The back garden that's been turned into a pop-up restaurant

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The back garden that's been turned into a pop-up restaurant

A couple have turned their back garden into a temporary restaurant.

Sian Astley has been hosting supper clubs in partnership with some top chefs, writes the Manchester Evening News.

She has hosted Argentinian barbecues, Spanish feasts and Middle Eastern banquets.

Before the coronavirus lockdown Sian would welcome guests inside her home but the supper clubs have now shifted into the back garden to comply with local restrictions.

Sian has lived in the house in Fallowfield, Manchester, since 2006 and has been renovating it with the help of her partner for the last four years.

She is the well build project manager for makeover shows including Your Home Made Perfect, Getting the Builders In and Property Ladder, as well as running her own interior design company and blog,  Moregeous.

The events have been taking place despite the building’s ongoing renovations, with chefs operating out of make-shift kitchens or cooking over an open flame outside.

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Sian says: “It was about finding chefs locally who don’t necessarily have restaurants but who just love what they do.

“It’s been a way to bring them income lately, and a way to connect different people.

“We had a lot of big plans for this year and it hasn’t gone quite to plan! But at least we’ve managed to keep feeding people and making a positive in a time when things can be quite negative.”

The supper clubs have faced a wave of criticism on social media in recent weeks and have even been inspected by police.

Sian said: “We’ve taken a lot of stick on Twitter because of what we’re doing but we’ve been checked by the police and we’re all good to carry on as we are. 

“It’s a very challenging time for all of us, and if it continues over the next few months and into winter, people will get frustrated.

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“People are angry with life at the minute, with the virus and the government and the restrictions. I just think people needed to lash out.

I can understand the anger because people see it as us getting around the rules to have a ‘middle class dinner party’. That’s not the case at all.

“We’ve not decided to do supper clubs as a way to get our mates round – these are paying customers and it’s a lot of work.

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“I can understand if people haven’t seen their family for six months, why can someone host a supper club in their garden? But the rules are contradictory at the minute and that’s not down to me, that’s down to the authorities.

“Having the police here was a bit shocking, especially for our guests, but it’s so good that they came. I’m glad they did.

“They looked at our risk assessment, how we were distancing people, the measures that we have in place, and they said that we were good to go.”

The supper clubs are all BYO, as the venue isn’t licensed, with tickets normally priced at around £40 per person.

She says that despite the unusual location – part residential property, part building site – the supper clubs have been well-received by those who have visited so far.

Sian added: “A lot of the people who have come to us have said that they feel safer here than they do when they’re eating out, and that’s such a testament to the hard work we and our chefs have put in.

We’re following all the rules that a pub garden would have to follow but without us selling any alcohol.

“We tick all the boxes to keep people safe.”

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