Tuesday 6 July 2010

Summer picnic by Fernandez & Leluu at the Henley Royal Regatta

Anyone who's into supper clubs in London knows about Fernandez & Leluu. Simon and Uyen host a supper club at their home (mystery location) on a regular basis, and have obtained quite some acclaim for it. They even played host to the Grand Daddy of Supper Clubs, Jim Haynes, a few months back.

So when I received an invitation mentioning (1) free flowing Laurent Perrier champagne, (2) at a picnic (sponsored by Ryvita), (3) scheduled for a sunny day at the Henley Regatta, with (4) the great Fernandez & Leluu in charge of the food, I dove straight into my wardrobe to fossick for the nearest below-the-knee frock. (Truthfully, they had me at "champagne".) I emerged some time later, covered in dust but triumphant. Finding comfortable, yet suitably glamorous, shoes with heels which would not poke stiletto sized  holes all over the royal lawns of Henley was quite another matter.

Anyhoo, to the food.

I'm just loving this season of sunshine, picnics and BBQs. Fernandez & Leluu excelled themselves with a picnic that had random passers-by stopping to take snaps. It certainly put the surrounding picnics (comprising a few packets of crisps and a tub of hummus) to shame. Northern Rock oysters were freshly shucked and served with lemon and Tabasco to taste - although so rich and creamy were they, that I sucked them up in all their naked, voluptuous glory.

Gigantic Wild Madagascan Tiger Prawns boiled on a neighbouring stove top were also a show stopper, as were lavish chunks of fresh Yellow Fin line caught tuna sashimi (with spring onion in a light, sweet Japanese soy sauce) accompanied by bulging plates of samphire. Seafood was sourced from Fin and Flounder, an independent fish monger on Broadway Market. Cheeses, pates, rillettes and hams (largely sourced from Broadway Market) were loaded up on a never ending supply of Ryvita snacks and fresh breads, and served F&L's potato salad (enough to feed a large army). A hefty platter of red and yellow cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and basil was another refreshing summer plate. If you like the look of the snazzy blue and white plates, they were kindly supplied by Cornishware for the event.

In between helpings, we feasted on colourful bowls of cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes and flat peaches.

I'm a big fan of anything I can lather in butter and Vegemite, and usually this is where my relationship with Ryvita snacks begins and ends. But their new range of crispbreads were on show for us since our picnic was located at the Ryvita stand - we sampled several flavours including a sweet Fruit Crunch variety (which matched well with cheese) and my favourite, the Sweet Onion which went marvelously with some excellent smoked salmon (by Donald Russell) and cream cheese.

Simon had poached some pears in champagne (magnificent with cheese) while Uyen had burned the midnight oil perfecting a gorgeous, layered Cointreau and berry trifle served in glasses at the end of the day. Violet's Curd (of the Hatcham Supper Club) also made some lemon curd cupcakes which I wanted to try all day, but somehow had my snout so far down my champagne flute that I missed them at the end - all reports are that they were fantastic.

A superb day all-round.

Oh, there was some exciting rowing going on too. Apparently.

Fernandez & Leluu were interviewed about supper clubs on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday, and you can see the dates for their next supper club event here.

I attended this event as a guest of Ryvita, Wild Card and Fernandez & Leluu along with fellow bloggers, The London Foodie, Meemalee's Kitchen, Tamarind and Thyme, Feast on Scraps and the Hatcham Supperclub.


  1. Anonymous06 July, 2010

    Wow. That looks amazing... there's nothing better than a picnic on a summers day and that looks like a picnic of epic proportions. You've just given me (yet more) impetus to get to F&L supperclub.

  2. Gutted I couldn't make it; to be honest though, I don't think I would have suitable attire!

  3. Anonymous07 July, 2010

    Not sure what to be more jealous of - the food, the champagne, the dressing up (yup, it's been a while since I've worn anything without sticky baby prints on it) or the fact that it's summer there...
    Sounds like a fun (& yum) day!
    Little Sis xx

  4. Anonymous07 July, 2010

    Damn, sorry I missed it but looks like you all had a great time. Guess they'll just have to do it again (doesn't necessarily have to be at Henley or even near a river, a park will do!)

  5. Hooray for picnics!

    And lovely to have you as my brave travelling companion :)

  6. Oh man, I couldnt make it - sounds just incredible and LOVE the posh picnic, how lovely :)

    Rowing schmowing, I'd have been at the champers with you!

  7. Thanks for a lovely post! It was so lovely to have you there smiling and smiling!

    We should defo do again in park like @winesleuth says - victoria park has water in it!

  8. Looks fab - you should have come to visit us as we were there too! Where were you - closer to the start or the finish? And btw for next year, you don't need a particular length of frock unless you are actually going into the snooty Stewards' Enclosure. Hurrah! Cvvies day at the regatta! ;-)

  9. We had such a great time didn't we? I loved the food, the occasion, and most importantly the delightful company! Lovely write up as always.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  10. FeedetGastro - You've gotta love a good picnic. I'm so excited to see on your blog that you've just been to Puglia - I'm going there in a few weeks so will be reading your posts in depth over the weekend for some tips!

    Lizzie - Oh, wish you had been there. Was a lovely day. The attire was tricky!

    Sis - Did I mention it's summer here? x

    Winesleuth - Wish you had been there, but this is a great excuse to have another picnic somewhere in London.

    Meemalee - Thanks for keeping me company in our sardine like travelling conditions!

    Sasha - Too bad you couldn't make it - I always like to meet a new Champers popping partner.

    Fernandez & Leluu - Thank you so much for inviting me. It was wonderful to finally spend some more time with you and your fabulous food!

    Jeanne - Oh, I wish I'd known you were there! We were near the finish. We had tix to the Royal Enclosure so we had to comply with the pre-historic snoot-code unfortunately. Interesting that there is no cleavage barometer, but knees must be covered?!

  11. Fabulous post! Love the photo with the samphire...it looks like it's going to crawl off the plate! It was great to see you again and I hope to see you again soon!

  12. The London Foodie - Thanks m'dear! It was such a lovely day and fab as ever to see you.

    Su Lin - Thanks! Really great to see you too. I just loved that samphire.


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