and we’ll firm up all the rest of the details closer to the time.
(NB – if you’re a vegan (or even if you’re not) and you want to sample the Stripey Cat’s cooking – do please drop me a line and I will start a list of people to get back in touch with closer to the time when we actually start selling tickets. By all accounts, the price is going to be pretty bargainous.)
My discussion with Cat of Stripes led to me signing up to a group on Ning and starting to read MsMarmiteLover’s blog, something I hadn’t previously discovered. A few weeks later a plaintive email arrived begging us to consider buying the book, to which, after a few further weeks of hemming and hawing and counting pennies, I acquiesced when on the internet with my guard down ((read – drunk. Apparently even when blotto my fingers can type in my Visa card details without getting it out of my wallet))
And in the last few days I have been reading it. It’s a mix of recipes Kerstin Rodgers uses at her own events, prefaced by some really interesting tips and suggestions for hosting your own supperclubs. And she makes it sound such an awful lot of fun. There’s no glossing over the hard work or personal sacrifice – in her case, she’s emptied so much of her house to make room for chairs and tables that she’s moved sofas and TVs into what was supposed to be her boudoir – and of course you should spend several days cooking for each event.
Rodgers doesn’t seem to have the CHAOS problem we do at the moment. If she did, her first word of advice wouldn’t be “First of all, just do it. Go on, play restaurants. Take the plunge.”
But thinking about doing it might even be just one more prod to start the massive house cleansing we need.
But before we get there, we are Having People Over. Half with this crazy idea in mind, and with some pressure to have a Wake – a last hurrah for our former councillors and our former staff – I volunteered to host an Afternoon Tea, which will ultimately be for 10 people (six former councillors, three former staff – and enough leftovers to feed P when he gets home!) We’ll see how that goes. Baby-steps, as Fly Lady would say.