In her book Clarissa’s England, the chef describes her visit to Leicester.
‘I had one of the most frightening adventures of my life there. I turned off the ring road because there had been a car crash and I wanted to avoid being stuck in traffic, and soon found myself lost. I couldn’t tell you where I was but it was not terribly far from the city centre.
‘As we know, Leicester has a very high Asian Muslim population and I found myself in an area where all the men were wearing Islamic clothing and all the women were wearing burkas and walking slightly behind them.
‘None of the men would talk to me when I tried to find out where I was and how to get out of there because I was an English female and they don’t talk to females they don’t know, while if the women could speak English they weren’t about to show it by having a word with me.
‘Eventually I had to stop at a newsagents and the only way I could discover my location was to buy a map of the city. Somebody, very reluctantly, pointed to where I was and then I had to work out the rest for myself.
‘I am not a particular admirer of Islam or indeed, I should add, almost any other religion, but I have many good acquaintances and even some friends among the Muslim community, yet here I was in the heart of city in the middle of my own country a complete outcast and pariah.
‘If multiculturalism works, which I have always been rather dubious of, surely it must be multicultural and not monocultural. I just wanted to relate this to you because I think you ought to be aware of such things.
‘However, everything has an upside and one of the results of this is that Leicester has a very good selection of Asian restaurants where you can eat excellent curry.
‘The city also has a thriving market attended by farmers from the local countryside and quite a number from the Asian community too, who sell not only herbs and spices and Asian vegetables but also delicious ready-made goods.
‘So thinking back to the East End of London of my childhood, I can only hope that in generations to come there will be a merging of the cultures and not the exclusion zone that is the ghetto.’
For more such excursions into European cities conquered by Muslims check out the four-part undercover video documentary.