• Simon Mckenzie



For years and years I have enjoyed seeing my name in print and reading (thankfully) positive reviews of dinners I've cooked either it be for journalists that I am entertaining or food critics and inspectors often their presence in the dining room unbeknown to me at the time.

Recently I hosted my first pop-up event at Drifters Coffee House and on the list of guests was Vivienne Mackenzie from Henley Life who went on to write a fantastic review of the evening.

This was such a lovely surprise as, although I knew she was part of the guest list for the evening, I had no idea she was planning on reviewing the event.

The evening was a huge success and all the guests loved the food. The atmosphere was fantastic and given the intimacy of the space, very relaxed and informal.

I enjoyed introducing all of the courses to the guests and have learned some lessons on how to better approach how I do this at the next events.

We overcome logistical issues with ease as if I'm honest I was concerned at how we would pull off 5 courses in such a "cozy" environment but it all worked out well for us.

If you were one of the guests you probably noticed a very small chef/waitress working her socks off, this was Evie my daughter who loves getting involved and helping and was so excited when she learned she would be dressing/carrying plates this time round and not banished to the pot wash as normally happens. Don't get me wrong though, she isn't cheap labour at all and she loves that following events she has money to pop down and get some hideous nail creation attached to her fingers which undoubtedly annoys me every time.

Anyway - I digress.

Back to the evening; the food was a success and I was very proud of what I achieved and what we managed to pull off given the space restrictions.

I'm not going to take you through all of the dishes as Vivienne does a fantastic job of this in the review and I would love you to take a few minutes and click the link to have a read for yourself.

I have 3 more events planned at Drifters, the first on Saturday 16th November, a 5 course menu plus Prosecco and snacks on arrival - all gluten-free vegetarian.

This menu has got me really excited, the flavours and textures are going to be really punchy and no meat, fish or gluten included.

The further two dates are Saturday 7th December and Saturday 21st December where I have designed a "foodie" Christmas party night.

I have designed a 5 course menu plus Prosecco and Christmas crackers on arrival. And rest assured, being "foodie" there isn't a Turkey or Christmas pudding in sight.

Link below to all the upcoming Drifters events where you can see full menus and details as well as links to buy tickets. tickets are limited due to the size of Drifters so I'd encourage getting in early if you're interested - hope to see you there.


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