Sunday, 6 March 2011
Thyme Supper Club
When Kelsie first announced to the blogosphere that we were starting up a supper club in Berlin, one of the first people to contact us with supportive encouragement were the folks who run the Thyme Supper Club. They were just starting out too, and through emails and tweets and following each other on facebook we saw how each other have been progressing.
It's fairly well known and documented now that Thyme Supper Club is something special and having finally made it over there I can see why. The whole evening from start to finish was a memorable experience and both Kelsie and I felt that C&T from Thyme really know how to make it so for each and every one of their guests.
It's the subtleties that struck me throughout the evening. From the intercom welcome when we buzzed at the street, to T calling out to us from the stairs that there was just one flight more. We were warmly welcomed into their beautiful home and T gave us a quick tour of the house. I was particularly struck with how welcoming C was to have us linger in the kitchen while she was still doing some last minute prep. I know it's sometimes hard to focus on the task at hand and chat with guests so I appreciate that she did it with ease. Other special notes were the printed menus (in english and german) with wine tasting notes along the side. The pens laid out alongside the other cutlery, welcoming guests to doodle or amuse themselves. (more on that later)
In the span of about 15 minutes the rest of the guests arrived. A couple from the southern end of Berlin who had read about the growing popularity of supperclubs in an airplane magazine and decided to give it a try (much to their friends' amazement). A group of two couples, one of which were already friends with C&T, a literary magazine publisher and another couple. There was supposed to be one more couple but they never showed up. (NOTE to readers who plan on visiting supperclubs: please please please, if you can't make the date, phone up and cancel the reservation!)
T quickly offered each arriving guest with a welcome prosecco and there were 3 tasty canapes to choose from: Galloping Horses (carmelised shallot, satay sauce and pineapple); goat's cheese, thyme and honey crackers, and smoked salmon and creme fraiche toasts. More glasses were filled and emptied and we made our way to our seats at the beautifully laid table.
For the evening Kelsie and I chose the paired wine tasting with the food. An amuse bouche was brought out which I quickly gobbled up whilst talking to some of the english speaking dining companions. The first wine was a Riesling Spätlese.
The starter was a silky smooth parsnip soup topped with crispy lardons and a croute, and garnished with a bright green grassy olive oil. As each course was brought out the chatter would fall away and all that could be heard was the music playing in the kitchen and cutlery against bowls and plates.
Next up was a gorgeous sashimi grade tuna ceviche served with an avocado salad. The fish was impeccable and i loved the zingy citrus of the dressing.
One more small plate was brought out, this time a lovely caponata accompanied with garlic sprouts and mini pastries. For this dish the accompanying wine was a Pinot Noir.
The highlight of the evening for me was the main course. An absolutely beautiful piece of roast beef fillet served with a red wine sauce and accompanied by mushroom pastries and sweet potatoes.
I made a mental note about how wonderfully C fulfills the concept of less is more. Each plate had just enough to wake up your senses and the whole progression of course to course was more than satisfying.
The pudding a delightful whipped cream and red berry tartle was a delight. For this T brought out some dessert wine.
By now the guests were more at ease and we started mingling more. I chatted with the first couple that had arrived and C was able to come out and mingle with the guests too. Coffee and a trio of gorgeous chocolate petit fours were brought out. Time flew and i really enjoyed talking to C about the cooking side of things and what our plans were for the future. A mini art project began at one end of the table and K and I finally stumbled out the door at around 1 am.
I'm really glad we finally made it to Thyme and I think it's the first of many more visits to come. Thanks again to our wonderful, generous hosts C&T.