“Do you want to come to a Platelickers supper club with me? Pleeeease… I’ve been wanting to go to one for ages.”
“Where is it?”
“Erm… you don’t find out until a couple of days beforehand.”
“Well, what’s on the menu?”
“Ah, well, it’s a surprise. You don’t find that out until the day. Oh, and you know I said it was a supper club… well it’s at 1.30pm on a Saturday afternoon.”
I have to admit, it took a little bit of convincing to get Mr Fussy to sign up with me to Platelickers’ most recent ‘supper’ club. I’d missed out on several due to prior engagements clashing, so this time I was determined. Having received the enticing mailing list email promising a five-course feast of sharing dishes, I sent off my request to join in along with our dietary requirements (fussy), paid the requested £31 per head by PayPal, and duly waited for further info to arrive.
A little while, and much anticipation, later another email clattered into my inbox revealing the venue to be the garden of a popular pub not far from the city centre. Thankfully, the day of the event – the last day of August – brought with it stunning weather. We strolled into the pub’s garden (which was specially commandeered for the event) with our BYO bottle of wine to be greeted by the sight of seven picnic tables placed end to end to form one big sociable table, bedecked with place settings of mismatched antique plates and napkins, and placenames charmingly written on either stripy or spotty tape stuck onto the tables.
Whilst chatting to some of the other 30 attendees, we were welcomed by the two culinary legends who run Platelickers, Jo Kruczynska of Afternoon Tease and Ivana Gresham, aka Miss Igs. Reaching into the large coolbags they were carrying, they handed over the first of the afternoon’s foodie treats, an aperitif cocktail made perfect for a warm summer’s day: a watermelon margarita ice lolly!
Taking our seats, we tucked into the piles of appetisers: courgette and blue cheese arancini (Italian rice balls). Now, as a fussy eater, blue cheese really, really isn’t my thing, and I have to confess I would have preferred them without it, but the cheese was subtle enough for me to enjoy them nevertheless. In fact, the crispy deep-fried coating against the soft interior was such a lovely texture sensation that I even ended up going back for a second helping.
By now, both the wine and the conversation with the other people sat near us were flowing freely, allowing Jo and Ivana to do their thing without us really noticing all the hard work that was going on around us. Suddenly the starters had appeared on the table: corn on the cob in jerk seasoning, covered in coconut. Luckily for fussy old me, the coconut was easily brushed off, enabling me to enjoy the succulent and spicy corn. And Mr F really liked his double helping of coconut.
The main course was where the sharing vibe majorly kicked in, as we were brought platters of Mexican-spiced spatchcock chicken for us to quite literally tear and share. The veggie among us was also catered for with a mushroom and feta dish made especially for him. Bowls of quinoa, green and cucumber salads, beetroot crisps and salsa verde completed a really wonderful summer’s lunch dish.
We then moved on to what we assumed was dessert: champagne jelly with blueberries in retro glasses (like the ones we had at school) topped with a perfect little macaron. And the veggie wasn’t left out, with his special one made with gelatine-free jelly.
How wrong we were though – that was just the palate-cleanser! We were gobsmacked when the real dessert arrived: it was an enormous slice of baked cheesecake with the most gorgeous fig jam oozing all over it. It was difficult at this stage in the proceedings, but I was determined to finish every morsel of it because it was so damn delicious!
The generosity of the food and the sociableness of the setting really put me in mind of an Italian family gathering. Our fellow diners, whom we hadn’t met before, were great company, and the whole thing was impeccably and imaginatively organised. You could feel the love the Platelickers duo have both for food and for giving their diners a wonderful experience. We left feeling absolutely stuffed and very, very happy.
Would I recommend a Platelickers supper club? Undoubtedly, yes!