Today Sara, our project lead and founder, went to lunch at the cafe at St Paul’s Learning Centre, that is run by FareShare SW’s Surplus Supper Club. Here’s what she thought!!
I was invited to this lunch a couple of weeks ago and was excited to be going as it is run by our Food Route Local collaborators FareShare South West through their catering arm, the Surplus Supper Club. The concept is that food that FareShare are donated is used to provide lunches for people to buy at a ridiculously reasonable price, whilst creating both jobs for local people and putting some money back into FareShare SW making it a far more self sustaining charity. So off I trundled in the freezing cold to the cafe which is situated within St Paul’s Learning Centre.
I really like the cafe space in the Learning Centre as it’s bright and airy and there are full length windows so you can watch what is going on outside in the rich and diverse community of St Paul’s. The tables and chairs are a great miss mash of up cycled furniture and all the tables have fresh, British grown flowers on them and info about the Surplus Supper Club. We went up to the canteen style counter first and I was both amazed and delighted at the range of hot lunches available, amongst which were prawn paella, onion tart with artichokes and olives and toad in the hole. I plumped for the tart and my guest went for the toad. Neither of us were disappointed!!
The onion tart was on a rich buttery base and the onions had been sweated down with balsamic so they were deliciously sweet, with the artichokes and olives adding a touch of bitterness that was just perfect to balance it all out. The toad in the hole, I am reliably informed, was equally as delicious, with light and tasty Yorkshire pudding encasing perfectly cooked chipolatas on a bed of creamy mash with a rich gravy.
What shocked me more than anything was the prices!! These dishes were delicious and the cost in total for us both to eat would have been £6.50. The prices are set at veggie main courses are all £3.00 and anything with meat in is £3.50. Both of us considered that was a complete bargain as the food was not just delicious but the quality seemed to be really high too.
What it is important to remember is that if initiatives like these didn’t exist this food would be headed for bins and in many cases landfill which seems extraordinary when you are invited to eat such wonderful food which there is absolutely nothing wrong with whatsoever. Having chatted with both FareShare and the Surplus Supper club crew it seems that often this food is going to waste purely because it might have been labelled incorrectly or has simply been over ordered by warehouses.
So if you are in St Pauls, or within walking/cycling distance of it for lunch, I strongly recommend this cafe. Not only will you get a delicious lunch, but the busier they are, the more food is saved from landfill!!
Thanks Sara. We are also aware that the Surplus Supper Club can cater for events, large and small, so if you would like to get in touch with them they are on Facebook, on Twitter @surplussupper and their website is surplussupperclub.org