“An installation of an underground speakeasy I pop-up in my studio/home every now and again”

Something a little special for my first post – a little review of a dinner I had the other night with my good lady at The Pale Blue Door, Tony Hornecker‘s pop-up restaurant on Glebe Road in Dalston.

A friend at work had been with a friend to Hornecker’s eatery last time it was in London in 2009 and was therefore notified by email that it was back in town. Started just over a year ago, the restaurant was initially set up in Hornecker’s workshop (by trade he is a set-designer and ‘installation-based’ artist) over two nights to raise funds for a new oven. It was a huge success with the artist’s friends and ran for a further few nights. Since then he has held a special Christmas evening and taken TPBD on the road through South America dressing the most beautiful places for what looked like fantastic nights.

Four things Hornecker’s nights appear to have in common:

1) Uniqueness

2) Beautiful surroundings

3) Good food

4) Trannies

*   *   *   *   *

As for our evening: it was bloody spectacular. We arrived at 8.00pm and were greeted by the smiling Christobal (who, based on the delightfully friendly emails I’d received and the photos of other nights I had wrongly assumed was a transvestite) who led us to our table and fixed us a G&T.

We had a poke around the incredible space Hornecker had created – part doll’s house (upstairs the tables in the ‘bedroom’ were only accessible on hands and knees), part sultan’s tent, part children’s den. There’s a great description here of each section.

Once all the guests (about 30 in all) had arrived we tucked into delicious bruschetta, chunky Greek salads, hearty roast beef with greens and hot potato salad, and finally ruhubarb crumble. Nice bottle of red too.

And of course, joy of joys, bliss unparalleled: smoking was strictly ALLOWED. After one diner bravely lit her Gauloise about 2 minutes in the enitre company, almost to a man, let out a caustic sigh of relief and followed suit. Although I don’t really mind the ban, I did take a kind of schoolboy pleasure in each lovely gasper between courses.

Add to this atmosphere the simple pleasure of knowing you are eating in a stranger’s house (washing hanging in the bathroom and toothbrushes by the sink) and the entertainment provided by Graham, the spectacular drag compere mouthing along to Madonna and Tina in between courses (Lucy: ‘Oh good! I LOVE it when they keep their facial hair; it’s so sexy!’), and you have the picture.

We left at 1ish when the ABBA sing-a-long was still in good voice  – one of the best Saturday evenings I’ve spent in London. Keep your eye on Tony’s blog for pictures (I will post my own when I can get hold of ’em) and details of his next venture. Many thanks to Tony, Christobal, Graham, the chef and Connie for the tip-off.

W

As far as possible I’m going to try and include at least one or two tracks with each post. To kick off we’ve got the first track from Delorean’s debut LP ‘Subiza’ which just about encapsulates the fun of an evening at The Pale Blue Door. A storming song that lives up to everything promised by the Ayrton Senna EP even if the record falls short in places.

Roll on summer.

Delorean – Stay Close

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