A community space for food lovers

Photo Palm 2 Event space in Lower Clapton
Palm 2 event space - Photo: Rose Lam
Photo Palm 2 Event space in Lower Clapton
Palm 2 event space – Photo: Rose Lam

A Clapton shop owner has turned a former solicitors’ office into a community event space for food lovers with a passion for experimentation.

Abdullah Solak, owner of the Palm 2 store on Lower Clapton Road, has teamed up with food enthusiast Rose Lam to open an event space that plans to host innovative supper clubs every weekend.

“The focus will be the supper club nights every Friday and Saturday, where we hope to bring in a variety of passionate people with exciting ideas about food,” says Ms Lam, who is responsible for organising and booking the events.

The space is located on the floor above the Palm 2 store, a treasure trove for fresh, ethically sourced products that is part delicatessen and world food store, part cafe and restaurant.

Operating since 1994, Mr. Solak’s store is a Clapton institution and was shortlisted for best deli in the capital in the Grazia website local awards this year, alongside more glamorous London chic foodie establishments such as Ottolenghi.

Until August the upstairs area had been home to a solicitors office but when it became available, Mr. Solak lost no time in making his move, equipping it with wooden tables and giving it a rather rustic, cosy atmosphere.

“I went on holiday during September and within a month, it was transformed. There was a working kitchen and it was all ready to go,” says Ms Lam.

Despite this being a new initiative, Ms Lam has not had much difficulty in filling the calendar.

Last Friday the theme was Popup Barbados serving up dishes like “arawak style guinea fowl stew with coconut rice and black-eye peas” and the next few weeks will include a seven-course seafood tasting menu, a Halloween special and an “autumnal Japanese feast”.

While the weekend supper clubs will be the flagship events, the new Palm 2 space will offer more than just food. Film nights are scheduled every Wednesday for the next six weeks, while it will be used for workshops as well as language or even dance classes in the future.

“The idea is that people can hire the space to do something that they love for themselves and the local community without it costing them an arm and a leg,” Ms Lam says.