Play Holi in King's Cross

In March, Lewis Cubitt Square in King’s Cross became the stage for our biggest Holi celebration yet! For the first time, we decided to take the fun outside and despite the slightly imperfect weather conditions (gale-force winds and pelting rain), it was totally, utterly brilliant.

We were joined by a raucous group of 500 party-wallas who unashamedly rolled up their sleeves and got their hands, faces, arms, legs, hair, clothes, EVERYTHING stuck into in a gloriously multi-coloured, powdery mess. We love that there are so many of you out there willing to go temporarily mad with us!

For a few short hours, King’s Cross was awash with bright colour and beaming faces. People of all ages, from all different walks of life came together to share in a moment of complete abandon. It was great to look around and feel such a sense of unity amongst a very mixed crowd of revellers – especially at the moment we released the gulal (coloured powder) and we watched everyone throw both caution and colour to the (howling) wind.

We love Holi. It’s great fun, of course, but for us, there is no greater pleasure in life than in creating the opportunity for many people to come together in this way. It’s true that for many of us, it’s not often that we spend time – much less play-time – in the company of people from mixed cultures and backgrounds. And Holi may have its roots in Hindu culture, but we see no reason not to share its joy with our friends of Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, and all other faiths. For the same reasons, we celebrate Eid, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan and Christmas, and these celebrations are equally open to everyone.

We say it often, but for us, there are far too many barriers in this world; too many narrow domestic walls that divide too many of us too easily. It is only by sharing our cultures that we can understand, acknowledge and celebrate our differences, rather than allowing them to separate us. For us, this is more important than anything.

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There are many varieties of Chai. The kind we make at Dishoom is the sort of spicy, sweet chai you will find at Bombay's innumerable tapris (street stalls), normally poured with great dexterity and skill from arm's length into a small, stout glass. The powerful concoction of milk, sugar and caffeine is what keeps the city running.

Reflections from Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, CEO at Akshaya Patra UK

We began working with the Akshaya Patra Foundation in 2015, supporting them in their goal of ending hunger as a barrier to education in India. Over the years, we’ve developed lasting friendships with the incredible team and had the sincere privilege of visiting many of the schools and communities they serve in India. Last month, we celebrated reaching the milestone of donating 10 million meals to hungry children with Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra through our meal for a meal partnership. Akshaya Patra’s CEO and Trustee, Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, kindly took the time to reflect on the impact of the foundation’s life-changing work.

Thoughts from Rachael Anderson, Head of Schools at Magic Breakfast

We began working with Magic Breakfast in 2015, supporting them in their goal of ending hunger as a barrier to education in the UK. Over the years, we’ve developed lasting and loyal friendships with the incredible team and their partner schools. This month, we celebrate reaching the milestone of donating 10 million meals to hungry children in partnership with Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra. Magic Breakfast’s Head of Schools, Rachael Anderson, has kindly taken the time to reflect on the last six years of our work together, as well as sharing her thoughts on the profound impact the past twelve months have had.

Children sit cross legged at school

10 million meals for children

Since 2015, for every Dishoom meal you’ve enjoyed (whether in the cafés, via delivery, or as a meal kit), we’ve donated a meal to a child that might otherwise go hungry. A meal for a meal. This month, as we reached the milestone of donating 10 million meals, we had occasion to catch up with our dear friends and long-term charity partners, Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra. The work both charities do to end hunger as a barrier to education is simply incredible and we’re extremely proud to be able to support them and the communities they serve in the UK and India, respectively. We kindly invite you to take a moment to hear their reflections on our partnership and on the impact of the very important work they do.