The Hemsby Dining Club
Six times per year, a group of friends meet for dinner at restaurants in or around Bristol. The date and venue for the meals are decided deterministically by a one-shot vote, requiring minimum effort from those invited. The result is a peripatetic dining club.
How it works
Each meal is arranged according to the constitution. However, the most concise summary of how things work is given by reading the following text that accompanies each poll as instructions.
- 🗳 There are two simultaneous votes — one for the date and one for the venue. Vote for all venues that you like and all dates that you can make. You can change or delete your choices before the poll ends.
- 📅 The winning date will be the earliest one with the most votes at midday on Thursday. The winning venue will be the first option with the most votes from those who can make it on the chosen date.
- 🍻 The meal will be booked for 7pm, with drinks beforehand at a pub to be announced. If you have pub or restaurant suggestions of future polls, please let me know.
- 📡 Pass the URL of this poll to anyone else you want to invite, so that they can vote too.
We use Doodle to run the actual poll. We may not always in the future, partly because it's packed with ads. The Wikipedia article about Doodle mentions some competing products. However, Blenchly has written the Bloodle front end and back end too, and we're likely to move to this.
What about the pandemic?
In England, the government announced a lifting of restrictions on eating out on 19 July. Given this, and exercising the caution we should given the potential size of our group, we expect the next poll to take place on 12 October for a meal out in November. Fingers crossed!
Essential HDC facts
A typical meal is attended by nine diners. Over the four meals since September 2019, seventeen different people have ever attended and thirteen different people have ever voted. The club is named after a venerable ferret, though other names have been suggested ('The Curried Function', 'The Pie-Combinator').
The next poll
The following list of twelve restaurants is, in the correct order, those to be presented in the upcoming poll. Shown after each venue is the automatically-chosen pub for drinks beforehand, then its constitutional status, finishing with R3, the score used for its ordering. You can consider this score the group's expressions of enthusiasm for the venue. Note, however, that this rating doesn't only reflect group opinion about a restaurant's suitability for a big group, but also how willing poll participants are willing to travel to eat there, among other factors. It should therefore not be understood as a general expression of quality.
The symbol ★ denotes restaurants that we've visited the most, and, among those remaining, the symbol ☆ denotes those that we've collectively decided is worth a return visit.
- Noodle Bath, 39 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 1EN: to appear in the next poll; has never been selected.
- Indian Fast Food, 210 Cheltenham Road, Bristol BS6 5QU: drinks beforehand at The Hobgoblin 310m away; to appear in the next poll; has never been selected.
- Phở, 28 Clare Street, Bristol BS1 1YA: drinks beforehand at The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer 260m away; to appear in the next poll; has never been selected.
- Izakaya, 39 College Green, Bristol BS1 5SH: drinks beforehand at The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer 320m away; to appear in the next poll; has never been selected.
- Dev's Kerala, 180 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8NU: drinks beforehand at The Hobgoblin 710m away; to appear in the next poll; has never been selected.
- Beirut Mezze, 13a Small Street, Bristol BS1 1DE: drinks beforehand at The Bank Tavern 140m away; all meat is halal; to appear in the next poll; has never been selected.
- Dhamaka, 15 Clare Street, Bristol BS1 1XH: drinks beforehand at The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer 260m away; 🆒 won last; has been selected once; received six votes in favour out of eight possible votes ∴ R3 = ¾ = 75 %.
- ★ Urban Tandoor, 13 Small Street, Bristol BS1 1DE: drinks beforehand at The Bank Tavern 150m away; all meat is halal; two polls remaining; has been selected twice; received fifteen votes in favour out of twenty-four possible votes ∴ R3 = ⅝ ≈ 62 %.
- Real Habesha, 146 Stapleton Road, Bristol BS5 0PU: drinks beforehand at The Duke of York 620m away; two polls remaining; has never been selected; received five votes in favour out of eight possible votes ∴ R3 = ⅝ ≈ 62 %.
- Koocha, 10 Zetland Road, Bristol BS7 8AD: drinks beforehand at The Hobgoblin 110m away; an exclusively vegan restaurant; one poll remaining; has never been selected; received eight votes in favour out of seventeen possible votes ∴ R3 = 8⁄17 ≈ 47 %.
- Suyuan, Grove Avenue, Queen Square, Bristol BS1 4QY: drinks beforehand at The Ostrich 210m away; an exclusively vegetarian restaurant; one poll remaining; has been selected once; received eleven votes in favour out of twenty-four possible votes ∴ R3 = 11⁄24 ≈ 46 %.
- Raj, 35 King Street, Bristol BS1 4DZ: drinks beforehand at The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer 20m away; one poll remaining; has never been selected; received seven votes in favour out of seventeen possible votes ∴ R3 = 7⁄17 ≈ 41 %.
The following venues have expired from the process, having failed to win a poll three times in a row. They may, however, be suggested for inclusion again, especially if they received a relatively high score. If you'd like to see these added to the list of 'active' venues then please let us know.
- Chilli Flake, 69 Clarence Rd, Redcliffe, Bristol BS1 6RP: expired; has never been selected; received eleven votes in favour out of twenty-three possible votes ∴ R3 = 11⁄23 ≈ 48 %.
- Mayflower, 1a-5a Haymarket Walk, Bristol BS1 3LN: just expired; has never been selected; received eight votes in favour out of twenty-four possible votes ∴ R3 = ⅓ ≈ 33 %.
- 4500 Miles from Delhi, 8 Colston Avenue, Bristol BS1 4ST: expired; has never been selected; received four votes in favour out of fourteen possible votes ∴ R3 = 2⁄7 ≈ 29 %.
Historically, the favourite pub for pre-dinner drinks is the Seven Stars. With a lot of people, plans to meet before the meal at a pub can often get complicated. So, if we know of one, we suggest meeting at the nearest pub within 800m of the restaurant, so we have a definitive meeting place with at most ten minutes' walk to wherever we're eating.
To do this, we maintain a list of our favourite pubs, which currently comprises the following seventeen pubs: The Seven Stars; The Apple; The Bank Tavern; The Hillgrove; The Highbury Vaults; The King's Head; The Barley Mow; The Duke of York; The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer; The Hope and Anchor; The Old Stillage; The Golden Guinea; The Colosseum; The Hobgoblin; The Lansdown; The Ostrich; Left Handed Giant Tap Room.
This list is by unanimous consensus, at least from those preferences which have been expressed. That is, any regular diner can veto a pub's inclusion on the list. For this reason, requests to add or delete pubs are welcome.
The mailing list
To be informed of upcoming meals by email, join the announcements mailing list. This is done by sending a blank email message to
firstname.lastname@example.org. You should of course know one of us! If we're unlikely to recognise you from the name and email address in your request to join, it might be a good idea to drop me a line first, so that we know to approve your subscription. And, if at any time you're no longer interested in attending, you can discreetly unsubscribe from the mailing list by sending a blank email message to