What's the Xenia Social Society all about? | Shoptalk | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

What's the Xenia Social Society all about?

A collective of creative women brings you two nights of dinner in a mystery west end location

click to enlarge What's the Xenia Social Society all about?
Xenia Social Society's Ceilidh Sutherland, Islay McNabb, Katie Tower and Nicole Raufeisen

“Xenia is the Greek goddess of hospitality,” says Ceilidh Sutherland, co-owner of Field Guide and Highwayman, and co-creator of an immersive dining experience that debuts next week. Xenia Social Society is the brainchild of Sutherland and Katie Tower—the designer behind the branding of Sutherland’s restaurants—inspired by a shared desire to bring some of Halifax’s unused, vacant spaces to life.

“We became friends because we had an idea to do a dinner series. We’ve known each other for almost six years and we’re finally doing the thing we said we were going to do,” says Sutherland. “The space is a huge part of the inspiration, the immersive part. It’s not a space that already houses a restaurant, so we’re bringing in every single element—it’s completely empty. It’s a challenge, but when you put limitations on yourself it forces you to get really creative.”

As you can probably guess, the venue for Xenia’s first dinners (Tuesday, November 28 and Wednesday, November 29) is top secret. But some other key details aren’t: Tickets are $120, they’re only selling 40 seats per night, there’ll be six courses complemented by wine pairings from Little Oak's Nicole Raufeisen and Field Guide cook Natalie Rosen will be helming the kitchen.

“We’re calling it uncomplicated food from the heart. I’m really excited to be able to showcase what she’s excited about,” says Sutherland of Rosen’s menu. “I think it’ll be really delicious and exciting while still being accessible, without being the over the top.”

“This specific dinner, it’s completely hosted by women. Every person putting in work is a woman.”

The Xenia squad hopes this is the first of many like-minded events, though the location will be kept under wraps each time they won’t necessarily always centre on food.

“It’s about the whole experience—not this chef’s dinner or this sommelier’s dinner—it’s about all of us as a group.”

Reserve your seat here.

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