The Great Pub Supper
A supper club inspired by the great London pub. Using influences from literature and our great city’s history we will present a feast to delight, inspire and intrigue!
Oranges by Jonathan Swift
Come, buy my fine Oranges, Sauce for your Veal
And charming when squeez’d in a Pot of brown Ale
Well roasted, with Sugar and Wine in a Cup
They’ll make a sweet Bishop when Gentlefolk sup.
This December, south London will be graced by the opening of the Peckham Hotel. A novel venture incorporating a bar, restaurant,dance floor, open fires and an amazing events programme.
I pitched the possibility of a Festive Feast for 20… And it was approved!
My idea has changed a little since my original pitch (which was a little bland) and now my head is spinning with ideas for a feast inspired by medieval and Tudor banquets, lavish decorative spreads and traditional English recipes… exciting!
I will not be a slave to the idea though: I don’t really want to serve up historically accurate pottage for a starter or slices of manchet bread on the side, but I do want inspiration in the form of ingredients and flavours: spices, preserved fruits, sweetmeats, game, nuts and mushrooms….
I see it somewhere in between Bruegel’s ‘The Peasant Wedding’ 1568… (wonderfully satirised by Posy Simmonds in ‘Mrs Webers Diary’ in 1979)
And this page from the illuminated book of hours (a kind of religious calendar) of a new year’s feast: Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry 1410 (The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry)
Anna’s Cafe will be holding a Festive Winter Feast at the Peckham Hotel on Monday 19th December from 7.30 – 10:00
There are 20 seats available at £25 per head which includes a welcome drink or 2, a many course meal with sweets, and a glass of wine. Extra drinks will be available from the Peckham Hotel bar.
Bookings will be taken from the 5th December. Let me know if you are interested by commenting below!
So far I have a number of ideas for the overall feel of the evening. I’d like to provide a welcoming drink, probably a mulled cider or a glass of spiced wine or port. Sweet treats in the form of almond stuffed, chocolate dipped prunes (see how any historical accuracy is falling down already, chocolate didn’t arrive in England until the 1650’s!) and then a rolling series of courses with meats, pies mushrooms, chesnuts, marzipan and fruit.
I certainly don’t want to call this a Christmas meal, as the traditions we all know are a much later invention and if I want to stick vaguely to my theme I’d have to serve up swan, or peacock, or goose and I don’t think that’s going to happen. Pheasants are a distinct possibility though… I’ve set up a meeting with an expert and am hoping to get a few fresh pheasants in time for the feast… imagine this menu:
1 pheasant between 2 with dishes of mushrooms, purple carrots and cauliflower.
Meat pies will be good too, with a hot water pastry and maybe some sweet dark chutney and a Tudor cheese tart.
Marzipan sweets and simple milk jellies to finish with a mountain of winter fruit.
And maybe some ices to cleanse the palette….
I’ll try to take influence from original recipes, and even try and follow a few and I’ll keep you up to speed with what I find out and the recipes I discover…
Check out my pinterest page where I am collecting ideas.
LATEST NEWS! 12th December 2011
So I have finally completed the Supper Club menu. It was a long and arduous task which involved waking up every morning with recipes stampeding through my head and worries about how to get enough serving dishes. All is now calm as the menu is set, the guests are booked and now all I have to do is cook, shop and plan (my 3 favourite things)
So here is the great unveiling of the Festive Feast Menu..
Warm Spiced Cider with Cloves and Cinnamon
Rechewys Close and Fryez (Tudor Mince Pies)
Pearl Barley and Beetroot Salads
Brandied Mushroom and Chestnut Pate
Pheasants Braised with Madeira
Stuffed Pumpkins (for the vegetarians)
Almond Milk Jelly with Pomegranates and Grapefruit Syrup
Almond Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Prunes
If THAT doesnt’t give everyone gout I don’t know what will.
I can’t wait to see you all there!