About Parties*

*Not an essay on the genesis of the current constitutional crisis.

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There’s enough of that out there already. Here’s a short bulletin on that sweet, intoxicating reprise: parties / late 4am sessions / communal dances & gatherings, will all be held on the last weekend of every month this year providing clarity and sanity to us, punters and our neighbours alike. If you want to make use of the booth and host a seedy soirée please do reach out through the usual channels.

We will still take requests for private hires for special occasions (weddings, birthdays, divorce settlements etc) on other such weekends and put in for late hours if requested.

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Drink Your Christmas Tree
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By the time this reaches you it may, nay probably will, already be too late.

12 day advocates will have diligently dispensed with decor and festive firs on Sunday gone (or Saturday depending on your interpretation). If however, like us, you’ve slumped into January with a month long hangover and about as much energy for clearing out your now unwanted relics of the festive fortnight as a doped sloth, this could be for you. Summon your inner strength, be that you you blabbed on about up to midnight on new years, grab your shears (or buy some) and get trimming!

PINE SYRUP

Please note, we used a whole tree for this as we’re batching for a 3 month menu in a commercial bar. This took a long time. Home enthusiasts can scale down and appropriate something much quicker.

First up check your tree is not poisonous before you batch to bottles and kill your friends. From our understanding anything with red berries is bad, or Yew in the title. Firs tend to be OK. Ours was a hardy Nordmann Fir that had been up for a month; drying out but still retaining that magic aroma.

Trim down some branches and get picking the pines needles, you don’t need to be too delicate here but try to avoid twigs and stray bits of plastic decor. Ideally we want the needles loosely chopped to release the scent but if you’re working with a pretty dried out tree this should come quite naturally through picking. Once you have a satisfactory amount of needles in a pot or measuring jug (bearing in mind that your harvest will yield about double that amount in syrup) rinse the leaves thoroughly under the tap with several blasts of cold water (at least until the water runs clean) and set aside to dry out. We picked 15 pints worth of needles. To put in context: that’s about two seasons and an aneurysm worth of Friends looping inanely in the background while two of us set to work. You needn’t exert yourself this hard. No-one needs to go through this.

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Once you have your ‘chopped’ needles, have restored sanity to your fingertips and have measured out your pickings it’s time to make syrup. We work to equal parts pine:water:sugar. So whatever fluid volume of pine needles you have apply that to water and granulated sugar too. Using the same measuring jug here helps. Buy some water from the shop that’s been filtered as tap water will kill off your creation much quicker and get some decent sugar from some-place nice. This goes without saying really; it doesn’t need to be a wafty life-choice that spawns corduroy and a beard, just don’t-be-a-dick-in-2019.

Mix the sugar and water and bring slowly to the boil while stirring constantly. If you don’t do this the sugar will sit at the bottom of the pan and just caramelise. Heat low and slow because you don’t want too much water to evaporate. Once you hit boiling point that’s the time to get the pine in. But, instead of taking off the heat immediately, ramp it up for a sec until you feel it boiling properly again. Adding cold needles to hot syrup will bring the temperature down. We want all the needles to feel that high heat to kill off any undesirables so it’s worth going hard on the hob for a second or two.

Mix everything together thoroughly, squeeze in a little lemon juice (this will help preserve), mix again and then set aside to steep for up to 24 hours. You check intermittently on your work for potency by lifting the lid and copping a smell. Winter in Lapland: good - wet dog: bad (don’t pick up dead trees from the street!)

Once you’re happy strain through muslin cloth (twice) and part into sealed glass bottles in the fridge. This should keep for up to 3 months.

We add CBD extract to ours but how would be telling ☃︎

❅ New Years Eve ∵

NYE ⤳ we’re having a houseparty for friends and family. ‘Tis the season: strong drinks, warm sounds, on until the last one stops dancing. No reservations, booking fees or bulls**t and all been strung together on a bit of a whim and a wave of goodwill.

Only things to know: capacity is limited, be nice to Barry, when it’s full it’s full. We’ll be there for the countdown but expecting most to join after, if you need more info get to us on the usual channels tomorrow.

Thanks for making this year ~ here’s to the next

⨯ B T W

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✰ A real Thanksgiving Story ✰
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And so the story goes… The pilgrims arrived in the new world and wanted to celebrate the first harvest with the Native Indians but, the Americans (for that is what they are) turned around and said: “screw thee, for where is my samosa to go with the beer you puritanical pikers also conveniently forgot to bring?” and told them to pack up their poxy harvest and go back from whence they came.

As of tomorrow at Behind This Wall we will be celebrating the real Thanksgiving with the fabulous Secret Samosa Club taking over the kitchen and offering fab flavours from ‘Punjabi Cheeseburger’ to ‘Vegan Dosa Samosas’. It’s a paltry fiver for two hearty pockets and it’s fair to say we are salivating at the prospect of this partnership. In the words of ol’ honest Abe: “a more perfect snack whilst on the razz could not be found”.

To cap the first week, Sunday brings this gift:

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Samosas
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㋡ ⎔ ⤳ Announcement time ꜝꜝꜝ ⠀

The weekend is barely on us but we're already greedily making eyes at next week. When you think perfect drinking food you'd be amiss to jump over that salivating beat in your brain that goes 'SAMOSAS' 〠 Especially when you’ve got flavours like Butter or Jerk Chicken, Punjabi Cheeseburger, Butter Chicken, Cheesey Bean Burrito (veg) & Dosa for our #vegan friends. Lovingly prepped and seasoned by the most excellent @secretsamosaclub. Starting Wednesday. Book it in, drop in, pop it in (your piehole) ፦ 2 for 5£

The DJ booth
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⤙ 𝑻𝒉𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒅𝒂𝒚 ⤛ 𝑆𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑎𝑦 ↜
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Some you may have noted our custom pulley DJ booth; this will be out in play on the days listed, shifting the bar into a dim-lit, extra-sensory listening and dancing space! We have some great bills coming up with PanatypeVandelay RadioPlanet Panama and Tiff's Joints 
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You can book booths as normal on either of these days - if you're interested in throwing an event on Sunday and you know us or want to know us better; please pop in and say hey.
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The booth is also available during private hires which can be booked here.

➫ CBD in cocktails ~ a joint (ad)venture {sic} ☻
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On Monday, to open London Cocktail Week, we'll be hosting a special event with Seedlip at the bar looking at the marriage between CBD and no / lo serves with a talk from Spiros Malandrakis and insights into our house syrup. To attend rsvp to alex@behindthiswall.com

☇ This is our newest offering: The 'Fo'Sizzle Dizzle Swizzle' - Drum & Black spiced rum, Akashi-Tai Honjozo Genshu sake • House CBD honey & ginger syrup, lime juice, Birds weissbrand • Bittermens burlesque bitters, kenaf leaf

Let that seep in.

α ḉʊʟтʊяε øƒ ♥ї☺ℓℯη¢ℯ #1804

Watch things on g-d-pr


Feels like it's finally safe to poke our little heads above the parapet here. Still not much wiser on what is GDPR, who made it up and why this newsletter continues to circulate; but, hey, beyond the meta existential crisis we are all invariably avoiding through carefully construed inbox management, the inter-world rumbles on and I'm still getting emails about PPI.

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♔ Return of the Mao ♔

For real ✌︎ Remember November and those tasty noodles? Julian is back in the kitchen(ette) and is here to stay, or at least until the drains block & the arches implode.

Old classics and future favourites like a 'tuna' 'sashimi' that's actually dehydrated watermelon rehydrated in broth to look at taste like raw fish. But it's not. It's all vegan - X'ian inspired inauthentic Chinese. Fancy that ⍤

Here every Thursday through Saturday from now until forever or drains etc...

Book through the site pls, in an orderly fashion

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Little Concert with KATIS


This Sunday it's our first try at live music; doing a special show with Airbnbstarring singer + songwriter on the rise, Phoebe Katis.

Doors are from 18:30 as an ACOV special we'll give the first 5 people to reply to this blogpost 2 tickets. Just like that!

All the info you need for this one is ⇢ here

α ¢üł⊥ʊґℯ ◎ḟ ṽ☤øʟεη¢ε #1803 

⌇Liner Notes


Ok - cutting through the grease here like a discarded body building supplement through an underground fatberg (read the news - it's a good simile).

Last time out one member left the flock for the trifling reason of 'spammy content'. *yesweseethatandithurts* I guess the opening paragraph about the weather was little trite, but you have to push through to get to the good stuff.

Good stuff like this; presented here in an easily digestible list form because people seem to like that. Blame buzzfeed but don't dress it up and take it out on the town thinking you're fooling anyone...

23 great reasons to visit Behind This Wall this week!!!!!!:

  1. We built a DJ booth
  2. It comes down from the ceiling on pulleys
  3. Yup, that strange box hanging precariously over the dancefloor is not an air conditioning unit
  4. It has two decks and a mixer in it
  5. We will use it on Sundays (and maybe some Thursdays)
  6. Sundays like this one coming
  7. Where we will be in collab with the good folk at Reyka Vodka (told you last time we liked them)
  8. We'll also be exploring rare/unheard Icelandic psych/funk/soul from the 70s and 80s
  9. Check the facebook event out
  10. There will be a punch bowl - proceeds of which will go to crowdfunding the Icelandic cricket team
  11. The football team did well so we thought why not give 'em a hand to get a summer activity on the get go?
  12. They have enough light in summer
  13. But, this is the idea for 'Liner Notes' you see
  14. We'll be doing one every month or so
  15. Where you can get closer to a brand we love and dig around an oddball native music scene that accompanies it
  16. There will be lots of lovely Icelandic drinks & other bits
  17. You can visit at other times too
  18. This is quite hard to fill out
  19. And we don't have a natty map or graphic to support it
  20. So, we imagine you're quite bored now
  21. Can we throw a free Vodka Tonic your way?
  22. Come to the bar and say 'I got to 21' and we'll give you one
  23. That's it.
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Surviving heat rash


Last week was hot and you all decided to go to the park which we don't blame you for. But with the dangers of dIY BBQing now well documented in the mainstream media, you should really look to establishments like ours for refuge after a long day frazzling yourselves outside.

There's an old wives tale that you should never eat an oyster in a month without an 'R' in it. With that in mind we'll be ceasing to shuck from May 1st through to the end of August while the little fellas do their breeding business in peace. This means there'll be a new exciting food offering launching instead: making us - your friendly, local, neighbourhood basement bar - the perfect hotspot to recharge on your way home.   

Watch for the announcement next week. ✌︎ 

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A culture of violence #1802

Spring's technicolor dreamcoat


Good afternoon. Hoping this finds you drenched in the torrid rains of spring optimism? Just as the easterly beast came and went, so the transition into the new season has been met with as much damp-grey as a drowned suit.

Downstairs at 411 Mare St. we have a new menu in play; wherein we make it feel like it really is winter's end, not this wheezy, flaccid lurch. The bar is set to stun and the new drinks line up like sweet, delicious, pert macaroons.

⍢ "It’s here, it’s really here. Hoist up the maypole and run naked through the meadow."

⍡ 'Careful not to cut yourself on the wheat, now. That can really stick.'

We’re on a bit of a French leaning tip this time out; a booze-cruise to Calais that went wrong when the wi-fi dropped out and somehow we found ourselves channeling that Manon de Source vibe down in Provence. A peaty, verbena-laced Cognac sazerac, that rhubarb and lavender daiquiri, a calvados-cum-pistachio-cum-amaretti fix, a purple ‘vivant’ French 75 (for Prince) and an ode to the ferry crossing from Plymouth to Normandy; all served up in glorious technicolor!

Come taste ❀

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Easter weekend


With the season comes a tonne of bank holidays; the first being this weekend, which, unless you're holy (come on), is an excuse to really lean out into a good solid stretch of drinking. From Thursday we'll be open longer and later & if you fancy finding a real 'easter egg'  you'd do a lot worse than to pop your hollow-choccy head round the corner on Sunday.

~

Meantime here's a picture Alex took in Iceland last week with the Reyka vodkaexpedition. They deserve a plug for taking care of him, and frankly, you do too for quite possibly getting him there on a lovely all-expenses jolly. So this is the thanks you get: a picture of a tourist checking her picture in front of something actually worth looking at. You should go.

And drink Reyka. Always. ✌︎ 

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A culture of violence #1801

St. Patrick's

It's encroaching on time of year where everyone pretends to have a little Irish in them and that they actually really love Guinness: *dontchaknowthataboutme* really, LITERALLY, like I drink it all the time. This can be proven at the bar when ordering the next round in three phases of explicit braying noncery:

  1. critique of the pour - angle, speed, colouration (it's black)
  2. gratification that the rest-time is observed (based on knowledge gleaned from that black and white tick follows tock ad ~ correct timing or reasoning unknown) 
  3. smack/sigh/exhale combo on taking the first sip to accentuate the satisfactorily acquired white frothy moustache, followed by a benign comment about this being the best Guinness in the area and the best you've tasted outside Dublin.


Didn't know you'd ever been to Dublin? 

er, yeah, my Grandfather's actually from there.

Rinse repeat etc.

On Saturday we'll have some Guinness on draft but we have the wrong gas in the cellar for it so if anyone says it's the best we've either fluked it and created a beautiful accident or you're stuck with someone largely undesirable.

To up the Oirsh, Macca will be playing records; who isn't actually Irish but from Liverpool and that's as close as we could get. 

If you wanna practice your accent try the following line ~ "I'll be fine with all this oil" ~ but say 'Oil' for 'I'll'. How useful this sentence will be in real life situations is largely unknown. You can thank us later. Actually, scrap that: use that line at the bar this week with you're best accent and we'll give you a free beer.

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Equinox ~ 20th March
new menu

Next Tuesday we'll be launching our macaroon inspired new menu for Spring. It's the equinox which we think means that the day and night are the same length all around the world. To celebrate with the pagans we're putting out 6 new drinks, 3 new aperitifs, some light snacks and we'd love you to join us.

Book a table for Tuesday with the message MACAROON in the special requests box and we'll knock 50% off your bill*.

*You may be required to taste everything and then give lucid feedback.