In Conversation with Clara Strunck

Restaurants were (quite literally) writer and journalist Clara Strunck’s bread and butter when she was the Feast columnist for The Evening Standard’s ES Magazine, reviewing openings, interviewing chefs and seeking out new recipes.

Written by The Sette October 8, 2020

Now freelance, Clara writes for a host of magazines and newspapers, including The Sunday Times Style, Tatler, and Buro, penning everything from book reviews to celebrity interviews and pop-culture features. When this night owl isn’t up working until the early hours, her ideal evening involves a relaxed dinner party with plenty of friends – set, more often than not, to the tunes of Dire Straits. 

Game, sette, match… what game really gets a dinner party started?

I’m a huge fan of charades: everyone knows the rules and it always ends up in chaotic hysterics. Monopoly is a sure-fire disaster as it normally gets way too heated.

Heart sette on… what are you really longing for, no matter how big or small?

I would love to have a big library, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a huge desk and a massive, squashy sofa for reading (and the occasional afternoon nap).

Sette in my ways… what’s your worst habit?

I’m a very impatient person and can’t stand waiting for anything, which I’m told can be very annoying – I’m trying to get better at letting things happen in their own time.

Sunrise or sunsette… which is your favourite time of day?

Definitely sunsette. I like writing best between about 10pm and 1am – maybe that’s why I find it so hard to get anything done before midday. I’ve found the trick is to meet people for breakfast, so I’m forced to wake up early.

Ready, sette, go… what have you wanted to do for a while now?

Every writer must say this, but I’d really love to write a book one day. It’s very much still a pipe dream, but you never know…

Sette the record straight… what’s something people might not know about you?

I have a bright yellow car, which I love, as it brings a smile to my face every day. I also always forget where I’ve parked, so the standout colour comes in handy.

Sette teeth on edge… what really annoys you?

Pop-up adverts (why does my computer have a million of them?), conversation-hoggers and soggy chips all drive me crazy.

Sette an example… what do you think would make the world a better place?

Don’t wait hours to text back, don’t throw your chewing gum on the pavement, drink less coffee and more water, call your mum and moisturise. Simple.

Sette the scene… what’s your idea of a dream home, or the perfect gathering?

My favourite evenings are big dinner parties with good, old friends I’ve known for ages. My friend Henry does them the best: plenty of candles, funny guests and the best cooking I’ve known outside a restaurant.

Jet-sette…. where’s your favourite holiday spot and why?

I’ve been going to Switzerland every year for over a decade with my family and I love it there – it’s the only place I can think of that’s as good in the summer as in the winter. Currently top of my travel to-do list is Norway, to see the Northern Lights.

DJ sette… what are the top five songs on your playlist right now?

I have very old-fashioned taste when it comes to music; you won’t find any Top 10 songs on my playlist. I would say you can’t go wrong with anything by The Rolling Stones, Dire Straits or Meatloaf (trust me on that last one!).