8 Spanakopita_slices

I’ve never really been one to partake in a completely Dry January – more of a slightly damp one – but if you managed to go the entire month without a single glass of your favourite tipple, well done! You are now free to enjoy a sopping wet February!

Returning back to Slimming World in the New Year did provide me with the much-needed motivation to avoid the fabulous eateries on our high street and stay home and cook instead. Although, that makes January sound far more boring than it actually was, as we invited friends over for dinner on a couple of occasions. Entertaining at home is definitely the new going out!

We may not have been ready to venture out to all our favourite local drinking establishments last month, but Jamie at The Palmerston was more than happy to offer us his advice on what to cook for a small dinner party at home. Not only did he share with us his favourite recipe for roast sirloin of beef, but also told us the best place to buy it – The Butchery in Forest Hill. They were incredibly helpful and provided us with a quality cut of meat, sourced from a small farm.

Our next gathering at home was with another group of local friends who came over for a Greek night! We served traditional Greek dishes such as kleftiko, spanakopita and a selection of dips from my new recipe book Secrets from Yiayia’s Greek Kitchen (shameless plug!), all washed down with a few carafes of Greek wine. No plates were smashed but there was much dancing around the kitchen to Zorbas.

If it is restaurant quality food you are after but want to enjoy it in a more intimate setting, the East Dulwich Supper Club could be for you. Angela made it along to the January event and loved watching the professional chefs prepare dinner before her very eyes. All the food is seasonal, beautifully presented and served in Suzanne James’s industrial kitchen! Visit suzannejames.co.uk/supperclub for details of how to join.

Now the hibernation period is officially over, I am looking forward to getting out and about again. Maybe even a Mum’s night out-out at the new cabaret night Rouges at Rivoli on the forth Saturday of the month. I’m not much of a (sober) dancer, but I’ve heard really great things about this truly fabulous venue.

With half term fast approaching, it will soon be time to wrap up warm and get back outdoors. Although after several laps of the park, you may prefer an indoor activity to keep those little fingers frost-free. There are many fun activities for kids at The Horniman Museum, including dinosaur themed craft activities. Dulwich Books are also holding an interactive storytelling session at their shop in West Dulwich.

Slightly further afield in Woolwich on 6th February, Boppin’ Bunnies and CBeebies are hosting a joint musical event with Andy Day, star of Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures.

And… pour.

Visit our events page for details of local events and ticket information. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @arounddulwich.

This article first appeared in the the January 2016 issue of SE22 magazine.