Drinks and Nibbles With The Dedanists’ Society, The Estorick Collection, Islington, 5 September 2017

To Islington for a Dedanists’ Society fundraising event to raise funds for the The British Real Tennis Academy.

The event was held at The Estorick Collection…

...housed in a Georgian villa set in its own garden.  The galleries and garden will be open to all.  On show will be a new exhibition of the graphic designs of Franco Grignani (art as design 1950-90) and the gallery's standing collection of early 20th century Italian art.
An example of the Franco Grignani

Janie took most of the photographs. The tale of the evening is mostly well-told in pictures.

An example of the early 20th century Italian art

Toni Friend (not to be confused with her realist/dedanist/husband Tony Friend) joined us for the evening, which was most enjoyable.

Me and Toni posing quite convincingly as proper art aficionados

Actually we spent the first hour or 90 minutes of the evening not looking at the art at all – the evening was blessed with fine late summer weather, so we spent plenty of time early evening in the garden chatting with Dedanists – many of whom I know from the short time I have been playing real tennis. An interesting and pleasant group of people for a party.

There was fizz and some very tasty nibbles – prosciutto wrapped around grissini sticks and some buffalo mozzarella with tomato nibbly-things to help soak up the grape juice.

After surveying the galleries and chatting with people some more, we ventured back into the garden after dark, to find the look of the exterior of the house and the garden even more magical in artificial light. The last few photographs, which we took just before we left, show that magical quality

Some interesting work in the garden too
Janie does her Narcissus thing
See how beautiful the Georgian architecture looks…
…with modern illumination to set it off
One last snap of me and Toni as we leave the beautiful house and garden
I had prepared a light repast at the flat for me and Janie, passing on the Turkish meal which many of the Dedanists went on to enjoy after the party. I was to play real tennis the next day and then spend the following three at Lord’s eating, drinking and watching cricket, so light seemed right.

An Evening At Oklava Restaurant With Lisa Opie and Toni Friend, 24 July 2017

This was Lisa’s idea – she spotted that Restaurant Oklava was doing a couple of special tasting menu evenings and thought that sounded like such a good idea that she would book first, find companions later.

When Lisa suggested the idea a couple of week’s earlier, Janie said yes straight away without checking her diary – whereas I was sure that there was something about that date. When we did check, oh joy, that “something” was the fact that we had booked the day off, either to recover from or as the reserve day for The Women’s Cricket World Cup Final. 

Janie and I were still full of the cup on the Monday evening, until we got into the meal, at which point we were soon getting full with the meal. Modern Turkish food – but this is Turkish as we’d never tasted it before; really subtle flavours and fascinating combinations.

Wonderful menu – in case you couldn’t tell

Each dish was delicious, with the octopus and the lamb in particular being the standout dishes for both me and Janie; perhaps indeed all of us. We enjoyed the wine matching idea, which gave us a chance to try several Turkish wines at a modest additional price.

Chef Selin Kiazim must have been exhausted at the end of the evening – we had a late booking, but she didn’t show it…

…she even signed the back of Janie’s menu as a keepsake to insert in the excellent Oklava book, which Toni had kindly given to Janie a few week’s earlier…

…and even kindly posed with us for a picture or two before we left:

The Girls Monday Night Out Comes To An End

I’d been an honorary girl for the evening. This restaurant gathering, the day after The Women’s World Cup Final (have I mentioned that Janie and I went to that?), brought a very successful girlie long weekend to a most enjoyable conclusion.