Where is the most unusual place you’ve ever had dinner at? For me it was a historic 1969 Victoria Line tube carriage for the Basement Galley supper club in London .
The Basement Galley is one of many supper clubs you can book in London, but it certainly stands out for its unique location. The old tube carriage, which used to run on the Victoria line from Walthamstow to Brixton, is now parked at the Pumphouse Transport Museum.
The museum in Walthamstow isn’t the easiest place to find, especially if you are a south Londoner like me, but the journey is well worth it and now I will tell you why.
I discovered the Basement Galley supperclub last December when I was asked by Eventbrite to attend a dining event in London to feature on their Instagram page. Of all the events I could choose from, I picked this supperclub because…who wouldn’t want to eat in an old tube carriage, right? So I jumped on a new Victoria line train from Brixton to Walthamstow to have dinner in an old Victoria Line train!
I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and a month later I was back at the Basement Galley to take more photos of the space and the food. Today I am sharing these photos with you and I hope I will inspire you to book tickets to this dining experience.
The Basement Galley Supperclub was originally launched by Tom Fothergill and his flatmate Alex Cooper as a series of dinners at their flat in Brixton. The events proved to be so popular that Basement Galley grew to become a bespoke catering company, working with several partners all over London as well as running their flagship supper clubs in Walthamstow.
As you arrive at the Pumphouse Transport Museum (imagine a big parking lot with what look like abandoned locomotives…) you are greeted by Alex, a talented young chef who graduated at Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris and trained under some of France’s top chefs.
The doors open just before 19:00 and guests make their way inside the carriage. A welcome cocktail is offered to the diners as they take their seats: a delicious Woodford Reserve whiskey Old Fashioned.
Most of the diners are seated in the original moquette-covered seats. The tables are nicely set with white tablecloths, red napkins to match the tube’s logo, glasses and cutlery for each course. It’s an elegant set up for such an unusual location.
Alex leaves the tiny kitchen to come inside the carriage, welcome the guests and introduce the menu. The whole event is organised perfectly by Alex and the rest of the staff, who are always on hand when you need them, whether it’s a glass of wine or a blanket to keep warm. The carriage is heated and the doors are kept closed, but obviously draught of cold air come in as the waiters come and go. It was nice and warm when I had dinner there in December, but a little bit chilly in January, so wrap up warm if you plan to visit on a cold day.
Red and white wine is available to order by the glass or by the bottle.
The four-course menu created by Chef Alex changes on a monthly basis depending on seasons and availability of ingredients. The dishes tend to combine French and Scandinavian influences, but always featuring fresh and high quality seasonal produce.
We started with Whipped goat’s curd, confit pumpkin, apple compote, lemon balm, rye bread as the first course. It’s a small dish to whet your appetite and it pairs nicely with the Old Fashioned cocktail.
My favourite dish was this Caramelised grapefruit, roasted hazelnuts, camomile syrup, cured salmon, dill – a beautiful and exquisite pairing of ingredients. I loved the camomile syrup, which added a delicate note to the salmon flavours.
The main course was Curried parsnip, griddled duck breast, smoked porter reduction, roasted beets, fortified berries. I have eaten duck a few times in the past months, but always cooked in a classic French style on the pan and paired with a simple vegetable side. Here the meat was paired with the curry and berry flavours with great results!
The last course, a dessert, was Citrus & rosemary ice cream, crystallized almond crumb, Chocolate & pickled pear tart. Perhaps I would have liked for the tart to be warm as it would have paired better with the ice cream. In terms of flavours though they were both delicious. I really love the citrus and rosemary ice cream, I would love to try and make this at home.
Throughout the dinner I chatted with the other diners sitting at my table, all ladies (two pairs of friends and one single woman). We all crashed each other conversations as you do at supper clubs. I enjoy these environments where you get to meat new and interesting people.
What makes the London Underground pop-up hosted by The Basement Galley different, is that it challenges your preconceptions and encourages you to mix with the strangers sat down next to you, to glug glasses of wine and take refuge in the driver’s seat. This was not your normal passenger experience. [Metro]
The Basement Galley supperclub is also a nice place to go on a date: the small booths sit a couple and can be quite romantic.
At both the dinners I attended in December and January there was a jovial atmosphere and I had a great time. I would love to be back in the summer to see the tube carriage in the daylight and have dinner as the sun goes down.
Tickets for the classic “Underground Supper Club” experience (4-course meal with an Old Fashioned cocktail) cost £45. For more information, visit the Basement Galley website and follow them on Twitter.
Disclaimer: I was a guest at the supperclub. All opinions are my own.