The Plough in Shepreth, a lovely village in South Cambridgeshire that lies halfway between Cambridge and Royston, is one of those places that has something for everyone. Good food and drink, great people, fun events, live music, art exhibitions… the list goes on! It’s only a 5-minute walk from Shepreth railway station and easily accessible from Cambridge, so there’s no excuse not to visit!
I’ve blogged about The Plough’s events and food, most recently about their Sunday Lunch, a partnership with catering company Boxed Events. For the past few months there’s been another collaboration between The Plough’s Nick Davis and Boxed Events’ owner/chef James Knight: Supper Club 22, a monthly dinner with 22 people gathered around two tables to share a themed menu and listen to live jazz. And at the price of £22 per person, it’s extremely good value!
Supper Club 22 is held in the Mandolin bar where there is a stage for local jazz musicians. The space is large enough to accommodate the 22 guests but small enough to encourage the communal experience of a supper club. The cosy and chilled out ambience is enhanced by the warm glow of sparkly gin bottles and the mellow sounds of live jazz piano and guitar.
I attended their inaugural supper club in March (a delicious Asian-inspired menu) and another called “Kilners, Verrines and Terrines” in May, serving terrines and other dishes in glasses and jars. I missed their “Starsky & Hutch” 70s retro dinner!
July’s Supper Club 22, titled “Un peu de soirée française”, featured a classic French menu. Before my francophone friends and family point out the dodgy français, rest assured I did mention to Nick that the correct French is “une petite soirée française”. We both had a giggle over it and I came to the conclusion that his version has charm… a bit of Del Boy French. C’est la crème de la menthe, n’est-ce pas? Ooh la la!
Down to serious business… the food! James Knight’s 3-course French menu was expertly prepared and presented. We started with a velvety white onion and roasted garlic soup. The natural sweetness of the onions and garlic resulted in a wonderful depth of flavour and I found myself scraping the bowl for every last drop. The soup’s crowning glory was a Gruyère croûte, a delightful slice of cheesy bread that floated in the soup and absorbed its delicious flavours. Magnifique!
The main course featured a rolled rump of beef of superior quality with a bourguignon garnish that incorporated elements and flavours of boeuf bourguignon: mushrooms, onions and a succulent sauce, in this case a veal jus. Tenderstem broccoli provided a burst of colour and contrasting texture with its firm bite (cooked until barely tender, as it should be). The dauphinoise potatoes were perfectly stacked and presented.
The veggie option, which needs to be booked in advance, consisted of rolled savoy cabbage, summer vegetables, button mushroom, caramelised shallot, dauphinoise potatoes and vegetarian gravy.
The pièce de résistance was a luscious slice of apple tarte tatin, served with vanilla pod ice cream. I loved the comforting textures of this dessert and the blackberries were a nice touch.
Keep an eye of The Plough’s Facebook page and the What’s On section of their website for the next Supper Club 22, then act fast as the places fill up quickly. Tickets are through Event Brite where you can specify a vegetarian option, if preferred. Drinks are not included in the price of the menu and are purchased separately at the bar. The Plough have a fantastic selection.
It may be called a “club” but there is no membership required. The premise is based on convivial dining, where guests share a table and experience the food together. Anyone interested in fine cuisine, cool music and good conversation can attend. Supper Club 22 is not quite as intimate as a supper club in someone’s home but it’s more fun and interesting than simply booking your own table at a restaurant. It’s the perfect opportunity enjoy The Plough’s ambience, sample the fabulous cuisine of Boxed Events and discover talented local musicians.
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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