This month I wanted to let you all in on a secret that I’ve known for some time, but I think that the time has come to share it with others of a foodie persuasion.
The Supper Club @ The Nook
Whenever I mention supper clubs to anyone, they look at me a bit puzzled. What exactly is a supper club?
A supper club is when people open their house to paying guests for dinner. Supper Clubs, as a concept, have really taken off in London, but have been slow to start in Merseyside and The Supper Club at The Nook is the first of its kind in Wirral. Having been to this supper club twice, I can say, hand on heart, that the people of Wirral are extremely fortunate to have this supper club.
The Supper Club at The Nook is run by Jorge, Nancy, Suzanna and Sam and specialises in food from Galicia, which is a region of North-West Spain. Jorge and Suzanna are natives of Galicia and, quite rightly, are very proud of the specialities of the region. Nancy and Sam are sisters, who were introduced to Galician cuisine by Jorge, when he came to live with them as their lodger.
When I spoke with Nancy about The Nook, it was clear that this is a complete labour of love for all of them. The philosophy behind The Supper Club @ The Nook is to use the best local ingredients to cook traditional Spanish and Galician recipes. These are dishes that Jorge and Suzanna have grown up with and are proud to be introducing to Wirral residents.
Nancy tells all her diners that the fish and seafood is supplied by Ward’s Fish to be found in Birkenhead Market and all the meat used is supplied by Edge’s Butchers who have just won BBC Radio 4’s Food and Farming Award. It has to be said the quality of the ingredients used in all the dishes just shone through.
For April’s dinner the evening began with conversation in the kitchen and some delicious tapas; dates wrapped in dried ham and olives wrapped in anchovies, served with a delicious gin cocktail.
A Six Course Feast
Then we sat down at the table and we were served a six course feast of absolutely delicious dishes. We started with a cold soup, made from broadbeans and peas, topped with pea shoots.
This soup has to be eaten to be believed. It tasted beautiful and was really refreshing as a first course. The soup was followed by a stuffed tortilla, which is a Spanish omelette, made from potatoes and onion, stuffed with roasted peppers. The star of the evening was most definitely the Fiduea, which is a regional Spanish dish made from noodles very similar to pasta, cooked in stock, with the most delicious seafood that I have eaten outside of Spain. The orange and almond dessert cake was simply amazing!
When I have spoken to others about the concept of supper clubs, they don’t like the idea of dining with people they don’t know. The thing is though, when you attend a supper club, really you are going for the experience of the food and every other diner is there for the same thing. This is one of the brilliant things about being a foodie, nothing else matters but the food. The conversation of us foodies doesn’t focus on careers, children or houses, just the food you’re eating and other food experiences that you’ve had.
Nancy was telling me that every month they are surprised when strangers sit down to eat and within a short space of time the din from the dining table quickly becomes deafening and distracts them from their cooking. I can confirm this to be true. I went to April’s dinner on my own, as did another diner; the remaining diners were couples, but didn’t know anyone else. Conversation flowed easily with my fellow diners and by the end of the evening I had made new friends. Jorge and Suzanna believe this to be the Spanish way, enjoying good food and good company.
The food is beautiful with dishes that I’d never tasted before. The company was lovely. In short, I simply cannot recommend this experience highly enough.
The Nook have set a minimum contribution of £20 per person, which considering the quality and quantity of the food you are served, represents superb value. I always pay more. Bring your own alcohol.
You can book for The Supper Club at The Nook either through their Facebook page or by Twitter:
@SupperclubNook or email: firstname.lastname@example.org but be warned that there is only space for 10 so you do need to book early.