Socialising is back – and it’s back in style. We’ve had plenty of time to sit at home with boxsets and Netflix, but now the sun is here and venues are open, we’ve taken dining out to a whole new extreme. Meeting people, discovering new dishes and enjoying long balmy summer evenings are the main things on our agenda. Lucky for us, social dining experiences are popping up all over the city, so you can make new friends, flirt with random people or simply enjoy some fantastic feasts.
How do you find them though? Look no further than Eatwith. They curate culinary experiences for a living, and they do it in over 130 countries. And London is on their list. From intimate supper clubs, monthly pop-ups, natural wine tastings, authentic cooking classes and private dinners, they offer the most exciting social dining experiences you can wish for in the most unique locations. Here are few of our favourites…
1. Seven-course vegan tasting menu by an award-winning chef in Soho
Have you managed to indulge in a meal at the Chiltern Firehouse? Or had mouthfuls of snail porridge and crab ice cream at The Fat Duck? Well, if the answer is no, you can get a special insight into these menus with a supper created by the former chef at both: Rishim Sachdeva.
Rishim runs a weekly pop-up supper club called Tendril hosted in Soho’s The Sun & 13 Cantons. You’ll be feasting on a plant-based menu, based on British cuisine with a vegan twist. The seven courses are created from seasonal, local produce inspired by Rishim’s travels around the world. You’ll be able to wash it all down with an exciting tipples from the cocktail and wine menu.
Pull up a chair next to five other guests and be ready to test your tastebuds with clever, unfussy recipes that will surprise and delight you.
When: Every Thursday in June and every Wednesday in July and August
2. May’s Malaysian feast in a Marylebone Townhouse
A supper club is the perfect opportunity to experience different cultures, cuisines and customs around a family-sized table. Chef and supper club host May is on a mission to help you do just that. An evening with her begins with a welcome drink on her private outdoor roof terrace with an epic backdrop of the city. Next, you’ll be ushered into May’s beautiful dining room to take a seat at two large communal tables. Bring your own booze for this one, so you have something to drink for the meal.
For the nosy people out there (don’t pretend you’re not), supper clubs are a great opportunity to check out other people’s houses and May’s offers some great talking points. The eclectic interior showcases a host of treasures she’s collected over the years and there’s a cosy library to offer up some topics of conversation.
But obviously, everyone is here for the food. May serves it up family-style, just like she would in a Malaysian family home. Her tasting menu offers up traditional Malaysian flavours with Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya, Portuguese and other influences that she’s picked up over the years. You’ll get an insight into her family’s secret recipes, which are full of bold textures, herbs, spices and wonderful aromas.
If you’ve not been to a supper club before, you’re in good hands with May. She has hosted dining experiences and cooking lessons in London for more than eight years. So get ready for an evening to remember.
When: June – August
3. An authentic Ethiopian dinner in Shepherd’s Bush Food Market
The Shepherd’s Bush Food Market first launched in 1914 along a quarter of a mile of solid Victorian brick railway viaduct. There were furniture dealers, auction rooms, and drapers, and later West Indian, African and Indian communities selling everything from okra to paw-paw and mangoes. Now there is an eclectic mix of traders offering some exciting wares.
In the heart of all this hustle and bustle, chef Nazareth has launched an authentic Ethiopian supper club. He actually use to run an Ethiopian street food stall in the area himself. His meal will take you on a culinary journey through Ethiopian classics and traditions – in one of London’s oldest food markets.
The three-course feast is packed full of flavours, some of which you might never have tried before. In-keeping with the surroundings, all produce is locally sourced from the food market. After the meal, you can take part in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, which involves roasting raw green coffee beans and brewing the coffee in special clay jugs. Beer and wine can be purchased at the event, and you have the option of sitting outdoors if it’s sunny.
Like what you’re eating? You can book in an Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking class if you’re interested in learning more about how to cook these nutritious and tasty dishes.
When: Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer
4. Nine-Course Fine Dining Taster Menu a in Notting Hill Church
We love the surprise and intrigue of Eatwith events. You could be in someone’s house, a secret restaurant, or a church in Notting Hill. The latter is where you’ll find chef Fergus Blair. He’s serving up bold flavours and innovative ingredient combinations in the Grade-II listed St Stephen’s Church in Westbourne Park. Fergus is whipping up an audacious nine-course fine dining menu of dishes that fuse a myriad of influences. Bring your own booze, so you can enjoy a glass of something nice while you chat to Fergus about the inspiration behind each creative and colourful dish.
The event will kick off with a welcome drink of a home-brewed kombucha based cocktail and some mystery canapés. Then take a pew for an explosion of colourful, vibrant food with bold flavour combinations. You’ll be served up a gently seared tuna tataki with blood orange, a cool roasted pepper and strawberry gazpacho, followed by kimchi arancini with bacon and date jam. The list doesn’t stop there… There’s deconstructed squid taco with mango; smoked rabbit and burnt pineapple taco; duck and potato trio in massaman curry; blueberry and black garlic sherbet; and white chocolate and gorgonzola cheesecake to finish. We know… it sounds simply incredible. So book tickets now before it’s too late.
When: Thursdays and Saturdays throughout July