Happy New Year everyone!
I wanted to start the year writing about something warm, cozy and fun, so how about Passing Clouds in Dalston, East London? This hippy-named newish venue on Richmond Road is a collective of artists and musicians. The house, once occupied by the Hackney Gazette, is split on two floors with a stage and bar on the bottom floor and another bar, DJs and film-screening areas on the top floor. The club is furnished with a mishmash of fabulous makeshifts objects, and offers an eclectic programme of funk and reggae nights, drum workshops, golden oldie film screening, jam sessions - and every Sunday, "the People's Kitchen."
You can come to "the People's Kitchen" on Sundays to chop, peel, dice and cook food collected from Spitalfields Market and local businesses, which would otherwise have been thrown away. And so, you can eat a leek and courgette tortilla or a bowl of spicy aubergine pasta, curled up in one of the worn velvet and leather armchairs in front of a film or later, grab a plate of bread and cheese before settling in for the evening's jam session. And the food is free (although they ask for donations). Bliss!