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Wander Stoke Newington
Photograph: Wander

Aussie restaurant Wander forced to close after owner denied a visa extension

Owner Alexis Noble plans to self-publish a cookbook while appealing the Home Office’s decision

Written by
Rhian Daly

After only reopening its doors in July after pandemic-enforced closure, Stoke Newington restaurant Wander has been forced to temporarily close once again. 

Owner Alexis Noble, who is originally from Australia, has been denied a visa extension from the Home Office and has been told she has to leave the country. While Noble is appealing the decision, Wander will remain closed. 

In the meantime and as a way to stay creative, Noble and her staff will be using the enforced closure to self-publish a cookbook. It will collate recipes from the restaurant’s Wander At Home meal kits that it produced and sold while shut to diners in 2020, with more than 60 dishes set to be included. 

The book will also feature stories from that period and lessons the Wander team learnt when they had to adapt from restaurant to production kitchen and retail operation. 

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Noble has set up a crowdfunding page for the book, with any donations going towards paying staff’s wages and covering fixed costs. So far, £3,586 of the £5,000 target has been reached, with another month for Wander to collect the remaining funds. 

Those who give money to the crowdfund will be rewarded with different benefits depending on the amount given, including a thank you in the book, a signed copy of the book and a Wander At Home banquet for two meal kit. 

‘It is extremely heartbreaking to be forced to close again after all the months of forced closures due to Covid, but rather than give up, we are going to try to find a silver lining & use this time to create something,’ Noble wrote on Instagram. ‘I have always had the idea to create a Wander at Home book, which would be a year’s worth of dishes that made up our Wander at Home Banquets.’

She added: ‘I’m hoping that Wander will only have to be closed for not too much longer than a month ( which may be slightly naive.. ) and people say that it’s crazy to try write a book in a month, but I am quietly confident... Wander at Home was always about adapting, pivoting and surviving and I feel it is kind of appropriate that it comes back for one last time to get us through this difficult time.’ 

The London restaurants and bars that won’t reopen after lockdown.

Tom Ravenscroft’s perfect Sunday in Stoke Newington.

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