Review: Dining in an old tube train in Walthamstow.
I love the concept of supper clubs, although I haven’t been to as many as I should due to the advance planning required for many of them. However, as a lover of quirky and unusual London events, when I heard about Basement Galley’s Underground Supper Club, I was eager to experience it.
Basement Galley originally started in a Brixton flat run by two friends Tom Fothergill and chef Alex Cooper in 2011. However, it is now an established catering company who host supper clubs on a decommissioned 1969 London Underground carriage in Walthamstow… which, obviously, belonged to the Victoria line. The carriage is now on street level and sits in the grounds of the Walthamstow Pump House Museum. Having huge success with their evening supper clubs on the tube, they recently expanded to offering brunch – one of the most popular weekend activities for many Londoners.
I visited recently for a Saturday brunch with my boyfriend. When booking, you have several options depending on how intimate you want your experience or size of your party. In the traditional Supper Club spirit, we were happy to join a communal table so we were seated in a typical row of tube seating with a table in the standing area for £39pp. However, there are also two and four people seating options if your party wants more privacy. Arriving at the yard, we were greeted with a welcome shot of Bloody Caesars with Smoked Vodka, which certainly woke us up. We entered the tube through the driver’s carriage which was fascinating getting to see the old signage and various controls.
Admittedly, we were initially rather distracted by the details of the vintage carriage to look at the menu. As someone who has grown up with Brixton as my closest tube station, I have a particular affection for the Victoria line and had ridden this particular tube stock for most of my life until they were decommissioned in 2011.
The set menu changes seasonally and includes three courses with bottomless tea or coffee, with options to order Prosecco or G ‘n’ Ts. To start with, we snacked on picked crudités and sipped orange juice and tea/coffee while getting acquainted with our fellow table guests, a friendly and jovial mix of mostly professional 20-30 somethings. Our first course were Cauliflower Fritters with an Avocado Dip. I really enjoyed the contrast of the crispy fritters with the smooth dip and it didn’t spend long on my plate. For mains, was an Irish treat of Colcannon Mash, Poached Egg and Pancetta Crisp, which was really delicious, but not so photogenic as the other courses (hence the lack of image in this piece!). Admittedly, I felt rather full afterwards, but just about managed to find room for the very naughty Caramelised Banana Brioche and Peanut Ice Cream, which was tasty, but very sweet.
Overall, it was a great brunch experience. The food was brilliant, the service was attentive and friendly and the setting which was pretty special. I highly recommend for any Londoners looking to spice up their usual weekend brunch routine with something a little different.
- The Basement Galley Supper Club takes place at the Walthamstow Pump House Museum, 10 S Access Road, Walthamstow, E17 8AX. Nearest station: St James Street. For booking, visit the Basement Galley website.
For Metro Girl’s other restaurant reviews, click here.
You may not be able to go to Brazil this summer for the Olympics, but why not enjoy a taste of Rio in London? This August, Battersea beach shack bar Cocobananas will be transformed into an exclusive Olympic-themed pop-up with food, drinks, entertainment and sports screenings. Situated upstairs from pizzeria, bar and karaoke venue Bunga Bunga, the pop-up will feature a Caipirinha bar, a dedicated Olympic-themed cocktail menu, POPS frozen Bellinis, a Brazilian-inspired food menu and Samba dancers.
With Brazil a few hours behind BST, Cocobananas will get the party started early with an official Olympics opening ceremony party on Friday 5 August. The bar will be decked out in Brazilian flags, palm trees, banana leaves, beach balls, exotic flowers and colourful lounge chairs. There will be a medal table on the wall keeping count of how many Gold, Silver and Bronze titles Team Brazil are picking up. Meanwhile, whenever Brazil win, the national flag will be flown while guests will have blue, green and yellow confetti cannons to fire off. There’ll also be the opportunity to showcase your vocals to karaoke in the L’Osservatorio, while DJs will be at the decks on Friday and Saturday nights.
Meanwhile, the Closing Ceremony party on Sunday 21 August will feature a Brazilian-inspired Supper Club by ‘The Latina Cook’ Natalie Salmon and Bunga Bunga’s head chef, Alexis de Naray. The menu will feature colourful and exuberant dishes, starting off with Brazilian pastels, filled with ground meat, mozzarella, heart of palm and chicken; Coxinha (crispy chicken balls) and grilled Chicken Heart skewers, marinated in fresh herbs. The mains will include a choice of Brazil’s national dish, Feijoada, a stew made with beans, beef and pork; Vegetarian Brazilian pizza with the chance to choose your own toppings and Seabass Ceviche. And finally, for dessert, will be Brigaderios (truffle delight); Acai Bowls with tropical fresh fruit and homemade Avocado Ice Cream Gondolas.
- Cocobananas, 101 Howie Street, Battersea, SW11 3BA. Nearest stations: Clapham Junction, Queenstown Road Battersea or Battersea Park. For more information visit the Cocobananas website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in August, click here.
To find out where to watch the Olympics on the open-air big screens this summer, click here.
This September, a slice of New Orleans is coming to London with a mix of soul food and funky live music. For two weeks, supper club kings Slap Ya Papa will be whipping up their Louisiana-influenced culinary creations, while a rotation of entertainment supremos will be bringing the party with their live music.
The Bayou Banquet is a new pop-up, recreating the best sounds, smells and tastes of New Orleans in Victorian railway arches below Waterloo station. On offer will be a range of experiences, including supper clubs, Crescent City cocktail-fuelled parties, live music and cabaret, all-day Sunday brunches, interactive art exhibitions and auctions. With Slap Ya Papa providing the food, Marbles and Ware, Riot Jazz and Kansas Smitty will be taking turns to showcase live blues, jazz, funk and soul music.
Schedule of events:
Wednesday 16, Thursday 17 and Thursday 24 September – Slap Ya Papa Supper Club (£30). 2 dinner sittings at 7pm and 9pm.
Four courses of Louisiana soul food with the best in London’s live music.
Friday 18 September – Slap Ya Papa x Riot Jazz (£35). 1 dinner sitting @ 8pm, doors for party @ 10pm
Manchester’s Riot Jazz will be providing the music for Slap Ya Papa’s supper club, before cranking things up for the after-party until 2am.
Friday 25 September – Slap Ya Papa x Kansas Smitty (£35). 1 dinner sitting @ 8pm, doors for party @ 10pm
Mardi Gras flag boys Kansas Smitty will be providing the dinner soundtrack for Slap Ya Papa’s feast, before the party kicks off with live music and vinyl records until 2am.
Saturday 19 and Saturday 26 September – Marbles & Ware Bazaar (free entry). 10.30am-5pm.
Artisan makers and crafters will be selling their wares at a daytime market. Art and festival supremos Marbles & Ware are curating an exhibition in The Vaults gallery, featuring rising London artists inspired by the theme of Southern Wilds. The work will be auctioned off each Saturday night, while the Slap Ya Papa bar will be offering taster lunch menu.
Saturday 19 and Saturday 26 September – Marbles & Ware Bidders’ Banquet (£40). 1 dinner sitting @ 8pm
The market is clearer for a five-course feast with a frenzied bidding during the meal for items from the exhibition. Once the food is finished, there will be a New Orleans knees-up with live music and DJs.
Sunday 20 and Sunday 27 September – Slap Ya Papa presents: Egg, Bacon, Grits… SAUSAGE (£20). 2 sittings at 12pm and 2.30pm
Enjoy an all-day brunch with entertainment from Brixton bluesman and three-time UK harmonica champion Errol Linton with his accomplice and guitar virtuoso Adam Blake.
Monday 21 to Wednesday 23 September – The Bryan Batt Cabaret presents Tales from New Orleans (Mon/Tues ‐ £25 [non-dining], Wed – £40 [includes four course dinner]): Doors at 8pm.
Mad Men and 12 Years a Slave star Bryan Batt will be wowing diners with stories and songs from his hometown of New Orleans.
- Slap Ya Papa presents The Bayou Banquet, The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. Takes place from 16 – 27 September 2015. For more information and booking, visit The Vaults website.
For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.