It’s no secret that Tom and I are particularly big fans of eating out. As well as our supermarket shops, our joint monthly food budget allows for 3 or 4 meals out a month, and it’s a tradition that’s really important to us. A chance to unwind and while away an evening indulging – trying new things or enjoying old favourites and just generally savouring being out of the house and in the company of good wine and delicious food. We place such emphasis on our little restaurant or café trips – getting dressed up, choosing the right place to visit, lingering over the menu – that when it’s disappointing, it hurts a little. I’ve had several experiences lately where the whole experience of eating out has left me cold, in fact, only a few days ago I actually spoke to a a manager of a local pub (part of a chain) to complain – poor customer service, two rude waitresses, plates left on the table far too long after finishing, a particularly unwelcoming atmosphere… I couldn’t wait to get home! The thing is with eating out nowadays is that some restaurants make you feel like you’re part of a machine – laminated menu, food unceremoniously plonked in front of you and then the bill brought and people queuing for your table when you’ve barely finished your dessert. When I’m going out for dinner I want warmth, personality, variety, experience. Chain restaurants and pubs? I think we might be breaking up.
Enter Eat My World, who might have slunk in and stolen my heart. Eat My World is a free service for food lovers like me, matching people who host supper clubs in their home with people who buy tickets to go along and enjoy a home-cooked meal. Hosts can invite people anywhere to a supper club, and they don’t need to have any professional cooking qualifications, just a love of food and a desire to share it with others. My mouth was watering when, last month, I was invited to a supper club in Bournemouth and sent a copy of the menu. A 4th July Independence Day special, it featured cajun shrimp, sticky chicken wings and homemade corn bread as a starter, an array of delicious meats (including caramelised chipotle beef brisket and barbecue pulled pork) as a main, served with spicy corn, sweet potatoes and slaw, and key lime pie for dessert. Not to mention other treats like oysters rockerfeller, and some rather delectable bourbon vanilla malt shakes. Needless to say, the RSVP was probably the quickest I’ve ever sent, and I was counting down the minutes until that sunny Monday night last month, when Emma, Hannah and I (along with our husbands and boyfriends – one of each, not a harem!) descended on a beautiful art deco block of flats in Poole for a rather sensational feast.
I must say before I continue, that somehow I lost my photos of the evening, and so these are all pinched from Hannah, whose photos were way better than mine anyway!
It was an absolutely wonderful evening – it was great to meet other local people who shared our love of everything food-related, including a food blogger and a lovely lady from the Bournemouth Echo – people you wouldn’t normally get to meet and chat to over a cocktail! We were looked after like we were friends at a dinner party – our drinks topped up, the hosts joining us at the table and being able to see and appreciate all of the hard work and love that goes into a meal because you’re right there seeing it being prepared. It was everything I love (and more!) about eating out. Plus, the tickets would have normally been £28, which I don’t call half bad for the sheer amount (not to mention the amazing quality) of food we were served, more than is pictured above!
Eat My World really is a genius concept, and I urge you to hop on over to their website and see what manner of feasts are happening in your area. If you’re Bournemouth based like me, the Spoonful Supper Club will be serving up a delectable sounding Moroccan themed supper on Saturday. If you’re not from Bournemouth and there’s nothing in your area, why not host a supper club – it’s a great way to meet fellow foodies!
Have you ever been to a supper club? Have I caused you to drool all over your keyboard?
I’d like to add a huge thanks to Karen from Eat My World for inviting me, and to the Dirty Apron ladies who whipped up the dribble-inducing treats you see photographed above. And to Hannah for letting me pinch her pictures!