I’ve always been somewhat intrigued by the idea of supper clubs. The idea of dining in someone’s living room, sat with people you have never met before, can feel a little daunting. However, one thing you can pretty much count on in that scenario is that you will be sat at a table with one common interest: food! And I can talk about food all day long.
So… when I received an impromptu invite to Clandesdiner one Saturday I could not refuse. Particularly when I heard the host was a chef at one of my favourite Bristol restaurants, Wallfish Bistro. Clandestiner (if the name does not give it away) is a secret monthly supper club, with a host who combines her love of cooking, looking after people and creating a sense of occasion to deliver a memorable evening of delicious food and fascinating conversation. As a previous theatre prop manager, the table display was pretty fascinating. I had so much crockery envy and have been planning how I can start to create a glass cabinet collection of a similar calibre ever since! She also catered for my awkward eating (no cow’s milk) amazingly, particularly at such late notice.
Armed with our bottles of Prosecco (the evening is bring your own) to top up the welcome glass of bubbly we were provided on arrival, we sat down at the table of eight amongst the mix of diners to sample some the “delicious bites and morsels” dotted amongst the table. The quality of the cured meats on offer was pretty exquisite; however, it was the simplicity of the olives wrapped in anchovy that provided the most surprise for me. Scrumptious. With the welcome nibbles being so tasty, I was getting excited about what was to come.
Kicking off the starters, a delicious combo of pear, watercress and bacon salad. Simple, but perfectly balanced sweet and salty flavours. The subsequent snapper crevice, served with crunchy toast, was deliciously fresh and moreish. I could easily eat platefuls of this. As an alternative to the next course of creamy Monkfish soup, I was then served one of my favourite meals of smashed avocado on toast, with tomato and lime for added zing!
These were all leading up to the main courses. First up, a hearty beef rib and beetroot pie. Rather than the standard suet pastry, mine was topped with cabbage which gave the pie a lightness. I will be stealing this idea!
The leg of mutton, sourced from a farm near her parents, was melt-in-the-mouth scrummy, after cooking since the early hours of the morning. I ate it up too quickly to take a photo, but did get a quick snap of the plate which I had fallen in love with. I need this plate in my life!
To finish off this epic feast, dining guests were served a selection of cheese and homemade ice cream. They were served at the same time to allow guests to choose whethere they finished with sweet or savoury, which was a nice touch. I was provided with a yummy bowl of macerated strawberries; the addition of booze bringing this to life!
For anyone with any space left, a stunning box of chocolates and selection of Turkish delight were passed round the table to go with teas or coffees. We also had the option of finishing off the meal with either a chilled limoncello or wyborowa, a famous Polish vodka. Most of the table (including me) went for the easy drinking option of limoncello.
I was the lucky +1 of one of my friends who has won one of the best prizes ever of eating and drinking in 52 different eateries around Bristol as part of Bristol Food Connections (blog post about that to come later) so my meal was included as part of her prize; however the suggested donation of £40 (to be placed in the top hat at the end) is a complete and utter bargain for the quantity and quality of the food.
Lover of food? Like trying new things? I would definitely recommend Clandestiner. The conversations were varied and continuous throughout the evening and it was great to meet such a varied group of people. And the food was incredible!!!!