MUST TRY: A new chef, a new cafe – and local popcorn?


The Star in N19 has had a spruce-up. Plus Patron’s Christmas market, the return of Buna Oromia and an exhibition that closes this week



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One half of Popcorn Shed: she even bathes in the stuff. Photo: PR
One half of Popcorn Shed: she even bathes in the stuff. Photo: PR
Two Kentish Town-based cousins (Laura is pictured above), formerly wage slaves in the City, quit their jobs to set out to make “the finest and tastiest all natural gourmet popcorn in the world” – and we think they’ve succeeded. During a trip to the US, the pair munched their way round the best outlets, and on returning to the UK experimented until they came up with their three Popcorn Shed flavours. There’s pecan pie, Belgian chocolate and our fave, the salted caramel. Truly addictive for the sweet-toothed relative in your family this Xmas. Find out more at popcornshed.com

A rated new chef at The Star

Slightly revamped: the interior. Photo: The Star
Slightly revamped: the interior. Photo: The Star
Regulars at the Dartmouth Arms may recall a talented chef, Ainslie Evans, who cooked up quite a storm in the pub’s last few weeks before it closed earlier this year. The good news is he’s now at the helm at one of N19’s loveliest boozers and has concocted a new menu. Expect comforting delights like cod, crayfish and crab pie, seared duck breast, braised white beans and salsa verde, and pan-fried hake, braised fennel, and white wine sauce. The interior has had a spruce-up too. Open daily, 47 Chester Road N19

Get festive at Patron’s Marche de Noel

Patron's Christmas market is next Thurs. Photo: SE
Patron’s Christmas market is next Thurs. Photo: SE
If, like us, you leave it all till the last minute, don’t miss an authentic Marché de Noël at the popular restaurant’s new wine shop and deli bar. On 22nd Dec you can sip a glass of free mulled wine while enjoying 10% off products. It’ll be open until 11pm for hampers, fine wine, cheeses, charcuterie and truffle products. 16 Fortess Road NW5

Last chance to Love Dad x

Love Dad ends this week. Photo: Free Space
Love Dad ends this week. Photo: Free Space
The current show at the Free Space gallery is called Love Dad x, award-winning artist Andrew Foster’s celebration of his three unborn children, which aims to show that miscarriages doesn’t only affect women. It includes sections of his 76 foot scroll, Pain Will Not Have The Last Word, as well as inflatable sculptures, paintings and photographs. There’s also a short film made by Megan Beattie about Andrew and his journey. Ends 16th Dec. Mon-Fri 9am-6.30pm at Health Centre, 2 Bartholomew Road NW5


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Go back to Buna Oromia – in Camden

Buna owner Demissie Tulu. Photo: DT
Buna owner Demissie Tulu. Photo: DT
Buna in Ethiopia’s Oromo language means coffee: hence the name, Buna Oromia, of this cafe previously situated on Brecknock Road. Here you can order organic, single state (not blended or mixed) arabica coffee from its origin, the farmers’ cooperative union in Oromia/Ethiopia. And it’s a sweet little spot right by the Regent’s Canal. Open daily, 154 Royal College Street NW1


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