2020. Hardly the year to relaunch a supper club.
In fact, it’s Mr and Mrs Covid-19’s idea of heaven: perfect strangers getting to know each other in close quarters, huddled round intimate tables, passing around dishes of beautiful food as they top up each other’s glasses and laugh heartily at each other’s anecdotes.
Whether you’re in Turin, Truro, or Timbuktu, you weren’t signing up to a supper club during a global pandemic.
But that wouldn’t stop us. In fact, it emboldened us.
We’ve all felt distant from each other in the last year. The rituals, feasts, and occasions that would otherwise gently punctuate the year, silently strengthening lifelong relationships while offering pathways to newfound kinship have been altogether absent.
We wanted to be together, even though we couldn’t be together.
As we thought about a world after Covid, we remembered why we started Vicarage & Sons five years ago in London. We were on a mission to create occasions in which everyone – young, old, friend, and maybe even foe – could share in the simple joys we’d been brought up to treasure: love, laughter, bread, wine, and dreams.
So on an otherwise innocuous zoom call, gin & tonic in hand, we decided to do four things:
1. Get Teresa involved
Vicarage & Sons had been a fraternal endeavour in 2015. This would be different. It would be a proper family affair. After all, if there’s anyone who knows how to host, it’s T.
2. Relaunch Vicarage & Sons
Whenever it was possible, we would start up our supper clubs again. Where, though? Five years ago Ben, Andrew, and Dom had all been in London. Now they were scattered to all parts – London, York, Manchester, and Amman. “We’ll just have to run four supper clubs, then.” So it will be. When we relaunch the ‘IRL’ events, they will have a global presence.
3. Cook together at Christmas
Ben put together a knock out menu – the sort of thing we last cooked together at 83 Great Titchfield Street for our last Supper Club at Christmas in 2015. Over three days, the four of us each cooked the menu, sharing pictures with each other on WhatsApp and Instagram, salivating over Ben’s pickle and Teresa’s salmon. We had the bug.
4. Say thank you to a few OGs
We wanted to say thank you to everyone that had continued to encourage us over the years and those who’d supported us from the start. We’d developed a beautiful mulled wine syrup back in the day and decided to bottle it up, brand the bejeezers out of it, and deliver a few across the country. The heartfelt messages of love that came back were moving and invigorating in equal measure.