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Movable Feasts - Supper with Strangers

It’s always a lovely feeling when you discover something new, especially when it revolves around food. So when I received an out-of-the-blue invitation to take part in the neighbourhood initiative called “movable feast” my curiosity was spiked.

So what is a movable feast? I hear you say.  Well, It essentially began as a pet project of one of our neighbours a few years back and was a way of spending an evening getting to know people in the neighbourhood over a shared meal.

How does it work? Each participating household prepares just one course of a four-course meal. Participants move to a new venue for each course with the finial house hosting late-night coffee and sweet treats to end the meal. Thirteen homes took part in this year’s feast ensuring that each course not only offered up a new host in a new location but a totally new set of guests to meet.  The only restriction being that the houses all needed to be within walking distance of each other to easily navigate the courses in ample time.

The model is simple. Get to know your neighbours better. Have interesting conversations with complete strangers over a home-cooked meal in a friendly inviting atmosphere.

A month ago I’d never heard of a movable feast before and couldn’t help feel I’d accidentally stumbled onto a secret club for foodies that had been happening in my community for years right under my nose.

I jumped at the opportunity, and come the night, was drooling in anticipation of what shared delicious treats awaited me.   I was not disappointed.

As I live slightly out of the suggested area, I teamed up with a fellow foodie whose house did fall in the recommended walking parameters.  Together, my host on Windmill Hill and I prepared a starter of spicy prawn kebabs and salad for a gathering of 5 hungry neighbours.

Before the hour was up, we all parted ways and went to our next respective courses, all effortlessly choreographed by our main organiser for the event.

After a short 5 minute jaunt down the hill to our second house, my friend and I, dined in a beautiful dim-lit dining room, served up by two gracious and warm hosts.  Dining on Aubergine stew and seeded rice and vegetables.  A good few glasses of wine and a second helping of the delicious food later, and we hastily made our way to the third venue on our list for dessert.

Our third hosts were a funny and charming couple who had been in the area for years and took part every year in the feast.  Their course of homemade rice pudding, marinated orange segments and a raspberry fool was delicious and the perfect finial course to our meal.

Before we knew it the night was almost at a close, with one finial stop on the cards.  The last location on the map allowed for all participants, hosts and dinners to join together for one big gathering for coffee, cheese board, port and chocolates to end the meal.

To say I was contentedly stuffed by the end of the night as I said my goodbyes and climbed the steep hill back home was a understatement.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  Met fascinating people from all walks of life, tasted some fantastic food in the homes of welcoming and friendly neighbours… what more can you ask for?

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