Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Shed - a fab supper club, even sans shed ...

This post was meant to be a tale of 2 supper clubs. I was locked in to attend Fernandez & Leluu supper club last Saturday - I had met both Fernandez & Leluu previously at their pop up cafe at the Columbia Road Flower Markets (who knew artichoke tea could be so delicious!) and again at one of our supper clubs in February. I was really looking forward to eating their delicious food which, from a couple of tweets during the week, was going to be something very interesting involving squid and possibly beetroot ... Then disaster struck, in the form of nausea and migraine and with deep regret, I became one of those last minute flaky people who pull out. I was mortified to have to let fellow supper clubbers down, and so disappointed to be missing out. I will get there soon though!
Luckily, I felt 100% better by Sunday afternoon, and Y and I were able to take a nice stroll over to Newington Green to The Shed. This supper club was recommended to me by Miss Marmite Lover and after an email exchange with Nicola about their very laid back approach to the whole thing, I was really looking forward to a chilled out, enjoyable afternoon.
We arrived at 4pm and were greeted with the news that as there was a small chance of rain, we'd actually be eating in the living area of Nicola & Andrew's apartment and not the infamous "Shed". Having never seen the said, Shed, I can't say whether we missed out on much by not sitting in it, but what I can say is, once ensconced into the cosy, quirky home of N & A, a glass of home brewed ale in our hands, other friendly faces to meet, we didn't give The Shed's lack of shed another thought!
We shared a table with the gorgeous Miss Hatcham Supper Club (who will be selling her delicious curds at Miss Marmite Lover's Underground Farmers Market this coming Sunday) and Mr Hatcham Supper Club, as well as some people we'd actually met previously at our own supper club.
I can't rave enough about our afternoon (which turned into night, scarily quickly) at The Shed enough. To me, it was everything supper clubs are about - A very relaxed vibe (N & A actually sit down and eat with their guests), lovely home cooked food and just a welcoming atmosphere. I felt comfortable, just as I would eating at the house of a friend's. I particularly enjoyed the food - it wasn't trying to be pretentious, it was really excellent home style, traditional British fare (particularly so on this occasion as N & A had guests from USA).
We started with generous pots of smooth chicken liver pate, with triangles of brown toast and date chutney. Leftovers of both the pate and chutney were thrust into my hands as we left, and I made a very pathetic attempt at resisting such a kind gesture, because it was just SO delicious. We also shared blinis with Forman & Field's smoked salmon, crème fraiche, capers and finely diced red onion. To be honest, our table could have happily kicked back and nibbled on these yummy morsels all afternoon. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Our main course was roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, vege and gravy. I was not particularly excited when I first read this on the menu. I had images of the dry looking beef and plate sized Yorkshire puddings you see going to the table next to you in the pub. But wow, I am converted! The beef had been slowing cooking for many hours and was beautifully moist, with just the right amount of fat to keep it juicy. The puddings were delicious, as was the carrot & swede mash and the gravy, oh the gravy ... (have drifted off into day dream where I am swimming in a huge vat of the gravy ...). Such a simple meal, but one that is so often done badly, and which was perfected by The Shed. Dessert was rhubarb and apple crumble with lashings of custard - the kind of yummy dessert that makes you feel like your gran has given you a big warm hug, only so so much better.
Nicola had gotten rather excited when ordering the cheese from Neal's Yard and so we were treated with plates heaving with huge wedges of Colston Bassett Stilton, Montgomery's Cheddar, and Innes Log goats cheese, accompanied by crackers, oat cakes, Cotswolds honey (a brilliant combination with the cheese!) and the date chutney we had with our pate. The chilled vibe was perfect for kicking back, chatting and taking our time over these delicious cheeses.
By this stage there was a tiny bit of room left for tea and coffee and Nicola's "fudgy peanut balls". Apparently this was a failed attempt at peanut brittle, but I'm pretty sure she just wanted the rest of us to not feel so wholly inadequate after such a brilliant meal, so made that bit up.
On our 30 minute walk back home, Y & I couldn't stop talking about what a successful night it had been and how this supper club encompassed perfectly what supper clubs (in our humble view, at least) are all about.
The Shed ask simply for a donation to cover their costs, which on Sunday they estimated to be about £12 each. I can guarantee you'll want to give them extra as it's worth at least double that.
I would say stay away at all costs - but only because I want to ensure there are free spaces in future so that I can return!


Kavey said...

I want to go! Great write up!

The Shed said...

"the kind of yummy dessert that makes you feel like your gran has given you a big warm hug"

I love it!! Thank you so much for such a lovely write up, and especially for being most excellent guests. You can come again!

theundergroundrestaurant said...

She's a natural cook our Nicola...

Gourmet Chick said...

I hadn't heard about the Shed - thanks for the tip.

Lex said...

Kavey - it's a must!

Hey Nicola - YAY we're allowed back!

Undergroundrestaurant - couldn't agree more!

Gourmet Chick - definitely one to check out. It especially suits the mood of a late Sunday afternoon.

SophR said...

Why didn't you find this one when we were still living in the hood?!?! Sounds fabo!

LexEat! said...

Hey Soph - this was the first ever! Hopefully might become an annual or bi-annual event though. You would have loved it!

LexEat! said...

oh sorry Soph - got mixed up and thought your comment was about the farmers market!

abstract canvas said...

Oh look at all that cheese, love it! Great post as well.

food and drink canvas said...

LOve this, thanks!

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