When you think you’ve searched every nook for your next tantalizing meal out, it’s time to head to West Kirby, says Anna Kennedy
The Nook has always been an apt name for the hidden gem founded by Nancy Rhodes in 2014. Originally a Supper Club created with her friend Jorge and held monthly at her home in Hoylake, Nancy embodies a passion for cooking that holds her in high regard with local Chefs, including good friend Michael Wong. Michael was previously Head Chef at the Burnt Truffle, where Nancy originally met him whilst she worked in the kitchen for experience.
When you take a moment to speak with Nancy, now the founder and owner of The Nook Café at 80 Banks Road in West Kirby, you are inspired by her transition from working at her family’s local sign-making company for many years to establishing her culinary mark in the area.
When discussing her achievements, Nancy’s eyes sparkle as she comments “the Supper Club was really the catalyst. It was the thing I most looked forward to every week. It brought together such a wonderful group of people that put their trust in the menu we were serving at my house. It was brave in a sense, and I like the way that these intimate evenings enable solo diners to come along and mingle – removing the awkwardness that can often be felt when dining alone somewhere.”
The Nook at Night
The focus on mingling is something that Nancy’s monthly Supper Club, The Nook at Night, embraces at her café premises today. The set-up for these evenings sees the café tables pushed together to form two long seating arrangements so that guests can sit side by side and speak with new people as well as the friends, family or partners they arrive with.
Plus, there’s plenty to talk about throughout the night as Nancy explains the heritage of each dish on the menu – whether that includes the country or region that a recipe originates from, or the produce that she sources locally from a fantastic network of local, independent suppliers. Guests are often making reminders to go to Wards Fish in Birkenhead market, to seek out the unusual vegetables available at K & N Groceries, or to pick up some fine cuts of meat at West Kirby’s Butchers, A. I. Roberts, at the weekend.
The supper club varies in theme from carnivorous delights such as the January “nose to tail” menu, which involved beef cheek and bresaola (air-dried, salted beef) dishes in mouth-watering succession, to seafood and vegetarian menus.
When discussing the experimentation, Nancy notes “I like to be challenged by new ideas. I really enjoyed our last vegetarian night because I wanted to make sure that every dish was exciting for our guests. We prepared our own pumpkin ravioli and I was inspired by the season to complement the crop of asparagus with romesco sauce and sliced almonds.”
Nancy’s culinary knowledge is far-ranging and it’s this that has inspired her international themes, with the latest being a tour of Spain on a plate – giving guests the opportunity to understand the regional differences in dishes from the Basque Country to Valencia.
If you’re unsure about sharing a table with strangers, Nancy and her team hold weekly tapas nights every Friday and Saturday too. The regularly updated menu of small plates includes authentically made Spanish classics such as Patatas Bravas, Padron Peppers and Chorizo Croquetas, and more experimental fusions such as Paella Arancini.
This weekly addition to West Kirby provides a unique dining experience at affordable prices. The evenings are full of heart and soul and might be a good way to dip your toe into the concept before securing your place at the next monthly Supper Club.
For more information about The Nook at Night, email Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @SupperClubNook for all updates on Twitter.