Our first Wivenhoe Pop Up Restaurant!

DSC_0900So, we’ve successfully held our first Wivenhoe Pop Up Restaurant in the front room  of our little cottage, where my wife and I live (with our equally eccentric housemate, Croppity, who reminds us so much of Manny from Black Books…).

The recipes I write on this blog are honest and work for 1, 2 or even 20 people. I’m not going to lie and say it went totally smoothly: despite my staggered start times, everyone turned up at once (probably due to my chaotic time management); and my scallops shrank when I pan-fried them, rather more than I predicted they would ( I’ll be changing suppliers). But the atmosphere and response to the food was fantastic – as the wine flowed, some of the diners even belted out Irish folk songs!

You will probably recognise a few dishes – the rest will appear soon on the blog.


Salad of tea-smoked wild duck breast with a honey & apple balsamic dressing

Seared scallops with brandy cream sauce

Home-grown tomato & basil soup served with 
home-baked bread


Honey, lime & ginger roasted pheasant, served with steamed vegetables

Venison casserole served with rich buttery mashed potato & home-baked bread

Wild mushroom risotto


Apple & wild blackberry crumble, served 
with clotted cream

A selection of British cheeses, home-grown grapes, & biscuits

pop up restaurant set up

The 13 diners would fit snuggly in our front room

The day before was spent cleaning the house (you would not believe the amount of dust that you can find in a 16th-century timber-framed cottage), and rearranging the furniture so we could fit all our guests  in. I then drove  back to the farm in Epping for a photoshoot for a friend and then back to the “mouse house” (as Abby calls the cottage), and flopped into bed at 1am.

On the actual day we sat down 13 guests (‘unlucky’ I hear you all, say, but on All Hallows Eve I think you can get away with that.) I was bloody worried that they would not appreciate my food, but our customers showed a true sense of adventure. The first course went out and thankfully there were no walkouts. When the empty plates came back into the kitchen, practically licked clean, I knew it was going to be ok.

So at the end of the night, Abby and I sat back, a glass of wine in each hand, and Abby says to me: “We should do this every day – that was great”. I told her that the novelty does wear off, but I had a great time and so we will continue on our madcap culinary pop up adventures. Next stop: potted partridge.

If you liked this post and would like to help put Wivenhoe on the map, please vote for me in the national blog awards here.


2 responses to “Our first Wivenhoe Pop Up Restaurant!

  1. Pingback: Snipe shooting in Scotland | The Shotgun Chef·

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