Come dine with us

Bristol Supper Club provides a short cut to meeting new friends, while enjoying the pleasures of eating out, explains Chairman Pauline Ellis

How did the club begin and what are its aims?The Bristol Supper Club was founded in 1989 as a non-profit-making gathering of friendly people thoroughly intent on enjoying good food and good company in the many restaurants in and around Bristol. For newcomers to Bristol joining our club is an excellent way to get to know our city, enjoy good food and make new friends.Who runs the club?We have a committee of volunteers from the membership who create a bi-monthly newsletter, which is sent to members detailing forthcoming meals.Our members simply contact the committee member who is host to reserve their place, then send a cheque for a deposit if required, and all that remains is to get to the restaurant on time and enjoy yourself! In addition the club has members who also enjoy hosting meals, but the majority are hosted by the committee members.In what sort of places do you meet?The choice of restaurant is decided by the members of the committee, who all commit to a different restaurant, eg English, French, Italian, Greek, Chinese, but mostly mid-priced and in comfortable surroundings. It may be good value weekday lunches or evening meals, and the same at weekends. Dietary requirements can be handled either by the host, in conjunction with the chosen restaurant, or by the member directly.Do you have any personal favourites?I prefer to host meals on Sunday lunchtimes, and I like traditional English food (Sunday roast) so my two favourites are Mon Plaisir at Clevedon and The Cow Shed in Bristol for good quality food in stylish surroundings at an affordable price. However, most people enjoy new restaurants and trying new foods, so we try to include a mix of old favourites and new destinations in our choices.How many members do you have?Currently the club has approximately 50 members, which is fairly evenly split between the sexes. As a guideline our members range from early 50s to late 60s, some are married but most are single. We do not balance the genders, nor are we a dating club, we simply enjoy ourselves, and the many friendships formed are just one of the benefits of the club. As a relative newcomer myself, I still thoroughly enjoy the ongoing feast, whilst meeting friends and getting to know Bristol.Prospective members are invited to sample one meal chosen from our newsletter before joining the club.What do you have planned for 2011?We are busy all year round, and every year we have an AGM/garden party in the summer.How much does it cost to join?Membership is currently �40 for the first year, and �25 per year thereafter; we offer a special rate for couples at the discretion of the committee. Join Bristol Supper Club through our website at or directly via Malcolm 01179 682494 or Pauline 01275 543529.