I’ve often been told that I have an old soul – from my music choices to my early bedtime, it’s no secret that I, despite my numerical age of 25, often share the same preferences and routines as those twice my age. So, when I thought of starting a monthly supper club with a group of girlfriends, I was skeptical that my fellow twentysomethings would be accepting of this tradition that started in the 1930s and ‘40s.
The idea originated when I was thinking of ways to incorporate more face-to-face girl time in my life. I was honest in admitting to myself that life just seemed to be getting the best of me. Time often felt like it was slipping away and before I knew it, months were passing, and my circle of friends would become out of touch. I needed a little weeknight sanity to help get me through. I racked my brain, searched the web and saw numerous ideas of ways to bring a group of friends together. Book clubs, bunko nights, wine tastings, you name it, but nothing seemed to speak to my (old soul) heart like the notion of a monthly supper club.
I posed the idea at the beginning of the new year and was surprised at the excitement and eagerness to get a plan like this in motion. I reached out to a group of six friends with the sole purpose of creating a ritual that allowed us to have a designated night, once a month, to get together and focus on each other. A time to curate the friendship we all shared and simply enjoy a nice meal, a few glasses of wine and catch up on life, something we all agreed did not happen enough within our circle.
Since we are now a few dinners in, I have to admit that this is idea was brilliant! We eat, we drink, we laugh and stay up a little too late for a weeknight, if I have to say so myself, but they are nights full of great fellowship. I couldn’t help but think that maybe you, too, needed an excuse to get away and spend time with a circle of friends that you hold close. Thus, I am supplying some tried and true tips to help get you started.
Define your goal and choose your style.
Think big picture! What do you want your evening to be? A large group or an intimate gathering? Is the purpose to make new friends or to invest more deeply in existing friendships? Determining your guest list and what their contributions might look like will help get your wheels in motion. Keep in mind that the rules are up to you and details can certainly be worked out as you go along.
Decide the host’s duties and the cook’s duties.
You’ve got to pay to play, and everyone should be willing to share the load! Hostess responsibilities might include organizing and coordinating invitations, RSVPs and the menu, or it can simply be supplying the space to meet. The options are endless and can be easily customized to what works best for you and your guests.
Organize the menu…not forgetting the drinks!
Get organized. It’s easier now than ever to organize and coordinate amongst a group for contributions to the menu. Online tools such as evite.com, Facebook and Google docs all work nicely, but even a group text message can get the job done just fine.
Keep it simple.
Simplicity can be a blessing in disguise. We chose to all contribute potluck style each month, which not only alleviates the host of too many responsibilities, but also allows us to express our tastes and leave the opportunity to try out those Pinterest recipes we’ve been saving for months.
Stay flexible on the menu and the calendar.
Being flexible allows everyone to stay in their comfort zones and relax. Not a great chef or having writer’s block on the cooking front? Tote a few bottles of wine, a basket of bread and even something store bought and keep the stressors at bay. Supper club provides a perfect opportunity for participants to play their strengths!
Make it fun and festive.
Create themes for upcoming holidays or contribute those seasonal recipes you typically only have once a year. Even design a fun tablescape that ties into your menu but keeps the emphasis on fun, food and fellowship!