A supper that's lasted 25 years
Friends and neighbours celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Bishopston Progressive Supper in May.
It’s a fun evening where everyone prepares a single course for a few people but visits two other homes for their other courses and gets to meet other people in doing so.
The anniversary meal was the 63rd such event since 1993. The suppers began when a small group of twelve couples decided to get together to enjoy good food, drink and conversation at each other’s homes. Since then it has grown in popularity and now there are over forty couples taking part.
Nigel Pollett has been enjoying many a meal in this way over the years and explains how a progressive supper happens: “One couple organises each event which takes part two or three times a year and is open to anyone that lives within a ten minute stroll of St Andrews Park. A date is set and an email sent out inviting people to join in. A week before the event, all those that have said yes will receive a letter telling then which course to prepare, for how many (normally 6) and at what time. Starters begin at 7:45pm, main course begins at 9pm and desert at 10:30pm with coffee from 11:15pm at the organisers home. The letter also contains any dietary restrictions for guests and a sealed section to be opened at a specified time. At this stage you don’t know who your guests will be.
“Those not doing starters open their section at 7:30pm on the evening and then the fun begins when they find out where they will be going for their first course. Everyone walks and often cross paths in the park on route. This time around we had eighteen couples taking part, so six prepared starters, six mains and six deserts. At around 8:45pm the host reaches for their letter and opens the sealed section which tells their guests and themselves where to progress for mains. Everyone now heads off, slightly merry, in different directions to meet different people in different houses for the evening’s second instalment of culinary delights and by now captivating conversations. After mains, the guests move on to desert and so the supper progresses all the way to coffee where everyone finally meets and the baton is passed on to the couple who have agreed to organise the next progressive supper.
“The beauty of this event is that you are only preparing one course, everywhere is within walking distance and you get to meet like-minded people in your community and eat really good food. The fact that this has been running now for 25 years, shows its popularity and as some people move away from the area, new people join in.
“Until now this has been just through word of mouth, but we are keen to invite others to take part in future events. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you. As a first timer it’s always a step into the unknown but we always break you in gently with preparing starters or desert and for many couples it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and a fun way to socialise.”