I’m proud of Leeds. Over the past few years it has really embraced the alternative foodie scene. It’s the birthplace of Clandestine Cake Club and Homage to Fromage. Is home to countless supperclubs, including ourselves. And is now seeing the launch of exciting pop up restaurants. Loiners are really up for trying new culinary adventures and we love that we’re a part of it.
The latest addition to this vibrant and growing scene is ‘We the Animals’ (WTA) – a Leeds collective of food and drink experts who have been running meal ‘experiences’ for the past couple of months. Their inaugural event was in the Trinity church (you know the one, famous for the shopping centre). We couldn’t go to that due to other plans but had not really heard much about it in the run up or after and so the mystery of WTA deepened. When it was announced that the follow up events would be held in the prison cells of Leeds Town Hall we jumped on the tickets!
One of my surprise favourite books from last year was River Cottage’s homage to veg, which was headed by a healthy eating campaign that saw a very svelte and wholesome Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall appear from nowhere! The book is a lovely one to work with, full of lots of colourful photography, making veg look fun and innovative. We always try and cater for all dietary needs but do like to put a full on veggie event at least once a year. Having said that around only 2 of our 14 guests were official full-time vegetarians, which says a lot for how far veggie food has come in the last 20 years. As a recovering vegetarian myself I eat meat-free often and so putting together a full menu of veggie delights was a pleasure rather than a chore. We also had a gluten-free guest and so, on the whole, tried to pick things that she could eat with the whole group rather than single her out.
Our guests were welcomed with a rustic blackberry mule cocktail. This was a sweet and tangy concoction that included blackberry puree, homemade blackberry vodka, lime juice and ginger beer. Our canapes, rustled up by Susie, included moreish mini potato and swede pasties. These were spiked with tangy mature cheddar cheese and came encased in Susie’s homemade buttery puff pastry. Next up were crostini topped with Cambodian wedding dip which is a bizarre but extremely tasty spread made from mushrooms, coconut milk, spices and peanut butter (amongst other things). It was warm and spicy and extremely comforting to eat. The final canape was a mini cup of parsnip and ginger soup, this was velvety and full of warmth from the ginger.
Yes, it’s only September but we’ve had an overwhelming influx of emails from our readers eager to experience Dinner at the Manor.
We’ve finally agreed on dates and themes for the first few events of 2013, so we wanted to share them with you as soon as possible! We’d love to know what you think. Click on the links below for more details on each event and how to book.
Expect to experience a delicious 7 course menu in a beautiful Victorian home. You’ll be dining with strangers who will seem like old friends by the end of the night! For more info take a look at our what you need to know page.
This New Year saw the Dinner at the Manor crew and friends descend upon north Devon for a relaxing retreat and some foodie treats!
The second supperclub event we held back in Nov 2011 was themed around the Original River Cottage Cookbook to mark its 10 year anniversary. We love Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s ethos of eating seasonal, ethical, local produce and we love his hearty, robust flavours.
After what felt like a very long wait (and who knew October was such a long month?!) we held our River Cottage themed secret supperclub in honour of its 10 year anniversary. Plus it was an excellent excuse to go foraging for some free ingredients and cook up some weird and wonderful meals, which may have challenged some people! Thanks to our guests for trusting in us and for being adventurous. It meant we were able to dabble with some exciting recipes.