AD – This is part of a paid collaboration with L&Q Homes.
Milton Keynes is a hub of development at the moment with plenty of new housing developments cropping up around the city. One of the exciting new developments is L&Q Homes’ Saxon Reach, which is situated near Wavendon, just off Fen Roundabout – if you’re local, it’s the Greg Rutherford roundabout! To celebrate the launch, I collaborated with the amazing team at L&Q Homes to put on an exclusive supper club event for press and local bloggers. It was a really wonderful evening with an incredible menu provided by Nonna’s!
Over the past seven years of my blogging career, I’ve had the opportunity to do some pretty amazing things in the name of content. From being part of Interflora’s London Fashion Week campaign to going behind the scenes at Ted Baker, it’s been a wild ride. However, the best opportunities have been in the last 12-18 months as I’ve been working a lot closer to home with restaurants and businesses in Milton Keynes – and the #SaxonReachSupperClub has definitely been one of those ‘pinch me’ moments and is a testament to the hard work I’ve put into my content. L&Q wanted to work with a local blogger who knew the area, the food scene and was a good representation of Milton Keynes so I was thrilled and very honoured to be asked to be a part of this.
So, in true ‘about last night’ style, here’s the full low down on the event – including all the food!
About L&Q Homes
L&Q Homes is one of the UK’s leading housing associations and developers, managing more than 90,000 homes across London and the South East. Their aim? To tackle the housing crisis want to enable the delivery of 100,000 new homes over ten years. The good news is that half of these new homes will be genuinely affordable to people on average and lower incomes with the other half available for private rent or sale which reflects L&Q’s belief that everyone should have a high-quality home they can afford.
It is a not-for-profit housing association and reinvests the money made into building homes, creating communities and providing a good service for residents. Unlike some housebuilders, L&Q remain a long-term partner in the neighbourhoods where they work and don’t just build homes but aspiration, opportunity and confidence amongst residents through their £250m community foundation and skills academy.
With community being so important to L&Q Homes, it was great that they chose to collaborate so closely with myself, Nonna’s and other local suppliers we used on the evening.
About Saxon Reach, Milton Keynes
Saxon Reach is in progress and is set to become a thriving new neighbourhood on the outskirts of Milton Keynes. The first phase will comprise of three and four-bedroom and the total 225 homes will offer two and three-bedroom apartments, as well as three, four and five-bedroom houses, available through both Private Sale and Shared Ownership. It is within a stone’s throw of the lovely locations of Woburn Sands, Wavendon and of course, is well within reach of Milton Keynes.
Saxon Reach is part of the wider Glebe Farm development, so there are other developers working on the site also. In this development, there will be retail and commercial facilities, a doctor’s surgery, sports and leisure facilities and there will be an extension of MK’s Redway System. Two new schools will also be built here – so it’s a pretty exciting development and one that will continue to grow Milton Keynes. To find out more about L&Q Homes’ Saxon Reach development head to the L&Q website.
The exclusive supper club took place in the Saxon Reach Marketing Suite which ended up being a lovely location for it. It was a lovely sunny September evening and the suite has a glass front so we were blessed with streams of sunlight filling the room and shining a natural spotlight on the beautifully decorated table.
The lovely Flo’s Flowerbox who is a florist based in Woburn Sands, provided the table decorations. Leafy green foliage and beautiful gold terrariums – so up my street! And we even got to take one home which was a lovely surprise. It was a really nice touch to have another local business working on this event.
I was so thrilled to work with Nonna’s Woburn Sands for my supper club. During initial conversations with L&Q Homes about the supper club, I suggested a few local food vendors and restaurants that I really loved to cater for the guests. Nonna’s turned out to be an amazing choice, not only because Damien has a true talent for putting food together and creating a show-stopping menu, but they’re also a ten-minute drive from Saxon Reach. It was great to be able to showcase such a local restaurant. Some of the journalists and bloggers had come from a little further afield so I felt very privileged to show them that Milton Keynes has a fantastic independent food scene. I’ve always supported Nonna’s so it was good to be able to recommend them for something so exciting – you guys know it’s one of my favourite restaurants and think they are a true asset to the MK food scene.
The evening kicked off with a champagne welcome – how else should it start?
The weather was lovely so we were able to meet and greet the guests on the terrace outside before sitting down to dinner. It was really lovely to meet the lovely Jenn from The Wishful Luxury who I’ve been chatting to for ages – look at that HUG. I also loved meeting Jade Vanriel who has a fantastic property YouTube channel and creates content all about property, interiors and shares tips on buying your first home. Other guests included First Time Buyer Magazine, Circus Magazine and WhatHouse?
After a bit of mingling, we sat down to dinner – I’d been looking at the menu all week so I was VERY excited to get started on the food. Nonna’s had prepared a five-course tasting menu which was absolutely epic. They hadn’t just done a meat option either – a vegan one was also created and to be honest, both looked incredible.
First up was a yellowfin tuna tartare with lemon and peach pearls, bottarga shavings, tempura oyster and black olive hollandaise. So fun fact – this dish featured oyster and tuna, two things I’m not usually a huge fan of but hey – they were absolutely delicious! The tuna was almost like beef and was so tender. The oyster tasted like the sea but it was tender with a crisp tempura batter. The lemon and peach pearls added a delicious ‘pop’ of sweetness in the mouth. What a tasty dish! The vegan option was tempura jackfruit which went down a treat.
The next course was one of my favourites – purple gnocchi which is made with a special french potato, date molasses, wild mushrooms and a mushroom floss. If you don’t like mushrooms this is probably your worst nightmare but the woody, earthy tastes in this dish were so delicious. The gnocchi was tender and went beautifully with the mushrooms, which had quite a dense, smooth texture.
The third course was a honey and mustard panna cotta, with pancetta, melon granita and edible gold leaf. Visually, this was stunning! The gold panna cotta really stood out on the black plate. The melon granita was cooling and deliciously fresh, contrasting beautifully with the crispy pancetta.
Time for the main event! The final main course was a fillet of Chilean Wagyu beef with a truffle sausage, roasted banana shallot, truffle and cheese agnolotti and peas in pods with a horseradish gremolata. This was delicious. The beef was tender and beautifully cooked with a fantastic flavour. Truffle can be quite over-powering sometimes but the flavour was woven really nicely into the sausage meat. The freshness of the peas and shallot really helped lift this dish! A winner for sure.
The dessert options were both so beautiful I had to show you them both! They were created by T.Sweetmap who is a local baker creating some truly beautiful cakes that regularly feature on Nonna’s menus. The vegan option was a cherry mousse cake which was adorned with huge chocolate curls. A really stunning dessert! I had the passion fruit and vanilla cheesecake which was really fruity! It had fresh passion fruit on it and was served with a mango and blood orange tea jelly. It was really tasty and a great way to round off the meal. Damien served this with a Moscato dessert wine which had peach and apricot flavours – the perfect accompaniment to the dessert and one of the nicest dessert wines I’ve tried.
The good news is that all the dishes above can be found on the Nonna’s menu – you’re welcome!
As you can see it was a really wonderful evening with lots of good food! I absolutely loved working with L&Q Homes on this supper club – it’s definitely one of of the most fun that I’ve had doing an event! A huge thank you to the team at L&Q Homes and of course Nonna’s for everything they did to put on the event. I’m looking forward to seeing the L&Q Homes Saxon Reach development once it is ready!
DISCLAIMER: This post and the event is part of a paid partnership with L&Q Homes. All words are my own.