If you're keen to escape the uptight, and frenetic inner-city night-time climes of London to indulge in something more wholesome then the Supper Club could be your answer.
Every Thursday evening, Hackney City Farm's Frizzante Restaurant opens its doors to night-time diners in a quasi-al fresco manner. Half the dining area is composed of a lean-to roofed with corrugated plastic and a back wall made of trellis. The lack of daylight is indeed very forgiving on the dilapidated, make-shift interior but, after all, mock rustic Italian is the order of the day. A warm orange glow, and the steady hum of chatter from large tables of families and friends give the Supper Club that delicious European summer evening vibe.... not exactly what you'd expect just off Hackney Road. The kitchen shuts at 10pm but the restaurant remains open until 12am further encouraging that continental, languid style of dining.
So, the atmosphere might be spot-on but the food itself is somewhat lacking. Naturally, the menu is Italian, and seasonal; food is sourced locally and when possible from the farm itself. There's a definite discrepancy in portion sizes, quality and price - although the food wasn't awful, it certainly did not reflect the cost. However, one would hope that the bring your own booze policy is intended to compensate for the over-spend on food.
All in all the Supper Club is perfect for sociable and cosy gatherings that detract from the intensity of the city but don't expect miracles with the food.
By Emmajo Read
Supper Club continues into early October - call for info and reservations 020 7739 2266. Image of Frizzante Cafe via verseguru's Flickrstream under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.