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News / Community feel in Hackney

Shetland Night in London organiser Helen Nisbet tucking in to some mutton and seaweed pie and kale. Photo: Joe Plommer.

NEARLY 100 guests made merriment at the latest of Yell woman Helen Nisbet’s popular Shetland nights in London in Hackney last weekend.

The Saturday night event, which merited a feature in this week’s New Statesman magazine, saw prestigious chef Anna Tobias getting to grips with some of Shetland’s finest seafood and other ingredients.

Bannocks with Shetland butter, potted hot smoked salmon from Blydoit, mussels (from Christopher Thomason) and smoked haddock broth were on the menu, along with mutton and seaweed pie. 

Two Shetland films were screened, while Reid sisters Jenna and Bethany, along with Helen’s brother Barry Nisbet, provided traditional music as the revellers – including Shetlanders, Hackney-ers and famous chef Fergus Henderson – danced Strip the Willow, Gay Gordon’s and St Bernard’s Waltz.

“There were calls for an Eightsome Reel but sadly it never happened,” Helen says.

“The main reason I do the nights is so I get to dance with Yell man (and fashion designer) Paul Thompson, cos he’s such a good dancer!

“Barry’s score for ‘In Sheep’s Clothing’ brought the house down.

“People sat next to old friends, made new friends and felt a sense of community before being kicked back out into the mean streets of Hackney.”

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