Disappearing Dining Club has a tendency to pop up in the strangest of places. The back room of a shop, a south London warehouse, a Dalston loft – a beautifully styled supper club will appear for one night only, laying on a multi-course gastronomic extravaganza served to a selection of lucky ticket holders, and in the morning, the venue will be returned to its former glory, the restaurant setup gone without a trace.
Now you see it. Now you don’t.
Town House is DDC’s monthly supper club – it takes place within an antiques shop opposite Spitalfields church, but the building was previously a doctor’s surgery, a furrier, coffee rooms and storage for the vegetable market – quite a colourful history!
We arrived to find the shop entirely candlelit, a long banquet table down the centre set for 15 guests, the antiques, jewellery, artwork and artefacts for sale still on shelves and tables around the perimeter of the room. It was without a doubt one of the most atmospheric dining rooms in London.
Grey Goose Le Fizz cocktails were handed out upon arrival as the guests mingled – the meal is served family style so it’s nice to get to know your fellow diners. Our table was half taken up by a hen do (luckily they were very well-behaved – DDC thankfully has a rule against penis straws and feather boas!); Lindsay and I plus two other couples made up the rest of the group, and we had such a lovely evening of interesting and off-the-wall conversations with our new-found friends!
Food from DDC’s Swedish chef Fred Bolin begins to appear from the basement kitchen as soon as everyone’s seated – a set menu of seasonal and unusual delights (dietary requests are gladly accommodated if the chef is notified in advance), with plenty of red and white wine to go round.
A shot glass of cold pea and mint soup whet our appetites, and was quickly replaced by a starter of chicken liver & sautéed chicken hearts with Waldorf salad.
The main course was delicious house-smoked salmon, with a lobster and prawn studded salad of potatoes and asparagus and lemon hollandaise, delivered to the table on two huge boards for us to serve and share between us. Really fantastic, and so refreshing to share food and wine in such a way with new acquaintances.
Two sizeable cheeseboards appeared next, with crackers, grapes and celery accompaniments, though we hardly made a dent in the huge amount of British cheese laid out for us before our waistbands started complaining!
There was no sharing when it came to dessert – pretty glasses of sweet poached pink rhubarb, creamy Swedish custard and oat crumble were swiftly polished off, and tea and coffee were offered. We sat till the Town House closed at 11pm, chatting away and having a drink with our charismatic hostess Amber, till the candles were snuffed and we finally turned out into the night.
Town House is a great no-nonsense dinner arrangement – you buy your ticket in advance online (£60 per person) and this includes a welcome cocktail, four courses and half a bottle of wine, so you don’t have to worry about anything else on the evening. Group bookings are welcome, or you can go in pairs in the knowledge that you’ll make new friends while you’re there.
5 Fournier Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6QE
7.30pm till 10.30pm, last Saturday of every month