Monday, 6 December 2010

Lucky Soho Gets The Bacchanalian Sunday

By Sophie Atkinson.

In these bleak days of austerity, Soho-based private members club Blacks is endeavouring to revive the aged-old tradition of Sunday lunches, with the help of some of the country's favourite foodies.

Blacks charismatic owner Giuseppe Mascoli has launched monthly Bacchanalian Sundays, which he is hosting with some of the UK's finest food writers and chefs. Guests so far have included Bill Knott and Telegraph food writer and journalist, Rose Prince; and if the rumours are to be believed, the line-up is only going to get better next year. This is also one of the few opportunities that non-members
will get to enter this prestigious Dickensian-style member's only club.

With its townhouse layout, creaking floorboards, roaring fires and Georgian decor, this 18th century house-turned-private-members-club is a dream venue for a three course Sunday lunch. Each host designs, prepares and cooks their dream meal and serves it to lucky diners with a selection of fine wines, handpicked to complement each course.

Our opulent afternoon at Blacks began with nibbles next to one of the many open fires and free-flowing, palatable brut. Guests mingled and chatted before being escorted to Blacks lavish dining room.

During our decadent dinner we were served potted crab and rabbit terrine – the richness of the terrine beautifully complimented by the light potted crab. Our main course – perfectly cooked pheasant with butter-braised cabbage and pearl barley – was enough to cater for even the healthiest appetites and was rich and heavy in the best possible sense. The delicate seasoning kept the food refined, not stodgy, and the differing textures complimented each other perfectly.

Dessert was absolutely heavenly with Rose serving up a recipe from her new book Kitchenella. The deliciously old fashioned toffee milk pudding wasn't much to look at, but the novel combination of bread served with milk and caramel was divine and unforgettable; almost certainly a recipe I'll be looking up for my next dinner party.

This was truly the most divine way to spend a wintery afternoon. If only every Sunday could be like this...