A decade before Horton and I started our home restaurants, sparking the new wave of supperclubs in London, David Clasen was doing the same thing every first Saturday of the month in South Kensington.
We are seated, after a selection of amuse-bouches, in traditional style, alternately man then woman. Halfway through the meal, the ladies stood up and swapped tables, a great way of getting to talk to everybody.
The guests, interesting conversationalists, are older and better off than my crowd. The exception, along with me, being a young man Jont, playing ‘inter-course’ songs, strumming on heartfelt guitar, who specialises in house concerts.
There were excellent matched wines (I loved the Bourgogne Chardonnay 2005 Jean Grivot)with every course, water from Les Vosges, an area of France that is mostly unknown to British tourists…
David calls this ‘a slow burn’. He’s gradually perfecting his skills to start his own restaurant which will be part-time. (Contact him if you know of any A3 premises available in central London). He has worked as a commis chef for various restaurants, but he didn’t want to be a full-time cook. Like me, he’s never done catering college. He describes his food as ‘aggressively seasonal”. Every menu is different. His other passion is singing.
The cheese board, including one of the first Vacherin cheeses of the season, was stunning, a real treat. We finished with Tomtom coffee and sweetmeats…the owner of Tomtom coffee was sat next to me. He also owns a cigar shop, one of the few public places you are allowed to smoke indoors, and regaled us with funny stories of ‘working ladies’ in his area.
The warm atmosphere, careful management of the evening, skillful cooking and well chosen wines make First Weekend a must visit. Contact David at www.firstweekend.co.uk