Croydon Dinner Club exploring the borough's Restaurant Quarter
THE RESTAURANT Quarter has taken off in South Croydon, and the many dinner clubs in the borough are a key to its success.
One of the biggest dinner clubs in the south of the borough is the Croydon Dinner Club, which was set up by Christo Matthews, 26, this year.
Mr Matthews said: "I started the CDC because I wanted to get a group of people together to explore some restaurants in Croydon. I love eating out but don't often get the opportunity to explore new restaurants. Making the dinner club open and a form of social networking hub was the natural step, as food is all about sharing!
"I first had the idea in April. I had been to a dinner club in Purley but it was a lot less regular and I thought, this needs to be done in Croydon, we have great restaurants there.
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"A friend then announced it on Twitter so I thought yeah OK, I'll do this. The first meeting we had there were 16 people and the most we've had has been about 32 so we have had a great response right from the beginning, with a lot of people coming to see what South Croydon restaurant's have to offer."
The group meets in different restaurants on the last Tuesday of every month and has tasted food from all over the world while staying in the same small area of the Restaurant Quarter.
Christo said: "We have three aims; to bring together Croydon residents, to sample the many fine restaurants of Croydon and to have a really good time."
So far the club has visited restaurants such as Malcolm John's Fish and Grill, Buenos Aires and Albert's Table.
Christo said: "I really believe in Croydon and would love the borough to step out of its own shadow in a way. People in the borough need to realise that they live among great people, and Croydon won't shed its negative image without residents trying to change things. I love meeting people and a lot of people that have come have said they didn't realise there were so many people in Croydon that you could have a good conversation with over dinner."
There is no membership and attendance is free but because it requires a booking at the restaurant, the events are all RSVP.
Each dinner has its own event page where you can RSVP. You can find out when the next CDC is by going to meetup.com/croydondinnerclub