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.
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.