Christmas Supper Club

by Ella's Menza 

Event & Supper Club Review 

by Aryana Arian

A gush of wind hit my face as I exited the Baker Street station and walked through the brick buildings and beautiful boutiques to get to Shreeji. Shreeji is a magazine/publication store that started as a newsagent and gradually evolved into a highly curated space that showcases a beautiful and diverse range of publications on various topics. Alongside its publication business, it serves coffee and tea and is an event-organizing space. 

The atmosphere was vivid -Christmas trees lit up the quiet street as I walked towards the iconic magazine and newsagent store Shreeji, festively covered with a beautiful Christmas door wreath full of dried oranges, red ribbons, cranberry stems, and pinecones. The shop was dark, closed in business, and open for the event of the evening: the Christmas Supper Club by Ella’s Menza (@ellasmenza)

Ella’s Menza is a Supper Club that was started a year ago by Daniella Jaber, a Lebanese London-based cook whose specialty is bringing to the table her culture while mixing Eastern and Western influences in her cuisine. She started this endeavor which was begun firstly for her close friends and family then slowly expanding into what it is today, a Supper Club with shared meals for close communities. She’s hosted meals for brands, companies, and local communities. 


Tonight, perediza was welcomed by her for her Christmas special and warmly we were greeted by smiles and walked to the back of the store, down the narrow beige steps into the vibrant event space. Shreeji has a warm earthy atmosphere that brings a sense of hygge as the Danes like to call it to the vibe of the evening. Cosy and intimate yet still public and open. 

You feel at home but also like you are still at an event. As I walked in and hung my coats over coats over coats, I was welcomed to a long dining table covered in a white tablecloth, beautifully decorated with the various dishes prepared by Ella. The menu tonight included: 


A diverse combination of snacks & dips to have a variety on everyone’s plates!


  • Starting with the breads: from Sourdough’s, Hungarian sweet bread to baguettes.

  • For the dips, she prepared homemade hummus & labneh from her favourite local store near her house topped with edible flowers

  • An assortment of meats halal/nonhalal with pickled vegetables


  • A big tray of a Ras-el-hanout couscous salad with sultanas 

  • Every Supper Club has a plate of a radicchio assortment salad

  • Trays of a cheese selection, were picked from Ella’s favourite cheeses from France & Switzerland 

  • Ella told us she had so much fun with her little tartlets. She prepared 2 types: goat cheese, lemon zest & onion chutney- and truffle pesto with ricotta

  • Different types of canned Portuguese fish, such as anchovies & sardines 

  • Can’t forget the sweet treats which were Jordanian dates & Turkish delights!


The curation had a casual vibe but with an elevated elegance to it. The contrast of the earthy tones in the space and the table with the red curtains overlooking it built a festive atmosphere that was not overwhelming but rather approachable and familiar. Rooting vegetables on the table brought us closer to earth, nature, and a sense of focus on ingredients, produce, and culture rather than processed matter and density. She did not over-ornament and put Christmassy colours everywhere and this in effect made the Supper Club feel more inviting and comforting. Shreeji’s rustic space matches the food’s earthy demonstration, subtle yellow candles, and lighting. The Christmas comes out refreshingly, through the food, community, and those gathered rather than distracting ornaments. Christmas displayed itself in the colour of the sangria, mulled wine, plates and red curtains rather than in the tablecloth or colour of candles that are conventionally used to communicate Christmas. The non-conventional approach to subtly hinting at red - was a breath of fresh air and allowed us to focus on each other rather than just Christmas.


Photograph by Siviwe Kapteyn on Unsplash

Ella walked in several times to adjust and accommodate guests; it was apparent who Ella was without me knowing her prior to tonight due to her radiant aura and her hands-on approach. Ella radiates friendliness; a welcoming approach, appreciating and speaking to all guests equally. Her role as the host is busy but also aware and present. A difficult thing to usually be able to balance. An aura that aids in creating a more comforting space. 


After enjoying the strawberry sangrias and appreciating the fashionable guests in the room, Ella gave us a speech and welcomed us to the dinner. She described her approach of mixing cultures in her food, the East with the West, and serving Middle Eastern delicacies alongside some British excellence (in her own words). Ella spoke about her connection to Shreeji and why it meant so much for her to do tonight at this particular space. This made me wonder, what is it about Shreeji that is so special beyond its beautiful magazine, publication collection, and event space? 


But before we answer this question, it was time to feast! We all got around picking on the food and the ribbons off the bread, tearing them apart, and sharing them. Conversations naturally flowed amongst us as we were forced to share cutlery and food which was beautifully done on purpose by Ella for the mingling to occur and the family aura to connect us. The food tasted fresh, and it was in the details where the flavour soared. For instance, the olive oil drizzles on the red cabbage and the delicious dates amongst the hummus and couscous. The combination of the plates complimented one another and allowed for a fresh, healthy, greatly balanced platter that felt wealthy in vitamins and all the good stuff. Ella herself mentions that she wanted this supper to be full of food that is good for the body since it’s shared in such a special place for her with her closest friends and family. 

She wants to give good to the people who were good to her all year through her food. I felt that reflected through the tasty olives, soft and luscious bread, creamy and pillow-like cheeses. The meats such as the salted beef were also divinely flavoured, and in reduced size which allowed for more focus on the dips and vegetables. My personal favourite was the yoghurt dip which was thick and flavourful; and went perfectly with the carrots. It wasn’t a conventional Christmas supper at all and that’s what I loved about it. The uniqueness, rawness, and approachability of the food. It made you feel good while also of course looking good. 

Afterward, I got a chance to speak to Zsofia, who works at Shreeji and seemed to have the role of doing nearly everything under the sun: graphic design, social media, barista, art direction, and more. 


“It’s like the most informal formal place,”

she said. “I figured” I responded since that was my impression as well, a space that embodies the concept of business casual. Zsofia went on to say that there’s a bit of a local community around Shreeji, the shops in the street all communicate and work hard and get their coffee there. They are all part of a community together. She named a few guests that dropped by from neighbouring shops. So, the local community is a strong one. Ella and Zsofia are close friends, and they became close due to Shreeji. Since Ella lived around the area, she would drop by for coffee and so their friendship blossomed and so did their many friendships with many others who came for coffee as well. 


Ella said that it’s not meant to be exclusive at all: that the point is that Shreeji brings diverse people together. As well as locals however not restricted to just locals. For instance, she says, many of them have changed locations and moved on to other parts of London - however, they still come back to Shreeji to feel at home and as part of their community. And so; everyone is welcome, and everyone can be part of the community as well. 


Conversations in the narrow beige staircase continued, people sitting on different levels of the staircase speaking amongst each other and sharing stories. A time of joy and community. Local connection, people from neighbouring shops, but also those from the outside who connect with Shreeji and Ella in any other sort of way. 


Their community is not connected by conventional tropes such as university or work -they are connected by Shreeji. And that is what makes it special and unique. 

Even though Marylebone is a place with a certain stereotype associated with it, the people tonight were diverse, they were not here to talk about work, they were open and kind and were connected by their interests. I spoke to people from various work backgrounds and educational backgrounds. 

Shockingly, everyone was so kind and open, and trust me, it was before they knew I was writing an article. It was very different than other events I’ve attended in the area that felt closed, exclusive, and private. It felt distant from that vibe and that was what made me stay so long and enjoy myself the most! 


The Supper Club is not supposed to be exclusive - it’s open - new people and familiar faces.

“People should come for the experience, not the aesthetic,”

Ella says.

She wants people to rip the bread she prepared with their bare hands and communicate with each other sharing serving spoons to mingle and speak. Ella’s curation successfully allowed these conversations to naturally erupt, through the dining table. For that, her Supper Club will mark a special spot in perediza and so we open our community to hers and ask our perediza community to know that next time you want your coffee to go by Shreeji and next time you want to have a shared cosy and special meal to participate in the Supper Club with Ella’s Menza! 

Article by Aryana Arian

Event by @ellasmenza

Venue @shreejinews

Photography by: