The last few years has seen a huge rise in the popularity of supper clubs in the UK; a far cry since their inception as US prohibition roadhouses in the early 1930s. Now people are opting to dine underground in disused tube carriages and even inside a clock tower.
The latest addition to the Supper Club scene is at the beautiful Berkshire estate of Wasing Park. Normally dining at Wasing is the reserve of private clients but this winter Wasing will throw open the farm gate to offer a feast sourced from the estate especially for your plate.
Pigeon, muntjac and crayfish will be among the estate-sourced ingredients on the menu at Wasing Park’s first Supper Club held at its boutique hotel, The Stables Lodge, on 11th November.
The menu is sourced from the estate where the new head chef, Simon Knapp, enjoys foraging in the Secret Walled Garden.
“The supper club is a very exciting venture indeed. As a chef this is what you dream of and I intend to take full advantage of what the estate has to offer. I can’t wait to work alongside our head gamekeeper Mark Hibbs and learn how to catch what we eat” says Simon, who has written the diverse menu encompassing ingredients sourced from the land, rivers and gardens of the estate.
Following an aperitif, the four-course meal begins with a crayfish cappuccino before pigeon breast served with roasted vegetables, chestnuts and carrot puree. This will be followed by loin of muntjac served with red onion tatin, parsnip rosti and kale pesto. The supper will end with rose poached pear, pistachio cream and home-made lavender shortbread.
Owner of Wasing, Joshua Dugdale, says he looks forward to welcoming local people to enjoy the fruits of the estate.
“I hope our new supper club will be a welcome addition to the thriving food scene in West Berkshire. We aim to create a fun and relaxed evening where people enjoy great local produce with delicious wines at our fantastic venue,” says Joshua who represents the seventh generation of his family involved with the estate.
The Supper, priced £65 per person, includes wines chosen especially to match each course. Guests are invited to stay overnight in one of the estates luxury bedrooms or suites. Overlooking the 13th century parish church, is The Dovecote, a circular suite with triangular-shaped bed and copper bath, The Smithy with its striking old forge fireplace, wooden beams, window sills and contemporary seven foot bed, the Granary sitting proudly on its staddle stones and the Hay Loft with the biggest bed in Berkshire.
Special ‘Supper Club’ rates of £135 per bedroom and £165 per suite include full English breakfast the following morning.