….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….
During Good Friday, we decided to avoid the holiday rush by hanging out in our own local park and local eateries.
With Easter & the Royal wedding coming up, travelling anywhere would be Pandemonium!
We discovered the most wonderful “Supper Club”…created by a local Pastiserie that won the UK National Cupcake Competition in 2010. It is a tiny little shop front with only four tables and lots of wonderful Pastische French touches.
The Prize-Winning Cupcake recipe is only produced Once-a-week, so it is in such a great demand that locals would telephone the small Pastisserie to reserve their cupcakes in the morning and pick it up on their way home from work!
It is refreshing to see a Bakery that is founded on really intelligent recipes, good ingredients, reasonable prices while providing a personal touch, away from the Generic globalised chain stores like Patisserie Valerie that are found all over the UK.
The Super Club only serves 4 tables each night from Tuesday-Friday and provided a wonderfully intimate setting.
In such a small place, 4 local youths are trained in traditional baking & french cooking skills as well as giving them real French service training. This was a far cry from many UK chained food service industry where often the food are pre-prepared then heated up, staff are not given real training nor do they possess any real on-the-job skills but are hired on-the- cheap, the venues deliberately kept short-staffed so that customers are left with a feeling like one amongst a million. The dining experience from many UK franchiased eateries are as “processed” as the food served !
At the Super Club, the freshly baked bread served with each course was wonderful and gave the whole place a warm & welcoming aroma as soon as you enter the tiny store.
The Rustic nature of the “Super Club” speaks for itself. We felt more like we were sitting in a small french parlour rather than a restaurant. I loved this “Get back to unpretentious basic” style of relaxed dining!
Because the core business is a Patisserie, there is a B.Y.O policy, bring your own wine or alcohol, there was no up-selling in the style that we are bombarded with in many large reataurants! Many staff at many large chain resturants and pubs are taught or even given commissions to up-sell basic items like bread or drinks, during UK’s economic recession. It was refreshing to be served in a natural but professionally trained way.
We loved the Sustainable element of this small Patisserie business. It is not focussed merely on Profit or Growth. There is an understated economy to the way cakes and food are tailor-made, so there is no wastage. Customer’s expectations are surpassed because people are not expecting the high level of quality provided by such a small place (since many of us, have been taught by chain pubs and restaurants to expect less and less ..)
The fact that there is the focus of the UK no.1 award winning cupcake is a marketing device in itself. But I think another aspects to the success of this small social enterprise can simply be put in the category of “High Quality unpretentious French rustic dining at a realistic price with a touch of the Bohemian” (if such a category even exist officially! ).
**** I could tell you where this place is, but I think it would be more fun if you went out to your own local area and look for “REALLY Sustainable” businesses like this one to support! I am sure there is something like that near you. We just have to change our idea of what makes a restaurant successful and go back to the “pleasure of enjoying one another’s talents & skills” instead of being told what “our pleasures should be” by multi-million marketing campaigns selling generic food, service and dis-Solutions to the world!
Cecilia is a Hong Kong Chinese-Australian Social Entreprneur, Artist, Directors of NGO in Africa, South Ameria, Asia and California who really really likes to "tell it how it is", having travelled to over 40 countries around the world & seen some interesting things every so often.
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