Not a shop today but Supper-on-the-Hill. This is a brilliant idea by local food aficionado Karen, who shares her delight in feeding people by hosting evenings for like-minded guests in her own home. Basically it’s designed for women with a common interest who want a week-day treat with good food, good wine, good company and a short journey home to bed at a reasonable time. She caters for groups of around 8 to 10: book your own private event for you and your friends or join in with themed evenings, such as Yummy Mummy or Book Group. Word has got around that the food is brilliant and men are knocking on her door too, so Karen has kindly arranged ‘date nights’ where we can bring along our beloved.
Here’s what she says about herself and Supper on the Hill:
I suppose this is the bit where I make out I come from some French culinary dynasty, learning the trade tugging on my mother’s apron strings growing up in provence, surrounded by fields of lavender. Well yeah, about that…
I grew up during a desolate period for British cuisine, the 1970s. Moreover, I grew up in the sticks, where a pineapple upside down cake was considered foreign and exotic. The British food revolution was decades away and the closest I experienced to ‘new tastes’ was watching Delia and Floyd on the TV or something odd accidentally eaten whilst on a package holiday.
My mother is an expert baker and cake maker so it wasn’t long before I started to roll up my sleeves and followed the family tradition. I worked in the kitchens of local pubs whilst at school and university, none of the establishments worried the Michelin guide but provided me a good understanding of how small kitchens have to operate to stay open.
Studying Hispanic languages I travelled around Europe and developed tastes far beyond those available at home (or the TV). I loved what the Spanish and Italians could do with simple ingredients and the ‘science’ behind French cuisine. I soon imported my interpretations of the dishes I had eaten back to family and friends.
Moving to East London a over 15 years ago, just before the ‘foodie era’, I quickly became a regular at the London food markets (before Borough became a tourist trap). Barely a week went by without a couple of dinner parties.
The reason I want to run a supper club is, after 30 years, I realise that food has been a life long passion and nothing is more exciting than cooking for people who appreciate good food and good company.
So here’s the deal. I’ll do the food, you do the company.