The revitalizing of Clapton Pond with its water spouts and weeping willows has turned this formerly scruffy stretch of Lower Clapton Road into something resembling a village green. It’s an apt location for one of Hackney’s homeliest restaurants, Maeve’s Kitchen, which serves stews from around the world.
The origins of the restaurant are unusual: it was set up by Dominic Dromgoole, whose impressive day job is as artistic director of the Globe Theatre. Maeve’s Kitchen was inspired by his family friend, the Irish novelist and playwright Maeve Binchy. Established with money left to Dominic on the writer’s death, the restaurant, decked out with farmhouse furniture and gingham napkins, reflects Binchy’s country kitchen and comfort cooking. But although the place has Irish roots, the menu is Hackney eclectic, with a Brazilian chef rustling up dishes such as moqueca and cassoulet alongside chicken and sausage hot pot.
This spring Maeve’s opened a garden space and launched a Sunday lunch feast of Brazilian feijoada with trimmings: rice and spring greens. Maeve’s has passed on two recipes to Eat Hackney – we’ve kept the generous proportions so you can cook up a Maeve-style communal feast for friends.