Fiona Cranston preparing food at one of her supper clubs

Fiona Cranston is hard at work in her Oxford pickle kitchen when we speak, getting ready for her Summer Supper Club Series at Tap Social’s Taproom and Proof Social Bakehouse.

Having just announced the dates in July and August, the supper clubs are always hugely popular thanks to their Japanese inspired menus, delicious locally sourced, home-made food and affordable prices, so get in quick!

And with founder Fiona Cranston having just returned from a food research trip to Japan, she is excited to show what she’s learnt on her travels and put her newfound knowledge into practice.

Tap Social hosting Cranston Pickles supper club

The two dates announced at Proof Social Bakehouse in Kennington (winner of BEST CAFE in the OXINABOX FOOD AWARDS 2024) on July 5 and August 2 will consist of four courses with a glass of fizz “to get the pickle party going” for £40 per head. The two Tap Social Taproom in Botley street food dates on July 23 and August 28 are £25 for three courses.

‘It’s really great to showcase how to use Cranston Pickles in an inventive way’

And although Fiona’s predominantly vegetarian menus are top secret, to give you an idea of what to expect from her Japanese inspired dishes, last year guests enjoyed chilled pickled corn summer soup with house chilli oil and parsley, sticky fried chicken with a Japanese potato salad and pickled red onion (there is a veggie alternative) and slow cooked courgettes with pickled lemon, tomato, chilli oil, red miso dressing and basil!

Cranston Pickle supper club dishes last year

So why this obsession with Japanese cuisine? “Japan is where I fell in love with food,” Fiona says. Having studied fashion at Manchester, Fiona went travelling in Japan and on her return worked on Saville Row in London by day and at Jidori (a Japanese restaurant) by night. “I loved it in the kitchens at Jidori and realised I was enjoying that more than my day job. That’s how the Cranston Pickles idea was hatched so I moved back to Oxford to set up the business,” she explains.

‘now I’m back from japan I want show what I learnt’

As for her recent trip, Fiona travelled all around the country from February – April, meeting up with friends, eating out, attending cookery courses, trying out new recipes, cooking miso from scratch and even hosting a pop-up supper club at a friend’s restaurant. “I didn’t want to leave,” she admitted. “But now I’m back I want show what I learnt. Because they cook so seasonally and really celebrate their ingredients in Japan.

Tap Social supper club by Cranston Pickles

“But now I’m back I’m in full swing and really looking forward to our Summer Supper Clubs at Tap, because it’s a really fun evening out. We compose special playlists and have a mix of indoor and outdoor shared tables where you can meet lots of new people, while using my British heritage and Japanese influences within my own recipes.

‘alongside the menus, there is also a detailed description of exactly where the food comes from locally’

“It’s really great to showcase how to use Cranston Pickles in an inventive way, because it’s not just about pickles, but the sauces, jams and chutneys we make as well.”

lemon posset

Provenance is also hugely important to Fiona, so alongside the menus on the communal trestle tables, there is also a detailed description of exactly where the food comes from locally.

But don’t hang around because these are some of the hottest tickets of the summer!

Book Cranston Pickles Summer Supper Clubs at