The Supper Club Movement

The trend that’s bringing restaurant-standard cooking into homes like yours

2017 is an exciting time to be a foodie in the UK.

Thanks to the revival of pop-ups and street food markets, we now have a wider selection of international cuisines, quirky concept restaurants and tasty trends to try than ever before.

Alongside the fast-paced evolution of the restaurant scene, there’s also another secret trend emerging in homes across the country: the rise of supper clubs.

What are supper clubs?

Also known as ‘underground restaurants’ or ‘guerilla dining’, supper clubs are a new form of pop-up dining, offering restaurant-standard menus served within the comfort of the host’s home. This concept takes its origins from the family-owned ‘paladar’ restaurants of Cuba, but has since become a huge phenomenon in cities across the globe, from New York and Berlin to London and Manchester.

Why attend a supper club?

Blogger Kerstin Rogers, better known as Mrs Marmite Lover, is one of the pioneers of the UK supper club movement and has been running her own supper club, The Underground Restaurant, since 2009. For her, the soaring popularity of this new dining format is all down to the social side of the experience.

“What makes home restaurants so attractive is that eating in someone’s home offers intimacy –it’s often difficult for urban people to meet others. This way they get a social experience as well as great food: high street restaurants can’t offer this. Plus, let’s face it, we are all nosy about other people’s houses, especially their kitchens!”

Kerstin explains that many attendees have found the experience to be a refreshing change from impersonal city living, with some guests even going on to make lifelong friends through supper clubs.

“There are several examples of people keeping contact. At my supper clubs, people meet their prospective partner, get married, get jobs, make friends and learn about food.”

Find a supper club

Feeling intrigued? Then you can find your nearest supper club through Kerstin’s ‘Find a Supper Club’ tool, or you could even consider hosting your own event using the tips below.

Host your own supper club

Kerstin also has three top tips if you’re considering hosting your very own supper club:

  1. You don’t have to be a top chef! Try not to design an over-complicated, showy menu, and instead just focus on one type of cuisine or set of recipes that you’ve already perfected. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a full three-course meal – if your speciality is making heavenly cakes, why not host an afternoon tea session?
  2. If you do opt for three courses, try to prepare the starters and dessert in advance, with only finishing touches left to add when guests arrive. Choosing a main course which can be pre-prepared and left to cook in the oven with minimal interference will also give you more time to spend getting to know your guests.
  3. Set the scene with candles, mood lighting, a stylish table setting and music, but remember that your guests are here for a communal experience, so your home doesn’t have to feel too formal.