What’s a supper club?

Supper clubs in the UK adopted the cabaret concept of the American 1930s and 1940s and aimed to bring the ambience of the underground New York jazz club to the UK entertainment scene, where people could enjoy a dinner without the formality of a ball, whilst enjoying live music. These clubs were often the centre of social networks such as the blogging community in both rural communities and cities. Traditional supper club menus consisted of standard American fare, and in the UK there was a concerted drive to give the food and wine a British twist.

Some supper clubs were purely informal dining societies whilst others incorporated musical acts to complement the atmosphere. There was also a form of supper club which acted as an informal dating platform. Both have largely been replaced by modern nightclubs.

The term “Supper club” is enjoying a revival with slightly different meaning – generally a small underground club (often with roving premises which are only revealed to the guests when they buy a ticket), where guests eat from a restricted or set menu.

Part of the thrill is the hipness factor, the ego-inflating I-know-something-or-somebody-you-don’t-know feeling that comes with being on a VIP list. But supper club diners also can find surprisingly good food at bargain-basement prices.

In the UK ‘Supper Clubs’ have started to blossom, with reviews in leading newspapers such as The Times and The Guardian. They range across the UK but are mainly concentrated in London. These are advertised by word of mouth and on social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. There are a number of ways to find out about supper clubs including social media and also local listing websites.