September: all together great

September’s a big month at the Clapton Pot: both Diana and I have our birthdays within days of each other, and we are practically twins! Oddly we didn’t quite managed to celebrate together… until our Clapton Pot dinner. And what a dinner that was: vast quantities of wine were drunk, plates were polished and all sorts of fun conversations were had.

It was obvious that Ian and Kat would make fantastic guests when Ian contacted us out of the blue some months ago just to say hello, and that he thought what we are doing ” is awesome”. No small compliment from a chef with his own supperclub, the candlestick maker (it is my mission to go there as soon as possible). I had already learnt from Diana’s partner Adrian, chef at Vegan Peasant, that you really shouldn’t worry too much about cooking for a chef: apparently they are likely to be grateful that someone else is doing the cooking for once! Read on to the end if you want to find out whether we lived up to Ian’s expectations…

Funny lady Ilana entertained us enormously with stories of shimmy shamees/chamoix (apparently they are knickers), Anna who works for the biggest man in advertising and dreams of being a copywriter in the industry, and blogger Olenka & her boyfriend Mike, who has just opened a new bar on Hackney Road called The Liquor Cabinet, were all excellent and joyous company.

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We open the autumnal season with this menu:

– a fig and kalamata olive tapenade, served with a loaf of Hackney Wild (sourdough bread) from E5 Bakehouse

– roasted butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za’atar – this is a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, it’s easy to make and predictably delicious (it’s full of tasty ingredients). We served it with a basmati rice and lentil dish, sprinkled with parsley

– a simple desert of pan-fried sliced banana in a rum sauce with a strawberry

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This is what Ian sent us the minute he got home after dinner, with the caption: ‘Food representation of bathroom mirror when I got home last night! ix’


From @Ballantyne_ian to claptonpot: Sunday fun, something’s begun, woa aho, at the Clapton Pot, a wella wella….!!? Many thanks ix

Anna tweeted us: A big MERCI to the lovely @claptonpot ladies for a gorgeous evening. xxx

And from Olenka @hackneybubbleLearnt lots at the @claptonpot – man bags, ho bags and gentrifuckation. Keep in touch y’all…

I think it’s fair to say we all had a fantastic time, and I can’t wait till we all meet up again soon. Drinks at the Liquor Cabinet, anyone?

Violaine – & Diana



  1. Ilana

    It was such fun! A belated thanks to our wonderful hosts, and hope to see everyone soon! Olenka and Mike – knock on number 40 any time! :-D

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