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Can *anyone* host their own Supper Club?

16 October 2015
Dream team, 3 years and counting, over £170k raised for aid to Syria. Photo: @syriansupperclub
Summer salad of nasturtiums with mozarella and figs. Photo: @syriansupperclub

Can anyone host their own Supper Club? Apparently so! Well at least that’s what the team at Syrian Supper Club say, and having just experienced one of their wonderful evenings at E5 Bakehouse, we’re also feeling a little more confident about hosting ours next week.

The five tips we took away from last night included:

Have an aim or a cause – People seem more receptive to the idea of sitting down with a group of strangers if you all know you’re there for a shared reason in the first place. Last night’s was to raise funds for the people of Syria; specifically for a field hospital in Aleppo. Yet the monthly Syrian Supper Clubs are also a simple display to friends caught up in the civil war that they have not, and will not be forgotten.

If you do have an important purpose be sure to talk about it – Coming together is made all the more inspiring when you leave knowing more than when you arrived. The speakers last night shared stories not only about where the funds raised were being directed, but also of recent experiences in the country thus making the desperate plight of civilians both more real and more pertinent.

Imagine you’re filling a room full of friends – Atmosphere is a key ingredient to any gathering, and a relaxed organizer makes for a far more comfortable environment. Arriving last night was like walking into a drinks party full of friends – with mezze style food being passed casually around by guests and hosts alike.  Nothing breaks the ice better than slurping from mugs of creamy lentil soup and munching on Mutabbal (smokey aubergine for the uninitiated) with fellow strangers.

Create a seating plan – My experience of past supper clubs hasn’t always been positive, mainly because of going in a group and therefore not breaking away and sharing conversations with anyone else in the room.  SSC’s seating plan took away the compulsion to sit down with those you know, and instead ensured that the 18 or so guests came together in a far more inclusive way.

Offer a take away product – A cookbook, a cookery lesson, some food – it not only gives a personal touch but also boosts your profits from the evening. The temptation of a loaf from the infamous E5 Bakehouse plus a jar of cardamom infused Marmalade was too much for most. I don’t think I was alone in slathering syrupy Seville orange and cardamom infused jam over a slice of toasted sourdough this morning.

Head over to our previous post to read what the critics had to say about last night’s food.

There are still a few tickets remaining for our own Syrian Soiree next Thursday, which can be bought via the link here; it promises to be an evening of shared conversation, great food and all for a wonderful cause.



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