Another meal at Edinburgh’s first supper club
We have been lucky enough to dine at Charlie and Evelyn’s Table before. You can only imagine our excitement when we were invited by friends to a ‘chef’s table’ experience last weekend.
Since Chris and Rachel Rowley last hosted a supper club night, they’ve not only moved to a new home, but also have a new addition to the family.
Almost two years on from their first supper for the public, the husband and wife team still ooze enthusiasm, creating different menus to share with food lovers across our culinary rich city. And, there’s no catch. All you’ll find at Charlie and Evelyn’s Table is the sort of service you’d be hard pressed to find in some Edinburgh restaurants, partnered with exquisite food and served on Chris’ grandparents, Charlie and Evelyn’s, table.
The couple cater, without fuss, for dietary requirements and strong food dislikes, to arrive at a fixed menu which suits all guests’ tastes. Our party was a prime example of this with allergies, dislikes and an intolerance to wheat to take into account.
Taking shelter from the fierce Edinburgh winds, eight of us were warmly welcomed into Chris and Rachel’s Comely Bank home, with a glass of champagne, and delicious canapes of spiced mushrooms and a delicious home-made buttery oat biscuit, topped with Dunsyre blue cheese mousse. This only whetted our appetite for what was still to come.
Sitting at a table that could make many a mouth water, we continued our culinary experience with an amuse bouche of curried parsnip soup, garnished with an apple crisp, presented delicately in an espresso cup. It was hard to fathom how something presented so delicately could deliver such intensity of flavour.
As the starter arrived, the aroma of home-made soda bread filled the room. This accompanied a delicious winter salad of seasonal squash, served with rocket, Dunsyre blue and delicately flavoured with rosemary.
Just as we thought my meal couldn’t get any better, the star of the show arrived, venison wellington. As any food lover knows, wellingtons of any description are incredibly difficult to get right. With the threat of soggy pastry and meat that could either be over or underdone, it takes a most accomplished cook to attempt this dish. And in silence, we ate what could only be described as accomplished. Served with caramelised red cabbage and green beans, the whole dish could be summed up in one word – perfection!
Rounding off the savoury with something sweet is always the best way to end a meal. A dessert of baked chocolate pudding, hazelnuts and ice cream was served on stylish slate plates (which we later found out came from Chris’ parent’s roof). The combination of the warm chocolate pudding, and ice cream, with crunchy hazelnuts, left us speechless as we devoured our puddings. And it didn’t end there as we were presented with macaroons from local favourite Patisserie Madeleine, to accompany our after dinner coffee.
Considering the standard of the food served, the suggested donation of £25 per person is hard to digest. A meal of this calibre in certain Edinburgh eateries would cost a great deal more, and it’s highly unlikely you would receive the same level of service, and have your glass topped up all night long. Using only seasonal and local produce where possible (including Stockbridge legends Armstrongs and George Bowers), the best advice we could give you would be do everything you can to get a seat, at this truly wonderful table.
Email rachelandchrisrowley (at) gmail (dot) com to be placed on their mailing list and to be notified when there are new places available. Chris and Rachel still work on trust with their diners, no tickets required to book, just a ‘donation’ on the night which is done at the end of the evening into an envelope with the coffees.
You can read their blog which also has entries on past dining events and delicious recipes.
Chris and Rachel have supplied canapés for numerous events in recent months (both corporate and prviate) and even fully catered for a wedding in the summer.
If you have a special event that you would like them to cater for, drop them an email to discuss.
You can also read their most frequently asked questions.
If you are slightly nervous what to expect at an Edinburgh supper club, please read our previous post which covers arrival, seating and how it’s perfectly acceptable to dine on your own and make new friends.
Edinburgh secret supper clubs
There are several supper clubs in Edinburgh now – it certainly seems to be the new ‘eating out’ and we’re determined to get round them all. Dates vary, but spaces tend to go fast for all clubs, so don’t delay in reserving your spot at the table you want. Some hosts ask you to book tickets in advance (leaving a small ‘donation’ to pay on the night) and some require full payment.
Here are the links to the other supper clubs hosting in Edinburgh at the moment (and coming soon).
Kitchen Porters – email firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on their mailing list and notified of new dates.
Avant Edinburgh – coming early 2012
Photos courtesy Chris and Rachel Rowley.