What Exactly Is A Progressive Dinner?

As is to be expected Lin has once again come up with a topic for which I had to do some research. I had never heard this phrase before. Thankfully the research did not take too long and I found exactly what I was looking for in Wikipedia. Since Wikipedia is quite clear in its explanations, I simply copy paste their version and leave my comments to another aspect of entertainment later in this LBC post.

“A progressive dinner (US) or safari supper (UK) is a dinner party with successive courses prepared and eaten at the residences of different hosts. Usually this involves the consumption of one course at each location. Involving travel, it is a variant on a potluck dinner and is sometimes known as a round-robin. An alternative is to have each course at a different dining area within a single large establishment. In a safari supper, the destination of the next course is generally unknown by the participants, and they have to decipher a clue before moving on. In the USA, participants go to each house for the various courses. Often there is a regional theme for each dinner, such as Italian, German, or French. Various wines to suit the courses are often served at each location. A challenge is keeping the food warm and ready at each location. An alternative is to have the courses at different restaurants.
This style of eating has recently become popular as a charity fundraiser in rural Britain and is seen as a good way of meeting different neighbors in the community by virtue of each participant having separate guests.”
~ Wikipedia.

I have never been to a Progressive party and I am in no condition to experiment with one. I can safely leave that for younger people. In my time, something similar to progressive dinner would have been what we called pub crawling which on occasion turned into home bar crawling after the pubs had closed down. We would go from one home with some stock of booze to another till we had had our fill. I haven’t done that either in decades and do not visualize doing that ever again.

Anyway, thanks Lin for introducing me to another very interesting concept in entertainment.

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34 Responses to What Exactly Is A Progressive Dinner?

  1. Ursula says:

    At the risk of being thrown another breadroll and/or chapati in my direction (by Lin) I agree: Lin does come up with the most obscure. That’s the artistic temperament for you (with matching moods).

    if it’s any comfort to you (not that it will) I too had never heard of “Progressive Dinners” either. You do know the flaw, don’t you, changing location with every course, and as so vividly and amusingly described by your pub crawls? Let’s just say it’s not user friendly to those who like to top up their half full glasses.

    Still, having dinner with the host and guests being assigned one course each can be fun. Once. Mine was the starter. A hard act to follow. But at least we were all sitting down, rooted to the spot.

    Ursula recently posted..Bitch on the Blog

  2. Looney says:

    I will take that as a correction. I had thought that a Progressive Dinner was a $10,000 per plate meal like they have regularly here in California for fund raisers. This is generally done to support a Progressive Politician, who gives a speech about making the evil rich pay their fair share. Obviously I have too much politics on the brain compelling me to this Freudian slip.
    Looney recently posted..Memrise and Chinese

  3. Dun-Na-Sead says:

    Ah yes, pub crawling. The regular pubs till 2 am, the “matchbox” from 2-4 am, the south train station from 4-6, (me as the designated driver) breakfast at mcdonalds, then a 12 hour rehearsal, concert, chinese food after, watching the highlander at midnight since I couldn’t sleep, and falling asleep in the bathtub at 2 am again. it’s really sad how almost normal my life has become since my grad student days. Although we still do occasionally play the walnut game- if the audience just can’t be gotten involved, no matter what you do, you pass a walnut around on the stage. anyone leaving the stage with the walnut has to buy drinks.
    ps. ursula, I’m amazed that you commented on artistic temperament.
    Dun-Na-Sead recently posted..What Exactly Is A Progressive Dinner?

    • Ursula says:

      Lin, you recently left a comment on Ramana’s blog. No doubt the comment was heartfelt. Though how Ramana, of all people, deserved that is beyond me. I got a special mention. Thanks for that. However, you will appreciate that I now dare not walk on eggshells lest I break yours. So, just to clarify, here is a question: Why are you “amazed” at my mentioning “artistic temperament”? Then, maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to answer in a way as not to displease you.

      Other than that I will take up the subject of “artistic temperament” in one of my next blog posts. I hope you will join the discussion. Aren’t you a musician?

      Looking forward to your reply,

      Ursula recently posted..Bitch on the Blog

    • The walnut is a new one for me too! Nice to know that you had some fun like most students have.

  4. Linda P. says:

    I’ve been to many progressive suppers when I was young. The Southern Baptist Church my family attended frequently held them. We all lived close together–four of the five families living on my short block attended the same church. Of course, since it was Southern Baptist, there was no worry about drinking and driving. It was a refinery town, with most people making the same lower middle class salaries, and this meant no one had to spend too much to feed those who attended. Lots of opportunities for prayer might also have been one draw for them, as there was prayer before the offering at each house! Another benefit: if someone was known to be a terrible cook, you could just skip that course!

  5. shackman says:

    I did a few pub crawls in my college days. They were interesting to sah the least
    shackman recently posted..What exactly is a progressive dinner? LBC 02/23/2016

  6. Big John says:

    I thought that a ‘progressive dinner’ was a starter at ‘KFC’, main course at ‘Pizza Hut’, dessert at ‘McDonalds’ and coffee at ‘Starbucks’ with drinks at any pubs that you pass along the way. Noel Coward would have loved it … 🙂
    Big John recently posted..“There is no sin so great as ignorance”… Rudyard Kipling

  7. tammy j says:

    we had them when I was young and we lived in Virginia that year.
    they are fun. each house you went to served a different course…
    then you piled in the car and went to the next house.
    ending with dancing and dessert at the last house.
    I thought they were fun. but then I was a kid.
    nowadays it seems like a lot of work! 🙂

  8. Andy and I joined a Knife and Fork Club when we first got here. Different four couples would get together once a month, one would host, one would bring the salad, one the main course, one the desert. It was a great way to meet a lot of people without too much work. But I’m with tammy, not our cup of tea any more.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..No Longer Politics as Usual

    • Such parties are called either pound parties or pot luck parties here. Inherited from the British who had these all the time. A pound party would imply that each guest would bring a pound of something or the other.

  9. I went to a progressive Christmas party this year – cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at two houses and desserts at the last. It was a lot of fun. We’ve sign up to be on next year’s circuit.
    Secret Agent Woman recently posted..Ireland, Day 8: Ennis

  10. Grannymar says:

    In cold wet Ireland having to move from house for every course of a meal would certainly put a damper on the evening. A Pot luck supper is a much better idea. I am looking forward to a rather special family Pot Luck lunch in July, with contributions from three generations both male and female. We are blessed with exceptionally talented and imaginative cooks… I am hungry already.
    Grannymar recently posted.. Life has been busy

  11. Dick Klade says:

    It’s been years, but we have attended both progressive dinner and cocktail parties as part of newcomers activities. They indeed were good ways to make new acquaintances.
    Dick Klade recently posted..Robotic Robbery

    • You are among the few commentators who know what it is about. I suspect from what I gather in the comments, that it is confined to some parts of the USA and to some communities.

  12. Kaitlin says:

    I have not been invited to many of these, but your post made me smile. We had a number of interesting events when we first moved to our current house. People would knock on our door for a given course of an event – for food – something we knew nothing about and we’re not invited to. Not sure what address they wanted! So, maybe they still happen (10 years ago?)!

  13. wisewebwoman says:

    Yes, I’ve partaken but in the end, most were drunk as the wines served with each course were over the top and it was pre-designated driver days.
    wisewebwoman recently posted..Deep Thoughts

  14. nick says:

    I’ve never heard of either progressive dinners or safari suppers. They’re certainly not a culinary tradition in these parts. Personally I would rather stay put in one place than go traipsing from one house to another, but different strokes for different folks etc.
    nick recently posted..Suck it up

  15. Cathy in NZ says:

    Sometimes a progressive dinner occurs a long a street of eateries – where long tables adorn the kerb/footpath – and you go from one place to another eating your fill – usually it’s some sort of charity dinner where you pay up front…

  16. Mother says:

    Wow, we had rip-roarin’ times with these in our day. We perfected them by writing clues to where the courses would be held and then guests in teams to find their dinner. At one point we even sold these dinners at charitable auctions with soup from a witch’s cauldron in a cemetery and a main course set up on an vacant lot on a busy street corner. Fun days!
    Mother recently posted..The Time Has Come

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