Ann my neighbour gifted me a potted bulb of Amaryllis belladonna. It was a farewell 2015 intimate food based Casa Ali gathering in my front room. Ann, Vojko my ex-flatmate, Franz my couch surfing guest et moi. Amidst hugs and laughter and anecdotes and reminisces, Ann brought out this decorative pot boxed with no nonsense instructions. A beautiful thoughtful gift marking the end of an year and welcoming the new. Continue reading Amaryllis… a token of neighbourly love!
One-off and unique, hand-painted and hand-crafted silk dresses for women, like no other. And with a mission! Created by my fine artist friend from Pakistan, Zehra Hasnain, who graduated from NCA the year I joined back then in 1980. It was she who gave my parents the much-needed nudge to agree that arts was the right career choice for me. Little was she to know, art is my way of life!
She was always an urban chic, though having gotten married and in raising her fabulous four sons, her passion for painting took a back seat. Nevertheless she created a home that can only be described as magical. From the sculpted fountains, to the clothes and interior designs, all have her creative signature. I met her recently after a gap of thirty odd years. Her aesthetics continue to transform the world around her. And she has shared her blessings all along with those less fortunate than her. She is now following her heart in a radical way. Continue reading Connections ~ Modigliani Chughtai and Zehra
Having publicised the first Casa Ali supperclub event, butterflies fluttered in my belly. On 13th december as I walked to buy fresh groceries, it was freezing cold and I could not find my gloves for love nor money. A brisk twenty-minute walk to Leslies and back with the heavy bags slung across got my energy going. I was in work mode after that and as the prep got going the butterflies dissipated, cooking took centre stage and the rest just flowed beautifully. Some of the guests knew each other and some were going to share the evening for the first time around my table.
Breaking bread together has an ultimate magic of connecting, however as a host there is always a little ‘what if’ the people don’t click. People arrived mostly on time, however one Continue reading Casa Ali ~ launch dinner of southeast London supperclub
Soothe the soul and lift the spirits…..
You can use these charming handmade lavender filled bags, either between your clothes to scent them and deter moths, or under your pillows to aid a sweet nights sleep! Filled with a heady mix of locally grown lavender and rosemary from my garden.
Casa Ali ~ is a supper club inspired by all those with whom I have broken bread and shared food as a host or as a guest.
Located, south of the river in London, Casa Ali is just 11 minutes by train from London Bridge + a ten minute walk from Norwood Junction. The exact location is a secret (will be given out via e-mail a week in advance of the meal), it adds a little mystery! Continue reading Casa Ali