Holi’s great, isn’t it?
Cast your sins into the fire. Throw colours with random strangers, and random abandon. Laugh freely and joyously. Dance. Laugh again. Try to shake the colour out of your hair and try to beat the colour out of your clothes. Enjoy the sight of elderly grandparents, tiny children and everyone in between – all doing the same thing, all covered in glorious technicolour. Enjoy how surreal it is. Enjoy how magical it feels.
In our case, all in a big shed in Hackney. For all of you who were there, you’ll know how much fun it was. There was no actual bhang in our lassi, but everyone seemed as high as kites. People who had never met before were rubbing powder paint in one another’s faces, dancing and improvising a conga. And in a way, I think this is exactly what we need more of in London.
One thing is for sure; London is growing. Our city is getting busier and more crowded. We Londoners are forever moaning about accelerating property prices, and more flash sports cars seem to be racing pointlessly up and down Knightsbridge. And as the city grows, I’d like to think we can make sure that it’s truly a shared city. That all of us find ways to have fun together, to break down barriers, to leave aside differences and celebrate each others’ culture. Even if it’s only for a few short hours, it’s really important. A city that doesn’t do this becomes a nervous and divided city, full of suspicion; a sad dystopia. Let’s never let that happen to London.
So, in that spirit, we promise to keep throwing our Holi parties, if you’ll all keep coming!
Enjoy our little video of this year’s Holi, see the (massive) photo gallery – tag yourself if you were there. And, most importantly of all, come next year!
IT HAS BEEN an annual December habit of mine, these past ten years since we embarked upon this restaurant business, to sit alone, with myself, and reflect on the year gone by. I am grateful to be here in the Permit Room in our restaurant in Shoreditch scribbling and writing, the oddly enjoyable taste of splintering wood from my chewed up pencil smoothed by my decently strong drink.
These are the last few days, the dregs of 2019. It’s my habit to sit here in the Permit Room at this time. I am the be-stubbled and dishevelled regular, cherishing his precious drink at the end of the bar. Weary, I sit here pondering the year, attempting to figure out what it was trying to teach me. What wisdom can I glean from it?
I love to truly understand and appreciate the origins of a dish, and learn how communities have adapted a recipe over time to make that dish unique to them.
We have arrived at a very sad, but inevitable and clear choice. As of now, all Dishooms are now closed to diners.