An Indian Summer Feast
Hassle Free Feasting
I first found out about the Urban Rajah’s Cash n Curry supper club when I was invited to a supper night. I'd not come across the concept before and thought it was a brilliant way to raise money whilst allowing people to meet together and experience gorgeous home cooked food. I set about organising one for my friends at my house. I wanted to use a small marquee (borrowed from my useful sister!) in our garden to maximise space - I was picturing a balmy summer evening with lots of candles and fairy lights so agreed a late summer date with the Urban Rajah.
The fantastic thing about hosting Cash n Curry supper club is the ease of it. The Urban Rajah provided me with a very professional looking invitation that I could email out to friends and family. I just needed to make sure I'd have friends to attend. It's important to get people to confirm they are coming and send out reminders to avoid any last minute drop outs! We agreed that up to 20 people would be a good number both in terms of the space available at my house and cooking logistics. I met up with the Maharani and the Urban Rajah a couple of weeks before the event to go through all the details for the evening and make sure everyone was clear on who needed to provide what. They were very helpful in steering this conversation as they are seasoned supper clubbers and know all the bits and pieces required to make a great evening, for example thinking about lighting, room dressing, fire pits, tablecloths and atmosphere, music choices, what I needed to communicate to my guests beforehand, etc!
I like entertaining at home and cooking for friends but it was such a pleasure to be planning a dinner party and only need to worry about setting up the tables. On the day of the party the Urban Rajah and the Maharani arrived late afternoon to set up. We'd spent the morning putting up the marquee and laying out all the tables so it was all ready. To create more atmosphere we used loads of fairy lights around the marquee and from the kitchen patio doors to the marquee. We'd also set up some outdoor seating and a couple of fire pits to make a welcoming impression, I was paranoid it might get cold so people would need to huddle round. Instead the reality was what I'd really hoped for it was a lovely warm summer evening so we comfortably sat outside until past midnight enjoying the atmosphere and letting the delicious feast digest. And delicious it was.
I got so many compliments from guests the following week to pass onto the chef. I loved the variety of dishes and the way they were presented in thali dishes made it look really special and encouraged people to try a portion of all the dishes, even if they were a bit different to their usual choice. There was also so much food. Guests were very pleased at the end of the night to take away left-overs, which I can vouch tasted as delicious the next day! My only job once the evening commenced was greeting guests. With the help of a very kind volunteer, Carole the evening ran smoothly. Starters were brought out on trays as aperitifs as people mingled and enjoyed a drink. People bring their own drinks which is another detail that makes hosting so easy. We provided buckets with ice and glasses and then guests just help themselves, it's a relaxed approach and works well.
I didn't have a seating plan as I thought it nicer if people just naturally sit where they want to. Once guests were seated the Urban Rajah said a few words, introducing himself to guests, briefly explaining how supper clubs work and that the money raised on the evening would be going to support International Justice Mission (http://ijmuk.org) helping them liberate people being trafficked in India. Then the main course was served, an absolute feast. The quality of the cooking was brilliant and you could tell it was all home prepared. How wonderful to be cooked for in my own home. To have fabulous friends to share an evening at home but be able to sit back and enjoy being served. I would usually be the one rushing around the kitchen, missing out on good conversation at the table!! The Urban Rajah did not rush us to finish quickly, despite the late hour. Guests took their time, enjoying coffee and wine. The Urban Rajah team worked incredibly hard, tidying up and leaving my kitchen clear. All we had to do at the end of the night was clear the glasses left on the tables and the tables themselves. To sum up my Urban Rajah hosting experience I would say it is a hassle free way of putting on a fabulous feast for friends and family whilst raising cash for a wonderful cause you can't get much better than that.