When Local Food Britain was invited to join the Epsom Supper Club table, it was easy to see why this supper club, run by LFB member, chef and caterer, Laura Scott, has gained such an enthusiastic following.
Forget high-brow London supper clubs that need nerves of steel and an encyclopedic knowledge of food and drink before you can even walk through the door.
Laura Scott’s husband, Charlie, greets you like a long-lost friend the moment you enter their elegant home – a converted Victorian school in Epsom - and deftly takes coats while striking up conversation and, importantly, ensuring a glass of Champagne arrives promptly.
There is no hurry to be seated, so the atmosphere in the candlelit dining room is more party-like as new arrivals join the group.
Most people arrive in couples - there is a mother and daughter, a husband and wife and several work colleagues. One guest arrived on her own, much to the admiration of the others, saying she was new to the area and thought this was a good way of meeting people. She later declared this was the best thing she had done in a long while.
There is no need to worry about being lost for words as the fall-back subject is the one that you all have in common – a love of food.
And you don’t even get told off if you pop into the kitchen to ask Laura a question or two about the evening’s menu. The unflustered chef is delighted to talk about the treats in store and pose for photos (not something you’re normally allowed to do in a restaurant or even in the home kitchen while the Sunday roast is being prepared!)
The Epsom Supper Club has been running since 2015 and, recently, Laura and Charlie refurbished the kitchen and dining room to create two rooms which interconnect, adding to the feel that you are part of the family while you wait for dinner.
An accomplished chef, Laura’s passion for using seasonal foods is the focus for her supper club menus.
Local Food Britain was lucky enough to visit in autumn, when the colours and flavours of harvest time were replicated in each dish, from the starter of beetroot, fennel and orange soup (served with a selection of breads - home-made, of course) to a dessert of burnt cheesecake with a surprising but delicious pumpkin pie ice cream and spicy caramelised apples.
That cheesecake was one of those desserts that everyone happily found room for, and would have eaten second helpings of, despite claiming to be full from a second course of chicory and cauliflower Caesar salad and a rich main of crispy roast duck with celeriac remoulade.
Laura is as generous with her portions as she is ensuring her fellow Local Food Britain members are given chance to shine. The Champagne aperitif had a little kick of Bubble & Twist’s raspberry and basil cordial, and coffee was a single origin Brazilian variety roasted in the Surrey Hills by Cafezinho.
A choice of coffee or mint tea was served with home-made dark rum truffles and the appearance of Laura who made her way round the table, chatting and laughing with guests as if preparing a four-course dinner had been a walk in the park.
If you love good food but are nervous of trying a supper club – don’t be. A date with Epsom Supper Club is guaranteed to be the start of a long-term relationship. Certainly Local Food Britain will be back for second helpings in the future.
What we ate:
Beetroot , fennel and orange soup with beetroot crisps, sour cream and chives
Chicory and cauliflower Caesar salad with a vegan cashew dressing and roasted chickpeas
Crispy roast duck leg with cherries and a red wine duck jus, celeriac remoulade, smoked garlic and brown butter mash, stir-fried seasonal greens
Burnt cheesecake, spiced caramelised apples and pumpkin pie ice cream
Cafezinho coffee or peppermint tea with home-made dark rum truffles
The drinks: a glass of Champagne on arrival then it is bring your own bottle.
The price: £35 per head
Tags: supper clubs