Cook one thing
How getting lost in Acton introduced me to Handsome H and Portuguese food. Twenty years later, I make this clams with garlic and coriander almost every week.
These days, dinner is the highlight of my evening. And I like it all the better if I am home, face washed, fresh pyjamas on, book resting on my tented knees, cup of tea in my hand by 10pm. This is how I roll, if not rock.
But it wasn’t always like this. Dinner just used to be the start, didn’t it? The thing you did before, before the club, before the party, before the adventures. Before.
And so it was one summer evening in March 2003. A gang of us, my gang, my London sisters and brothers of the heart, had dinner with Richard’s parents in the panelled, thickly-carpeted dining room of Durrant’s Hotel. There might have been plates under silver domes.
At ten-ish, we saw Dot and Dave off to bed at the foot of the hotel’s grand wooden staircase… goodnight, goodnight, goodnight… then tipped out onto that quiet Marylebone street and into two black cabs to take us to a party in Acton, a party thrown by a friend of a friend, someone whom someone else worked with. The intel was sparse but the intention was strong.
For a start, Acton. We were north London people and this was far far west. London, like so many cities, is a place of cities within cities and you may be familiar with one and entirely unfamiliar with another. Acton might as well have been Aberdeen.
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