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Supper Club: The Montpelier Basement in Bristol

Eating out is such a pleasure. Food always is, is it not? Having anyone cook for you is the loveliest thing in the world. The time, the care and effort and then the indulgence. Restaurants are lovely, well, they are when they are good. But sometimes they are just too formal. That is why I have come to love and spend more time at Supper Clubs.

Supper Clubs have really come into their own this year. I have not been to anywhere near all that London is offering, but I have been to a few that would contest any good restaurant. Ben Greeno, who I visited earlier this year, delivers clever and deceptively spartan cuisine. Stolen recreates restaurant menus and do it very, very well. There are others too, which I shall blog about soon. The bottom line is, when they are good, they are very good.

It’s not all about the food, the charming thing about these Supper Clubs is the ambience, fun and randomness you’re sure to get at every one. Better again, the BYO wine policies (with no corkage) which allow me to enjoy better wines than I could otherwise afford with my meal. They are that bit more relaxed too, and I love them for that.

Montpelier Basement Supper Club

Dan & Ellie run Montpelier Basement from their lovely basement flat in Bristol. Dan is the blogger behind Essex Eating (although he now lives in Bristol) and Ellie runs Bristol based Pear Cafe. A mini break from London to check it out, seemed like a fine idea. In its first month it scored a mention from Xanthe Clay in the Telegraph, and subsequently from Fiona Beckett. I was sure it wouldn’t disappoint.

Montpeliers Basement Menu

The room is small, cosy and lovely. Welcomed by the hosts and gifted a glass of sherry with Old Dendike, Thyme and Walnut Gougeres. We were off to a promising start.

Montpelier Basement Supper Club

There were two veggies visiting that night, both with me. Dan & Ellie had gone to an impressive effort to cater for them with two homemade stocks for the soup entree, one veggie and one meat, a fantastic (and delicious!) effort from a domestic kitchen.  I think most would have delivered veggie for all. A flavour packed cup of Jerusalem Artichoke soup arrived. Intense and small, a perfect kick start for our palettes, we all wanted more.

Montpelier Basement Supper Club

Another course to go before the main, Baked Cornish Diver Caught Scallops with Tarragon Crumb were tender, sharp and utterly more-ish. Again, a taste, just enough to whet the appetite and wait impatiently for the next course. The veggies had blewitt mushrooms with tarragon and cream on toast.

Montpelier Basement Supper Club

Montpelier Basement Supper Club

Main courses were Pork Cheeks in Bennett’s Somerset Cider or Sage Crusted Capricorn Goat’s Cheese with spiced apple chutney each served with sage, mustard and apple mash and buttered Somerset leeks. No contest here, pork cheeks all the way. They were gloriously tender and rich, the apple & mustard mash providing a lovely lift. I still had room for dessert two. Which is lucky, as there were two.

Montpelier Basement Supper Club

Montpelier Basement Supper Club

Treacle Tart with Clotted Cream Ice Cream Came first, and then a gorgeous Pumpkin Pie, baked especially for Adin, visiting from Brooklyn and in the country for a short time, she had bussed it all the way down from London.

Montpelier Basement Supper Club

Montpelier Basement Supper Club

We finished with a mini quirky cheese course, an umami packed Montgomery’s Cheddar and Bristol Milk Stout Rarebit.

The whole evening was delicious and wonderfully entertaining. Dan and Ellie are wonderful hosts, superb cooks, and know how to throw a party. The suggested donation is £25 – a bargain, I am sure you will agree.

Montpelier Basement Supper Club

The Montpelier Basement is booked up until the end of the year, but they will soon be releasing dates for next year. Do sign up and check it out.



Filed under: Travelling


Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.


  1. Niamh, was lovely to see you at ‘The Basement’. So pleased you made it down for a visit. We had a superb evening, and we’re both so glad you enjoyed it too. Thanks for writing such a flattering post! Dan & Elly x

    • Not flattering, all true! It was such a lovely evening and you guys can really cook! I will be back.

  2. that sounds brilliant! and Bristol isn’t really that far from me :) I love that supper clubs are spreading…

  3. There is something so fun about a good supper club that you can’t replicate in a restaurant. The Montpelier Basement’s menu/cooking sounds absolutely fabulous – I can’t wait to go in the new year. I haven’t met Elly, but Dan is such a lovely guy and so into his food that I can’t imagine it would be anything less than terrific.

    • I absolutely agree, Carly. They are so much more relaxed and fun. You’ve got to get down to Bristol.

  4. Pingback: Supper Club: The Montpelier Basement in Bristol « Topicco – Find, Read, Share

  5. Pingback: Favourite Bites of 2010: Part 2 (Supper Clubs) « eat like a girl

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