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Saturday, 2 April 2011

FAQs

If you're curious, here are our most asked questions (and answers). Please leave any others as comments and we'll reply.

Why did you start Charlie and Evelyn’s Table?
We were intrigued by the pop up movement and read an article about The Salad Club (August 2009). We tried to find an Edinburgh based supper club to dine at and, when we realised there wasn’t one, we thought we’d create our own (January 2010). It started as a new year’s resolution to help us to have monthly dinner parties and indulge our love of cooking and entertaining. It soon spiralled and extended beyond our families and friends.
Who are Charlie and Evelyn and why do you have their table?
Charlie and Evelyn were Chris’s grandparents and we inherited their dining table.
What is the concept?
In three words: eat out, in.
Usually, diners come to us. The Table seats up to fourteen people and you can book as a group or individual places.
Where is the supper club?
We’re based in central Edinburgh, we only reveal our full address to confirmed diners.
What’s the best way to make a reservation?
Drop us an email to join our mailing list and you’ll receive our latest news and alerts to new dates as soon as they are released. We ask that all reservations are made and confirmed by email for our own sanity!
What’s your cancellation policy?
We believe that the concept is based on trust so there’s no strict policy. We wouldn’t charge our friends if they were ill or couldn’t make it for some valid reason.
To date we’ve only had one very rude guest not show up on the night without letting us know so ideally, we’d ask for 24 hours notice so that we have chance to fill the space/s.
Alternatively, other last minute cancellations have covered the cost of the cancelled place/s.
Do you cater for vegetarians and dietary requirements?
Yes, absolutely.
In advance of creating each menu we ask for dietary requirements and strong food dislikes as the menu is fixed. If we are serving a guest with an allergy, we tend to avoid that ingredient/food group all together. If it’s a food preference, we either come up with an alternative for that diner or avoid the ingredient.
What’s the most common food dislike you've come across?
Here’s the top five:
Shellfish/seafood
Mushrooms
Coriander
Eggs
Offal
And, top five most bizarre:
Cream
Melon
Caffeine
Cooked vegetables
Raisins
Where do you source your food?
We hope you don’t need us to tell you that seasonal, local food tastes best. It’s not always possible or practical but we do buy all meat and game from George Bower’s and our fish, seafood and shellfish from G. Armstrongs. We also believe that life is too short for some things (unless it’s a very special occasion) and we regularly buy Patisserie Madeline’s macarons to serve to guests with coffee.
Have you ever had any unusual guests come for dinner?
The whole set up is pretty unusual and we’ve unexpectedly had a huge range of people dine with us. Guests from near and far, young and old and with a variety of backgrounds and professions.
That’s one of the things that makes hosting so special when you pop your head out of the kitchen and see a group of people who would never usually meet, let alone dine together, chatting happily.
How do you get rid of guests if they outstay their welcome?
Truly, the welcome is warm so it’s hard to outstay it. We like to let things come to a natural close and most guests tend to leave by midnight. The record for our latest staying guests is 2.10am but by that point we’d joined them for a glass of wine!
What’s your biggest kitchen disaster?
Probably attempting too complicated menus when we started – meaning kitchen chaos and mountains of washing up. Other than that, arriving at a kitchen (where we were due to serve a four course meal) that only had a microwave and no oven or simply serving ice cream in the extreme heat of our little kitchen.
What’s your favourite place to eat out?
Some of our favourite places include:
Restaurant Martin Wishart - for extra special occasions.
Timberyard - for informal, feel good food.
Taste of Italy - for family friendly, great value, great taste Italian.
Bon Vivant - for tasty bite sized or normal sized dishes to suit your mood.
Pho - exceedingly good, hidden gem.
The Spice Pavillion - our choice for great takeaway (or eat in).
Mithas - for luxury Indian.
Loch Leven Seafood café for the best lunch ever.
Which recipe books do you use most often?
It varies, lots, so we’ll try and update this answer.
Some of our most used include:
Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook (great seasonal ideas), On a plate (South African inspiration), How to Eat Nigella Lawson (for comfort and speed), newly acquired Ottolenghi Plenty (fast, fresh flavours), River Cottage Veg Everyday (encouraging us to be more adventurous with our meat free suppers).
What do diners say about you?
Whenever we need an ego boost, it’s nice to re read some of the comments from our guest book including:
“The last time I felt this at home, I was at home.”
“Delicious food, gorgeous surrounding. Made so welcome, utterly charmed. Thank you so…”
“Lovely relaxed atmosphere, great food and a novel experience to have dinner in someone’s home.”
“I hope he/she is a good baby so I can come back soon!”
“Fabulous food and an unbeatable experience.”
OK enough.
If you’ve dined with us in the past and would like to share your thoughts with others, please add comments to the blog or share on Facebook
Are there any other pop up restaurants in Edinburgh/Scotland?
Yes. Here's our list. Fairly definitive (if slightly rambling), we think!
Try Queen of Tarts for afternoon tea, we loved it. Email thequeensedinburgh@gmail.com
Kitchen Porter for Edinburgh based suppers or masterclasses (read our review here). Email kitchenports@googlemail.com
And,  ADDED APRIL 21st 2011 Delicious looking, My Home Supperclub - expect a very warm welcome, great food and a charming homely experience.
or Honey Wild Supper Club in the Scottish Borders. Emailhoneywildandmannadew@gmail.com
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2011. The supper club scene is thriving, horray!
Crescent Dining fine dining since August 2011.
Table for ten an exciting collaboration, started in October 2011. 
Chai Lounge Edinburgh's first Indian supper club, established October 2011.
Inside Out Chef home cooking with a sharing vibe, established August 2011.
Avant watch this space for a potential new club.
NEW FOR 2012 - updated January 2012
Burgher Burger All about burgers, monthly, by established chefs, popping up at greasy spoons in Edinburgh. Sign up to find out more. (First event February 2012).
A quarterly supper club by the sea, Portobello, coming soon (March 2012).
Pop up afternoon tea by very talented, award winning pastry chef, Ross.
February 2012 - update
Tealicious, a secret pop up afternoon tea club by amazing cake ladies by The Shore in Leith (now running).
A new pop up restaurant coming soon to a place near the Abbey in Dunfermline ( also March 2012)
March 2012 - update
Pig in a Wig new Edinburgh supper club alert (coming April 2012).
May 2012 - update
My Home Supper Club is taking a break from suppers to focus on pop up events, find out more here.
Honey Wild Supper Club is also taking a break to establish The Friand Cake Co.
Inside Out Chef has a new website and a new pudding club.
No sign of Avant, Room 103 in Dunfermline or Pig in a wig.
New addition - Petite Cuisine, hearty French provincial cooking from home in North Edinburgh.
Winter 2012 
New club Under the carpet (first event October 2012). No further updates on blog (Jan 2013).
New for 2013
Bread and butter (opened January 2013).  Two chefs doing their thing at home. We were lucky enough to attend. The food was really outstanding and complete with L'enclume inspiration (one of the chefs worked there). Go.
On a farm in East Lothian (first event February 2013).
New for 2014
The Smoked Duck (first event August).

Do get in touch if you have supper club news to share.

5 comments:

  1. There's nothing weird about hating Melon Rach...

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  2. We will be opening a pop up restaurant - restaurant103 - near the Abbey in Dunfermline next month.

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    Replies
    1. Excited to hear it David. Keep us posted. Where can we find out more?

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  3. My partner hates both cream and cooked vegetables, along with a variety of other things. It seems to be a texture thing, rather than a taste thing.

    ReplyDelete