Turning 3

3 years old!

⍨ Peeling pink walls, 1 chisel and a hammer (+ ‘Handsome’ Pat), discovering power tools, Handy Andy’s youtube building channel, non-diy DIY, about 6 million bags of haribo, tiles, ply, dark ‘ocean’ floor (pfff), sound-system tweaks, opening night with tools still out, 12 menu changes, poké, £1 oysters, poké dogs, fermented fish, ‘not doing food’, Mao Chow, Yard Sale pizza, Silvija and Inga, Barry on every-night, Gordi ‘spare change, bruv’, adding the tops, cutting the taps, Freddie’s out, Ryan’s in, the age of Gwilly, “Beer-tini” vid (pff pfff), Luke’s lil farts, drive to Cambridge backwards to fix an amp, speakers upside down, Jon Rust Wednesdays, Custom’s Thursdays, Lord Gout and Prince Cackhands, enter Louie doing lovely bits, Serena and Giulia (og & Dutchie), on the radio, stealing Callum’s happy hour idea (sorry), where’s Clive & Susan, trip to Iceland (thanks Fab - will list Reyka one day again, promise), Macca trailblazing regular to staff, Auntie Char and RoRo, endless roadworks, ‘got a new gin for you to try, it’s got 650 botanicals including rare reindeer anus’, toilet door is jammed, age of Des, maybe a daiquiri?, Des does art curation too (!), Anna with the blue tick, Diego on the taps, Covco made a party, everyone wants a party, the DJ booth, CBD lab rats, Jordi…

& Thanks to you all above everything for keeping the circus flowing. Come dance with us next Friday (22nd Feb). Open till 4am.

Covco, Macca, Alex & Louie on tunes.

x BTW

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Jordan McGregor ~ opening

Tonight sees the opening of our latest exhibit by Canadian photographer Jordan McGregor, curated by our own Desirée Balma.

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Des took some time last week to ask Jordan a few questions about the selected works, his background, drawn to B&W prints, studying up in Vancouver (the Canadian riviera!), passing through London and the complexion of peripatetic photographer vs cityscapes. You can read the interview below,

The prints will be available to buy tonight up at the bar and listed here in the store from tomorrow.

Doors 6 – 11 pm. Macca on tunes ⍡

Who are you and what do you do?

Hey, my name is Jordan McGregor, I’m from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and currently reside in Toronto, Ontario. I’m a photographer who shoots fine art and street photography.

When & where did you get into B+W photography?

I got into shooting B&W street photography about half way through my program, studying digital photography in Vancouver, BC, in 2017. I was drawn to B&W because I found the simplicity of it allowed the viewer to focus more on the images composition and subject matter, rather than bold or distracting colors and gave my images a timeless feel.

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Did you take into account the models background, values, and personality while taking their portraits ?

When I’m out on the streets or in public looking for photos, almost all of my images are reactionary. I rarely stop on one street corner or area and wait out images. I continuously move and look for scenes that interest me and react as they unfold. So I never really consider much about the subject before taking the photo. If something, or someone, or the light catches my eye, I snap a photo.

Do you switch mindsets when you’re taking pictures in other countries?

That mostly depends on the country and their culture and norms I suppose. In some countries nobody bats an eye when you’re snapping a photo of them on the street and in other places people can be less receptive to it and don’t want to be photographed in public. I found London very easy to shoot street in, because most of the time it’s so busy and everyone is in such a rush that no one even notices you taking their photo.

What’s the most fascinating thing you can think of about london?

I think it’s diversity and history are fascinating. The history of the buildings and places and the stories that go along with them, and the city’s wide range of cultures and people make it an endlessly interesting city to photograph in.

Why did you cut your 2 year visa short?

I cut my visa short because as great of a city as London can be, it’s also a tough city to live in and after living in 4 different cities in 4 years, I wanted some more stability in my life and chose to move back to Canada.

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Honey & Ginger CBD Syrup now in 'store'

Been a long time coming…

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Our signature syrup from the Autumn drew a fair old amount of hype, so now we’ve bottled it up and made it available to you. Great in cocktails (obviously) with sprits and in hot drinks (we’ve been sipping recently with our lemon zinger kombucha tea). Also works wonderfully as a flavour-enhancing food supplement. Add one or two tablespoons to your recipes and away you go :)

⥽ Special offer on the first batch pre-order for early subscribers [30% off] ships out Monday ⥼

VISIT THE STORE HERE

Valentine's Flip

Is it too early to mention the ‘V’ word?

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Ah, Valentines. The most cursed & contrived of all the holidays. Couples dotingly gazing across each other eyes; yearning Lady, horny Tramp, unbroken spaghetti. ‘Oh but our love is special and unique’ and… shared with two dozen other pairings clinking and slurping and carefully concealing unruly gas.

Maybe you’ll get laid tonight if you go for the oysters and bellini lovers-combo starter? A sparkly heart-shaped flan could seal the deal? Should we stay for the aphrodisiacs coffee?

It blows on our side too. Flipping tables for pairs. Often awkward service. Nonsense specials. People staying too long, leaving too soon. is it busy enough to be a vibe but quiet enough to be intimate? No spark, no fun. Bring In The Singles.

This year we’re going singles only. We’ll throw in some solid party-starters courtesy of our pals at Tito’s Vodka (plug) & our CBD kitchen (plug 2); mix with a group of up-for-it people, loud music, some off-kilter conversation starters and we have the tonic for a good night out.

Interested? ~ sign up below to bypass our normal bookings procedure and we’ll send you full details the week before:

13.02.19 NB ~ due to excessive demand this list is now full to women and we have a spots only left for men!

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Status
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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.