Last year I spent a week or so in a place which was the closest I’ve been to paradise, a tiny village on the northwester point of the island of Dominica in the Caribbean called Toucari Bay. It is an incredibly isolated, pristine village inhabited by a few locals who are amongst the friendliest people you will ever meet. Beautiful people so proud of their green island and intent on preserving it for future generations.

A few weeks ago, in a matter of just a terrifying few hours, nearly the entire village was destroyed by the devastating Hurricane Maria. Whilst they survived, those same people lost their homes, businesses, belongings and in some cases, everything. I was passed on a message from an Englishmen whom I rented a bungalow from who has taken on the immense task of raising funds for a village without power, water or means of communicating with the outside world. Being lucky enough to be surrounded by an incredibly talented and generous group of friends, I have decided to get them together to raise as much money as possible for the people of Toucari Bay.

Next Tuesday 7th November my friend Charlie has generously opened the doors of his restaurant The Laughing Heart for a fundraising dinner featuring some of Europe’s most talented young chefs. Anna Tobias, James Henry, Tim Spedding and William Gleave will be joining The Laughing Heart’s own Tom Anglesea in the kitchen, giving their time for what promises to be a meal for the ages from some beautiful produce generously donated by Oakleaf.

Dinner will begin at 730pm. Tickets are £50 plus a small booking fee for six courses and must be purchased in advance via the reservation page on the restaurant’s website. On the night you’ll be able purchase the most beautiful wines we have in the Tutto cellar by-the-glass, bottle or as a special pairing. All proceeds will go towards helping the people of the village.

Guests will be able to enter a raffle and bid at auction for an incredible purse of prizes generously donated by friends from 40 Maltby Street, Auberge de Chassignoles, Bar Brutal,  Brawn, Breddos Tacos, Carters of MoseleyCoombeshead Farm, Dean Street TownhouseDuck Soup, Hill & Szrok, Les Caves de Pyrene, Lonely PlanetLyle’s, Newcomer Wines, Noble Rot, Ottolenghi, P.Franco, Primeur, Ristorante Consorzio, Som SaaThe Clove Club, The Kernel BreweryThe Marksman, The Winemakers Club, Timberyard, Totem Wines, Towpath Cafe, Westerns Laundry, Winerackd, Violet CakesVinikultur and Xu, along with old, rare bottles from the personal cellar of one of London’s great artisan wine collectors.

To give a taste of the tropics, the room will be filled with flowers from the wonderful Simone of Fjura and a soundtrack bringing rays of sunshine from the island by Hugo & the guys at Sofrito, who are hosting their own party to raise funds for Dominica on Saturday November 4th.

As you can probably guess, the beautiful artwork for this event came from a friend who holds the Caribbean deep in their heart, Milena Bucholz.

If you can’t make it to the dinner and feel like you can donate something, however big or small, please get in touch by sending me an email at 

Thank you all so much for your support.