Monthly Archives: June 2011

Inspiration from The Kitchin

Sorry for the delay since our last post, we’ve been off gallivanting in Edinburgh in honour of my 30th birthday! Anyway it wasn’t all spent in the pub, we had time to do some useful research and got some inspiration for future supper clubs.

The biggest highlight for me was a trip to The Kitchin in Leith where we experienced an amazing ten course tasting menu. The ethos of The Kitchin is to use seasonal Scottish ingredients and to really make the most of their natural flavours. There is a big presence of seafood and head chef, Tom Kitchin, is friends with most of the local suppliers that he uses – meaning he has guaranteed access to the best quality produce.

I won’t bore you with all ten courses – just get in touch if you want chapter and verse! But the meal started with a choice of handbaked breads from the bread trolley – this was a lovely touch as a whole ritual developed around the breaking of the bread, which was fascinating to watch. We had a series of about four starters that featured razor clams, mackerel carpaccio and Tom’s famous potted pigs head with crispy ear salad. All were elegant, super fresh and full of flavour. I opted to upgrade my fish course to lobster, which was brought to the table for me to admire alive, shortly before it was sent to the pot! It was roasted simply with girolles and broad beans.

The star of the show was the main course, which we were almost too full to manage! A small table was set up next to where we were dining and before long chef Kitchin appeared clutching a big carving knife and our meat, which he then cut in front of us! He had smoked a beautiful rump of Highland lamb and served it up with a pepper piperade. It was rich and tongue tingling, a great focal point for our banquet.

What’s more, we indulgently opted to have a different glass of wine paired with each course, something we’d like to do with DATM. I love doing this as you get to try wines you’d never normally pick, and you can take advantage of the expertise of the sommelier. My surprise favourite of the night was a Riesling, which was soft and thirst quenching.

Whilst tasting menus are not for everyone (I’m so glad I’m not a fussy eater!) it was such a wonderful experience to have as a treat. I got to try some foods I’ve either never had before or not eaten that often. Plus I got to taste their natural, fresh flavours prepared by a true expert. If you can afford to splurge, I would highly recommend. In the meantime we will aim to bring back some of the Kitchin ethos to the Manor! Speaking of which SP and I are just putting the finishing touches to the theme of our November event. We do have a reserve list that is growing fast so if you want to come along then get your name down asap.

To drink or not to drink?

I’ve been catapulted into the complex world of licensing laws this past 24 hours. I was aware that licences were something we’d need to consider for the Manor, but although an important issue, it’s not the most exciting thing when there are tablecloths, crockery and food suppliers to consider (more on those more interesting topics in future blogs, I promise!).

Anyway, serving alcohol is a core part of the ‘Dinner at the Manor’ concept. Martini Man wouldn’t be the same without a martini in hand! We want to serve delicious food and we also want to pair it with wines one typically doesn’t buy on a 3 for £10 offer. Alcohol and dining out are a classic combo, it would feel very odd to serve up a meal and not provide any booze. I was under the impression, from some scant research, that so long as we stated the alcohol was given away for ‘free’ and not part of the cost of the set menu, then we’d be covered. That’s not quite how it is in reality.

Advisors pointed me in the direction of ‘personal’ licences and ‘premises’ licences. As far as I could gather there was no chance of ever getting the latter as our venue is a home residence. As for the former, it requires one to sit an exam and go through all sorts of tests and checks – all a bit much for a little monthly supper club, no?

Anyway a quick chat with a licensing officer at the council (who was very helpful indeed!) has introduced me to the far simpler world of ‘temporary’ licences, phew! Whenever we want to serve alcohol to our guests at the Manor then all we need do is fill in a form and send it in to the council and the police 10 days before the event. The only slight catch is that we can only do five per year. But at least I can’t risk going to prison!

So, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that we can only pair wine and offer aperitifs with our meals five times per year. The good news is that we can put our attentions into these ‘wine and dine’ supperclubs and make them extra special. For all of the other supperclubs that we hold we’ll be able offer you our outstanding cooking at knock down prices! And what’s more, you’ll be able to bring along your own tipple of choice, saving even more pennies for you. Never has dining been so affordable! I just hope nobody is rowdy now!!

Now a quick word on our current supperclub that is due to take place in October. We realise it’s a bit of a way off but we’re using the time to get the Manor ready for your arrival. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response it’s received. In less than 3 hours from unveiling it we had booked all ten places! I’ll let you into a secret though – we’re squeezing in a couple more places so you still have the chance to book on and experience one of our wine and dine nights. You can reserve a place by using the form in the post below. See you soon…


Dinner at the Manor brings you a night of Nigella’s ‘Feast’

Dinner at the Manor brings you a night of Nigella’s ‘Feast’ – Saturday 1st October 2011. From 7pm…

Sticky Pinny and Martini Man are excited to announce that they are now taking bookings for their inaugural secret supper club, Dinner at the Manor!

Reserve your place now by using the form below and join them for an evening of indulgence in a central Leeds location. Note there are only 10 spaces available so please be quick!

The theme of the evening will be Nigella’s ‘Feast’. Sticky Pinny and Martini Man will be your hosts and they have dusted off their copies of ‘Feast’ to bring you a meal inspired by their favourite Nigella recipes. Think glamour, celebration, gutsy flavours and filling morsels.

They are pleased to offer this delicious five course dining experience at a special introductory price of £25 per person.

They will be licensed to serve you an aperitif on arrival and their in-house sommelier will pair wines to the starters and main courses.

Don’t worry if you are not able to join them in October as dates for November and December are in the pipeline.

What you need to know:

  • The menu will be set one week prior to the supper club. You will need to let us know your dietary requirements or food allergies as soon as you sign up so that we can ensure you are catered for.
  • You will be provided with a decadent five course meal. This includes an aperitif on arrival and a glass of wine paired with the starter and one with the main course (which we will be licensed to serve you). If you would like more you are encouraged to bring along your own tipple of choice.
  • To secure your booking you will be required to pay a £10 deposit. If you are unable to attend then we would be grateful that you let us know as soon as possible so that we can reallocate your place. In the event that we can reallocate we will happily refund your deposit. The suggested donation for the supper club is £25, the balance of which will be due the week before the event.
  • The secret location of the supper club will be announced by either text or email a couple of days before the event. We are less than two miles from Leeds city centre and are well serviced by bus routes and taxis. We will be happy to offer any transport advice. We would be grateful if you could keep the location secret so that it can be a surprise for future guests.
  • Please note for those of you who may have pet allergies, we may be visited by Chester the Cat as this is his home too. He will not be a pest but he may come and say hello at some point in the evening.
  • We may also from time to time have a photographer at our events who will be taking pictures of the night for use on our website.

We hope you can join us!

Martini Man & Sticky Pinny

New date coming soon…

Hi all, Martini Man here!

I’m pleased to say that I met up with Sticky Pinny yesterday and we are now about to unveil the date for our first secret supper club. I hope it will be an exciting dining experience and a great addition to the Leeds calendar. We aim to put on at least one event each month, themed around a different and much loved cook book each time.

As this is a relatively new venture for me and SP, we will be offering places at our first party at a special introductory rate. Watch this space to reserve your place.

We will be using this blog to keep you updated with our plans as we get to grips with turning the Manor into a pop up restaurant. I’ve just been bidding on dining tables online and flicking through our chosen cook book to get some food ideas.

We’ll unveil the first date and the theme early next week. We look forward to welcoming you to the Manor soon. MM

Welcome to the Manor

Martini Man and Sticky Pinny are pleased to announce their forthcoming supper club… Dinner at the Manor.

At a central Leeds location these capable, amateur cooks will be dusting off their long forgotten cook books to inspire delicious and delectable dinner parties. Each party will be themed around a different book. Tell us what your favourite cook book is to be in with a chance of having it featured. Will it be Nigel or Nigella? Elizabeth David or Fanny Craddock?

Join us for an aperitif in the library, followed by dinner in the grand dining room. Diners will also get the chance to enjoy the baking delights of Sticky Pinny (four times Leeds Iron Cupcake Champion), over their coffee or to take home.

We will be licensed to hold special ‘wine and dine’ nights for a number of months per year. At these our in-house sommelier will pair wines to our starters and main courses. At other events you will be allowed to bring your own tipple of choice.

This exciting new Supper Club will be due for a launch in Leeds in the early autumn. Sign up to our list now to receive details of dates as they are set.

We look forward to seeing you soon and welcoming you to the Manor.

Martini Man (Dan) and Sticky Pinny (Susie).