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Perched on the Regent’s Canal, this stylish little spot is a barometer of the area’s increasing upward mobility. It’s also a nice place to eat. Last summer saw the closure of sister restaurant
Acorn House, & the transplant of the latter’s head chef here. At lunchtime you’ll find Dalston locals tapping on their Macs & choosing from a simple, inexpensive blackboard menu. In the
evenings, things get more sophisticated. English tomato soup with almond & basil pesto could segue into char-grilled lamb cutlets, carrot, cumin & tamarind, followed by wacky &
wonderful desserts such as Jersey milk jelly, caramel popcorn & coriander-seed sablé. Tip-top ethical credentials include the expected focus on seasonality & sourcing, but this ‘social
enterprise’ also trains local people, eschews bottled water in favour of filtered tap, & has a wormery to digest kitchen scraps.
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Arthur Potts Dawson
After almost 20 years in the industry, Arthur Potts Dawson finally attracted the attention of the dining public with the launch of the environmentally friendly restaurant Acorn House in late 2006. A nephew of rock icon Mick Jagger, he started cooking at the age of 16 & did service in the kitchens of Kensington Place & La Tante Claire before rising to the position of head chef at the River Café. Former colleague Jamie Oliver asked him to become executive chef at Fifteen, where he met Jamie Grainger-Smith. Their shared attitude to the environment proved the inspiration for Acorn House. Initial success turned to London-wide fame when it was named Restaurant of the Year by the Observer's Food Monthly magazine in 2007. A year later, the pair upped their collective eco profile even further with the launch of the Water House in Hoxton.