One of the wonderful things about blogging is that I get some lovely invitations and last week I was very excited to be invited along to ‘The Bean Pot Jersey’. The Bean Pot is a supper club hosted by Anna. I had never been to a supper club but it has always been on my list of things I should really try. However, children arrived and as a result it was pushed further down the list. This invitation finally gave me the opportunity to experience a supper club! I was a little nervous though as I would be going on my own. I consulted my friends who all shouted at me
“you have to go”
Mr C who reassured me with “what is the worst that could happen” and then, finally, my Mum scared me just as a I was feeling brave. Mums have a funny habit of doing that, don’t they ;-). First of all my Mum expressed her fears that I was being lured to some crack den, then she was worried that I was about to be abducted and finally she thought I was stumbling into a swingers party. I reassured her that if a bowl of keys were brought out then I would bust a quick move out of there. However, I did find myself worrying a little:
- What if the group of people didn’t get on?
- What if I can’t make any conversation or there is no conversation?
- Finally,what if I make a fool of myself? I know what you are thinking, nothing new there!
I need not have worried. Anna and her co-host Emma are such lovely and warm people who you can’t help but feel at ease in their company. Last Saturday I arrived with butterflies in my tummy and a slight feeling of anxiety mixed with excitement. As soon as I arrived I realised that I was in for something pretty special. The location is stunning. Just out of this world. You come down some steps and nothing prepares you for the amazing view you find at the bottom. It was glorious. We were greeted with the most delicious cocktail (which I need the recipe for). I think it was gin, prosecco and rosewater. It was the perfect way to start the evening: an elegant drink with a nice little kick designed to make us all feel at ease. We sat outside on the decking admiring the view as we sipped on our cocktails and one by one the other guests started to arrive. All the little details had been thought of, from the fresh fruit in the cocktail to the glorious flowers on the table.
We were then ushered inside as the cold air was starting to bite. I was so reluctant to leave the outside but then the house where we were having dinner was so beautifully set out. I loved the style of it, gorgeous deco, high ceilings and the most wonderful wood burner that I wanted to steal. I guess I would describe it as Scandinavian chic. Very cool but also comfortable. The table had been set and it was understated but elegant. I think that probably sums up the whole evening. It was wonderfully elegant but in a relaxed and informal manner.
Now to the people. This is probably what I had been most anxious about. What if we didn’t get on? These fears soon disappeared. We were all very different but all of us got on really well and there wasn’t any of those awkward silences where a tumbleweed rolls across the floor. The conversation flowed; I am sure this was helped by the brilliant guidance of the hosts. This is partly what makes the supper club so great. It is a chance to meet new people whom you wouldn’t normally meet; a chance to expand your horizons and make some new friends. In fact, I would go as far to say that you shouldn’t feel the need to bring a partner or friend you should just embrace it and rock up on your own! Anna and Emma will make you feel very welcome.
Anna who is the host of The Bean Pot also used to co-host the Clapton Pot in Hackney so she has honed her craft and is one very experienced host. I think that is important, a big part of how succesful a supper club is lies with the host. That is a lot of responsibility to be carrying on your shoulders. Cooking amazing food and being a hostess with the mostest. I like to entertain but I also find it a little stressful at times and have been known to mutter inaudible swear words! There is a reason why we are going away for Christmas this year! However, Anna and Emma were not phased, they were just so relaxed and at ease.
When everybody had arrived we were seated at the table. This was the bit I was very excited about. I could not wait to try the food and it did not disappoint! The starter was pea and broad bean mash with roasted cauliflower, candied walnuts and a sprinkling of pomegranate. Oh, it was delicious! I loved how the different textures worked together and it really woke up my taste buds and certainly left them wanting more. Over the table the wine flowed – as did the conversation. I can only describe it as going to a friend’s house for a really nice relaxed and fun evening but with restaurant quality food. What is not to love!
I was very excited about the main course as I had witnessed the smoker being fired up ready. As we were eating our first course out on the decking our freshly caught mackerel was being smoked. How amazing is that! I have never had freshly smoked fish but it really was a revelation. So much so that I might have to try to persuade Mr C to let us get a smoker. I was wondering if the smokiness would overpower the fish but it did not! It was a wonderfully light flavour.
The fish was fresh that morning from Faulkner Fisheries. It was served whole. Usually, that is something I would shy away from in a restaurant. I would definitely have missed out though which is why the supper club is so great as you try things that you wouldn’t normally! The fish came with a side of Jersey Royals, purple sprouting broccoli with a basil, lemon and olive oil dressing, and, finally, topped with eggs from the Farm School Initiative. I have to say the whole course was absoloutely delicious. Pefectly cooked vegetables, deliciously poached eggs and the basil dressing was divine. The food is all local and fresh which is something that makes The Bean Pot so very special. The fact that you are eating wonderful seasonal food at your table. Food that was fresh that morning now on your table.
I completely lost track of time whilst eating the food because of the amazing food and wonderful company but before I knew it dessert had been served. A gloriously rich chocolate orange pot with greek yoghurt and pistachios. Yum!
How to get tickets?
The Bean Pot is still in its very early days but it is just what Jersey needs. From my experience of the evening and the feedback from my fellow guests, it is going to be a huge success. If you are a lover of local food then this really is for you. It is amazing food, wonderful company and all in a stunning location. What more could you want! Keep an eye on Twitter and check the The Bean Pot Jersey page for information but watch out for the next dates because those tickets will fly.
Tickets are £15 – a complete steal. Get yourself there and your taste buds will thank you. You might even make some new friends too.
So cheers! Here’s to new adventures. We should raise a glass to that 🙂
Thanks to Anna and Emma for being such wonderful hosts for the evening and big thanks to James for allowing me to use his fantastic pictures that he took of the evening.