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Checking in with the Supper Club at the California Polo Club

June 15, 2011 |  6:00 am

SupperClub A little more than a year and a half ago, I wrote about an exclusive new dining club that had just moved to town called the Supper Club. Run by an affable businesswoman and foodie named Tamsin Lonsdale, the L.A. branch of the Supper Club was the third in Lonsdale's growing business model. The other two are in New York City and London.

I've kept my eye on the club, which charges annual membership fees of between $2,000 and $5,000 for dinner invites to private parties at buzzworthy restaurants, since the story ran. I wanted to see if Lonsdale's idea would take root in disjointed, sprawling Los Angeles to form a community of sorts. And after dropping in on a couple of recent events--a dinner at the Hollywood Tower and a polo match and luncheon at the California Polo Club--I'm pleased to say that it has.

The polo luncheon that took place on Sunday was of particular interest. It was marked by a familiarity among guests that was missing in the club's early days. After all, members have had quite a bit of time to get to know each other. Plus what Lonsdale does best is foster a sense of old-timey formality that naturally draws good manners and pleasant conversation out of those around her.

During the polo match, her guests--dressed in breezy summer dresses and light suits--sipped Bombay Sapphire gin cocktails (Lonsdale gets sponsors to host her bars at all of her events) and oohhhed and ahhhed every time a polo player almost fell off his or her horse or hit the ball particularly hard.

Lonsdale's co-host for the event was a dapper gentleman and polo player named Ebe Sievwright, who strode off the field after the game--still in his polo gear--to join the party. It was easy to have flashes of the film "Pretty Woman." After the match, guests nibbled dainty plates of summer salads, including a tasty grilled Moroccan chicken salad with preserved lemon, almonds and saffron-honey jam prepared by guest chef Tehra Thorp.

Membership in the L.A. Supper Club has grown from about 150 to nearly 250 since last year, while the London chapter has grown from 350 to 500. But for now, Lonsdale says she's all about expanding in America. She has her sights set on opening chapters in San Francisco and Chicago. She also has plans to host pop-up dinners in Miami, the Hamptons and Napa.



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--Jessica Gelt

Photo: Guest Michele Ouellet and her boyfriend Van Alpert. Credit: Evi T'Bolt