The Supper Club Diaries

Sip, Sup, Style

Jenn Thornton


In 2005, Tamsin Lonsdale was a preparing dinner for 20 at her family home in South Kensington, London—an auspicious beginning for The Supper Club, the cosmopolitan, salon-inspired side project she launched while juggling a jet-setting career as a fashion stylist for Italian Vogue. “I love a good old-fashioned dinner party,” shares Lonsdale of bringing “friends and friends of friends” together over food and wine in a sophisticated environment.

Reinterpreting the salons of an earlier era, when assemblies of high minds and dazzling ideas supported and reinforced a kind of cultural and intellectual social order, the private, members-only traveling dinner club now hosts pop-up events across the world, including one or two events per month in its principal cities of operation: New York, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Each carefully curated experience is unique, but one must apply for a seat at the table, chemistry being alchemy. “It is all about personality,” explains Lonsdale of the club’s “charismatic, passionate, well-traveled, interesting and dynamic” members of different backgrounds, professions and cultures; for every artist and poet is a filmmaker or financier. “The mix of guests is essential to the success of the dinner part.” About this, offers Lonsdale, who met her fiancé through The Supper Club, she is unequivocal.

Who better, then, than Londsdale herself, to orchestrate seating? “I suppose I have a sixth sense for these things!” confesses Lonsdale, who logs hours managing seating plans to cultivate the ideal energy. “I like to keep it fresh, and place guests next to new people with whom they will connect, either on a professional or personal level. Then, for dessert, we move all the gents around the table. . . this way, everyone gets a chance to meet one another.”

But first, there’s dinner. Following a cocktail reception is a three- or four-course meal with options acknowledging members’ food preferences and wine pairings. Often, a winemaker might appear to share a varietal’s attributes, or a chef to introduce dishes. Evenings usually include “a secret reveal”—an opera singer, jazz band, or electric violin performance. Something fun, assures Lonsdale.

With variety the spice of life—and integral to The Supper Club’s winning recipe—events span the gamut, from signature suppers and rooftop cocktail parties to restaurant openings and dinner with artists. There is no cap on Lonsdale’s creativity. She maintains a Rolodex of favorite vendors (florists, calligraphers, photographers, rental companies and caterers) but says, “We never return to the same venue more than once, always offering our members new and exciting experiences.” The club also partners with luxury brands for events, including Audi, Maserati, Maestro DOBEL Tequila and Forbes Magazine.

Los Angeles, which recently hosted The Supper Club’s fifth annual Pre-Oscar Red Carpet party in the Hollywood Hills, has 24 events schedule throughout the city this year. Along with dinner parties in private residences and stunning restaurants such as Fellow, Barbette, Jean-Georges Beverly Hills at the Waldorf Astoria, and Hotel Figueroa, there will be a Polo Tournament at Will Rogers State Park on May 20 and a Summer Solstice Soiree in Malibu on June 23.

The Supper Club Passport Series, meanwhile, holds immersive bespoke journeys worldwide, including a fantasia in the Agafay Desert of Morocco involving vintage 4x4s, mojitos, authentic Berber music, Moroccan cuisine, fresh mint tea, hookah pipes and traditional Bedouin tents. This event—the dinner party of Lonsdale’s dreams—will be reality this fall.

Beyond the splendid venues, artisan fare and engaging company, notes Lonsdale, Te Supper Club underscores life’s most valuable commodities: time and experiences. “We forge memories and connections that last a lifetime.”