Thursday, 31 March 2011

A super week for supper – take two

Having attended one supper club already last week, imagine my delight when fellow Cambridge food enthusiast, Miss Sue Flay, a.k.a. Jo, invited me along to another. (I am aware those who don’t share my love of good food and good company might read that to be sarcastic. It’s not. And how can you possibly not like good food and good company by the way?). This one was in Letchworth and a bone fide underground supper club run by a couple Jo had met at Miss Marmite Lover’s food bloggers conference a few months back.

Isabelle and Paul's beautiful dining room (photo by Paul)

As soon as we arrived at Isabelle and Paul’s I knew we were going to have a lovely night. Their stylish home in Letchworth made me jealous from the moment I walked in and tempting wafts were already coming from the kitchen. As guests arrived - some friends of the couple, some of us strangers - everyone chatted along with very little first-meeting awkwardness.

Game terrine
I recently read an opinion piece in Waitrose Kitchen by my old boss, William Sitwell, denouncing the dinner party. His argument was that dinner parties often come down to a simple left and right. If the person to your right talks to the person on their right and the person on your left chats away to their left, then that leaves you stuck in the middle trying frantically to start a conversation with a back. As much as I see his point (although knowing him, I can’t see him sat silently for long) I remember thinking half way through Isabelle and Paul’s meal that that very certainly wasn’t the case at all.  Everything just flowed, the whole table chatted away across the very prettily arranged table, and at other points splinter groups discussed favourite subjects – i.e. Mad Men or Parisian pranks. 

Pork belly with mustard mash
We were there for the food as well as the company of course and Isabelle put on an amazing spread. Her game version was meaty and moorish, served with gherkins for that cut-through tang. Belly pork is one of my all time favourites dishes and Isabelle certainly did it justice, the meat was falling to bits and the crackling was crisp, not awkwardly chewy. The mustard mash it was served with had a real kick and the chard and pancetta sat well with the dish. 

Salted caramel ice cream
As talk turned to yet more pranks (how did practical jokes pass me by at school?) we were served our desserts. And I have been craving Isabelle’s salted caramel ice cream ever since, I would buy it by the vat load. It was that good. After that the port flowed (Isabelle and Paul – I definitely owe you a bottle and will bring one to your next event, I promise) and there was much promise of a firework display.

As cook and host go Isabelle and Paul make a crack team – I imagine that come their next supper club I’ll be fighting for a place. 

Best part The ice cream and the great company.
Needs work  Honestly, nothing. I had such fun and would go back again and again.  

You can find out more about Isabelle and Paul’s Come Back to Mine supper club by following @paul_wf on Twitter or checking

If you want to find out more about supper clubs and find one near you then join

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