Goat's Cheese, Wham and Second Chances

Written by: Violet Myers

Hopefully, the closest most of us will ever get to prison is binge watching ‘Orange is the New Black’ on Netflix, succumbing to ‘Porridge’ at Christmas or that brief stint with ‘Bad Girls’ during the 00’s. Lest we forget. But for thousands of young British people prison is a harsh reality, which doesn’t simply end once they have served their time. Being released back into society can be an exceptionally difficult and emotional process, especially when trying to re-connect with their communities and find work. We attended criminal justice charity Only Connect’s third North London supper club to meet some of the individuals they have been helping, in an effort to show second chances do exist.

I’m greeted warmly into the heavily decorated hall by an incredibly friendly, confident lad, who wears a large woolly hat with his shirt and tie. He’s one of the evening’s entertainers and, as well as singing like a black Michael Jackson, he leads the diners through games and reads monologues between courses. He’s joined on the music committee by a soul singer that commands attention and a shy rapper who treats the party hat wearing crowd of mainly over fifties to a rapped version of Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’… a sight I hope to never forget.

The charity offers courses in catering, music, drama and social enterprise. The supper clubs are an opportunity to bring all of their work together, whilst giving the participants a common goal.  It’s also a chance to raise money for the charity itself, which means they can continue to offer a fair London wage to all those involved with the organisation.


As I head into the small kitchen, which is packed with people chopping, stirring and frying, I watch as the finishing touches are added to the starter plates. A young kitchen hand, who can’t be older than twenty, struggles to create a neat balsamic glaze pattern.  This is until a mate suggests that he uses his graffiti tag as a ‘guide pattern’, resulting in thirty identically decorated plates of goats cheese salad, that look delicious.

I speak to *Tom, who is painstakingly prepping the next course, about how OC’s project has helped him:

“I’m enjoying it and I’m picking up new skills and meeting new people, it keeps me focused and gives me something to do. I’d like to be a chef some day and cook my own Caribbean food.”


*Jamal, who is stirring a pot of vegetables the size of a ten year old and has been with the project for four months, tells me that although he doesn’t have aspirations to work in the food industry he appreciates the experience “I want to produce music, I’m looking to break into the industry, that’s what I do. But I took this opportunity in the kitchen as I really enjoy it and want to build on my work experience.”

The food looks really impressive and is very proudly prepared by the small team of kitchen workers, many of whom have only been out of prison for a couple of weeks. Louise, who is head of the catering department, explains that she runs a ten week course straight out of prison and that their main aim is to help offenders gain confidence and experience, so they can find future work in the catering industry.

As the main course of gammon goes out to the diners, I grab a word with Dani, who is head of delivery at the charity.

Though several helpers, like her and Louise, are present I’m told that the events are almost entirely thought-up by the participants, as they feel they know how’s best to help them.  Dani goes on to explain “These nights are really a combination of all of our work, we celebrate the guys talents, getting them to share with the world how talented they are. There are so many things going on in their lives, but these events bring them together, they know what they have to achieve and there’s a quick outcome. We want to challenge stigmas and create responsibility outside these four walls. reaching out and integrating our guys into their own communities.”

The event goes off without a hitch. I sneak out before dessert, a giant chocolate roulade that one of the guys has already warned me is ‘the size of sleeping bag’, but before I go I talk to our hat wearing entertainer, who’s taking a break between songs.


“I’ve been involved in different OC projects for years now. I never called myself a performer until I joined, I knew I wanted to be, but I had severe stage fright and just couldn’t do it. They coached me and trained me and now I’m doing it.” It’s hard to believe that this charismatic, talented singer, who has been entertaining a roomful of people all night could ever have a trouble being on stage. He continues:

‘OC gave me my first opportunity, personally it has been life changing’


Only Connect will be running a monthly supper club,  to find out about upcoming events or get involved in upcoming projects go to their website: Only Connect or go straight to Tickets to the next OC Supper Club.

*Names have been changed.


Photos: Violet Myers

Bahn Mi Baguette at Pho Hot Vietnamese restaurant in Holloway North London shot for North Four Magazine.
Eat & Drink

Banh Mi and Friends at Pho Hot Holloway

Flocking to Holloway Road on one of the many Sundays that we’ve spent at the Nag’s Head Car Boot Sale, we spotted a new Vietnamese place called Pho Hot getting ready to open up their doors. Being the nosy folks we are, we peeked inside and spotted a menu. Banh Mi was on it. It's a baguette, but not as you know it. Glory of all glories! It’s been far too long since I last consumed this distinctive sarnie and I'm happy as Larry that there's a new Banh Mi joint on my doorstep.

Lee Garrett standing on stairs with window in background for North Four Magazine

Top 4 Tips to Protect Your Skin From London Winter!

Baby, it’s getting cold outside, and what better way to aide our frostbitten noses than a chat to a professional skin person? We’re talking to Lee Garrett, founder of The Garrett Clinic, accomplished skincare specialist and heralded by many as the UK’s leading Skin Guru. Read on to find out his insider tips for surviving this winter season with your skin looking as radiant as the moon that breaks a stormy night.

Illustration of tank with duck in it reading 'peace is coming' at Atom Gallery for North Four Magazine

Tomorrow's World at Atom Gallery

Joined by over 50 other artists incorporating printmaking, painting, digital art, photography and small-scale sculpture, Tomorrow’s World presents us with utopias, dystopias, predictions, prophecies and visions of the future. We hit up the private view last Friday and it was pretty damn bleak, in the best sense of the word.

Brave Sir Robin Opening 14th December 2017
Eat & Drink

Local Thinking, Craft Beer Drinking: Brave Sir Robin Launches in Crouch Hill

Carouse founders Chris, Theo and Ben – the charming folk behind Kentish Town’s Rose and Crown – have a new venture afoot and we couldn’t be more bloody excited to see it. We’ve been creeping in their windows, peering through the paint and sneaking glimpses at builders’ bums for a few months now (okay, maybe not the last one), watching these guys transform this cosy corner of Crouch Hill into a rather cool little boozer. Now they’re opening and everyone is invited. Come one, come all, and try all 20 of their beers on tap with us.

Back of persons head with cigarette tucked over ear

Body Hammer: Clubbing, but not how you know it

Last month I decided to try clubbing again. I don’t quite know what came over me, but I actually (brace yourselves) enjoyed it. I went to Body Hammer’s monthly party in Manor House and I’m here to tell you to go too, whether you love clubbing, hate clubbing, or really couldn’t care either way. #notspon

Close up of person shoving a stuffed potato skin into her mount at Skins in The Magic Roundabout for North Four Magazine
Eat & Drink Events

Go Your Own Way at Skins' Fleetwood Mac & Cheese Night

Rich, fried, buttery, potato-y vessels loaded with flavor combinations that go down rather well with craft beer, late nights and good times. Ha, who am I kidding, EVERYTHING goes down well with beer. You heard that right buddy, loaded potato skins are back with a bang (and a generous portion of bacon) and are currently being served at Old Street's The Magic Roundabout by street food pop-up Skins and we could not be any happier. Well, unless they were to stuff it with, say, Mac and Cheese or risotto. Oh, that's exactly what they do? Well paint me green and call me a cucumber.

Christmas Gift Guide by Pretty Shiny Shop in Stroud Green North London
Lifestyle List

A Very Pretty Shiny Christmas Gift Guide

Magical gifts, wonderful gifts, marvellous gifts, beautiful gifts, gifts, glorious gifts glo-ri-ous giiiiiifts. Please Sir, I want some more. It’s that time of year again and whether you love it or loathe it gifts will be purchased and presented into expectant hands. Stroud Green's very own Pretty Shiny Shop have compiled a gift guide to help ease the shopping shock. Imagine only having to trot to your local gift shop and tick off your entire shopping list in one fell swoop. Done, finito, terminado! To make it that little sweeter, it's also all very affordable... so you won't even have to pick a pocket or two.

Three people clinking plastic glasses in the air in a tent with people in the background at Thor's Tipi Bar in Regent's Place
Eat & Drink Events

Drink, Feast, Conquer, Repeat. Thor's Tipi Bar Has Arrived.

Alright guys, it’s happening. The frosty charm of December is, once again, being beaten to a pulp by the capitalists’ wet dream: Christmas. The hideous twinkling of artificial outdoor lighting is starting to appear, with tourists flocking from far and wide to watch D-list celebrities press a button. Invitations to Christmas parties flood in from your multiple part-time jobs, ensuring you make bad decisions bi-weekly til next year. Supermarkets are selling 12-day advent calendars containing confetti, cookie cutters and candles for a flawless £50. And oh, how the mulled wine flows.

Girl peeking through gold and pink balloons at Top Balloon in Shop Stroud Green for North Four Magazine
Eat & Drink Events

Shop Stroud Green Christmas Trail 2017

Who doesn’t love a cheeky statistic, correctly sourced? You know we do. Well, did you know that for every £1 spent with a small business, 63p is re-spent in the local area, as opposed to a measly 40p in every £1 re-spent locally with larger businesses? An absolute travesty, am I right? That 23p has to mean something, right, guys?! Guys? Guys, where are you going? Wait, there’s freebies involved too!

Eat & Drink Events Lifestyle List

Top 4 'Christmas is just a bad excuse for a' Winter Markets

By gum there are a lot of winter markets this year. Fueled by sickly sweet mulled wine and overpriced pulled pork sliders, we’ve managed to wade our way through the murky waters of winter markets and find some decent looking ones round this here part of town. Don’t let our Grinch-esq vibes put you off (I’m more of a Pancake Day person myself) because, if you’re into markets, you’ll probably like these. Read on, if you’re merrier than us.

The Vinteriors team and Mary le Comte at Moseyhome in Finsbury Park, North London for 'Style My Shop'.

Style My Shop: Vinterior x Moseyhome

Take a short walk along Finsbury Park’s own sunset strip and you’ll find MoseyHome, an interiors retailer and styling consultancy who have invited us to collaborate with them on an exciting new series titled 'Style My Shop', in which they invite some of London's most talented interiors experts to quite literally style their shop. Interiors porn at it's finest.

Eat & Drink Events List

Top Five "It's That Time Of Year Again" Things To Do This Winter

Why was the snowman sad? Because he had a meltdown. Much like us, every year, when winter comes. It’s cold, it’s dark, and we know Christmas is on its way. But hey, it’s not all bad – the events round this time of year can be pretty swell. So don your scarf-shawl-blanket and get your frolic on, it’s time for fairy lights, scarfing mulled wine and stuffing your face!

Hand feeling colourful splashes of artwork at Smith and Sinclair Flavour Gallery
Culture Eat & Drink Events

Suck it at The Flavour Gallery

Touch, taste, smell, hear and create art. Smith & Sinclair, purveyors of the Edible Cocktail, presents The Flavour Gallery: a multi-sensory adventure that’ll seduce your senses and tickle your taste buds beyond all imagination. Ooh matron!

Hodgepodge on Crouch Hill, North London. New restaurant opening November 2017
Eat & Drink

New Opening: Hodgepodge Crouch Hill

Offering modern British cuisine with a smokey twist, Crouch Hill's newest contender to its foodie scene, Hodge Podge, is all minimal styling and hearty yet inventive dishes.

Cartoon of vampires standing in tunnel for London Horror Festival
Events List

Top 4 ‘Eat, drink and be scary’ All Hallows haunts

Brush the cobwebs off your sexy banana costume; it’s that time of year to make a tit of yourself in fancy dress again. We’ve rounded up the most spine-chilling Halloween happenings in North London and, trust us, they sound horrendous. Be afraid, be very afraid.