‘So explain it to me again. I don’t quite get it’, my friend demanded as she peered intently through the misted windows of the Jericho Community Centre at the packed interior, where a wonderfully eclectic crowd had gathered to sample the first of The Field Kitchen’s winter dates. Yes, Oxford’s only pop-up restaurant is back and judging by demand, off to a flying start.

Taking her off to The Bookbinders for an aperitif while we waited for our 8.30pm slot to become available, I explained that Rupert Whitaker runs his own restaurant at various venues around Oxfordshire, sometimes using communal buildings and sometimes private homes.

“Ye-es,” she said doubtfully, using two syllables. “But isn’t that more like a private party?” “Well no, because those people are lending their houses to The Field Kitchen for the night,” I said, confident I’d nailed it. “But won’t they just invite their friends?” she asked.

“I’m not sure, but their friends will have to pay like everyone else,” I continued, downing my pint and hurrying back to the community centre to make sure we didn’t miss our table.

My friend in question is an accountant, so likes everything to be just so. And that’s the thing about pop-up restaurants – they are quite random and that’s their charm, so the ability to fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants and go-with-the-flow is a welcome attribute in their customers.

A man was just leaving our table as we shuffled in, took our seats and peered around the venue in fascination. And as always it was entrancing – people eating, drinking and chatting while a solitary singer serenaded them, and waitresses quietly served Rupert’s superb food.

Luckily Rupert appeared at this point with our starters and I passed the buck to the poor unwitting man who continued with the explanation: “Yes, we have a supper club night in Boars Hill on Tuesday, and two more in here later this month, and anyone can buy them and join in. “It’s a great way of meeting new people too,” he said moving on and leaving my friend looking perplexed.

Let’s just say if she’s as thorough with her accounts as her cross-examination, her paperwork must be cleaner than Tim Henman’s whites.

But all her questions disappeared in an instant as soon as she tasted the gift of a starter – open ravioli stuffed with a butternut squash filling, which I’m still fantasising about. Delicate, absurdly well balanced, and topped with roasted onion seeds, it was the perfect opener, demonstrating immediately what Rupert could achieve in his mobile kitchen outside, and stopping anyone dead who still had any amateur preconceptions about the whole concept.

A couple of passing friends who spotted us through the window, and rushed in to say hello, were then invited to join us by our hosts, and jumped at the chance to be included in what was so obviously a very eccentric and intimate evening.

Next up, and washed down with lots of lovely red wine served in a jug, was pork served with a salsa verde on a bed of herbed lentils, with an aubergine and halloumi version for the vegetarians, and again every mouthful was a privilege, the tastes and combinations evident on the plate stunning us into a mute respect.

The individual treacle tarts with crème fraiche which concluded the meal were little portions of divine intervention, being beautifully spiced and flavoured, with the pastry just the right shade of crispy.

So there we were, £35 a head, job done, and one of the best meals you can have in Oxford. So take your friends, take your family or just sit next to a stranger. It’s a quintessentially Oxford evening and an absolute pleasure to take part in.

07854 809479 thefieldkitchenoxford.com/book-now where you can also pay online or email invite@thefieldkitchen oxford.com Bookings being taken for December 8 and 21 Rupert Whitaker is holding some more intimate Supper Club events during the colder months so expect a glass of hot cider in front of an open fire. These supper clubs will include a five-course meal and will be held at a TFK friend’s home. There will be 16 places available for each date, and to join you simply need to fill out an application form. The exact address will be sent out with your confirmation email as the venue is a private address.

The evening kicks off at 7pm with a hot alcoholic tipple around a fire pit set in 10 acres of beautiful moonlit gardens. You will then be welcomed into the house for supper. Supper will be a five-course set menu, and please feel free to take your own wine. The suggested donation is £40 per head. For more details, visit thefieldkitchen oxford.com/ supper-club, email invite@thefieldkitchenoxford.com or ring 0785 480 9479.