Tucked away in the heart of Hackney on the corner of a street, through an unsuspecting door and down an unsuspecting staircase, is a cracker of a cocktail bar that promises to make you warm and fuzzy inside.
Behind This Wall inhabits the basement of 411 Mare Street – a skip and a hop from Hackney Central Overground.
Complete with a DJ deck, candles and fresh flowers brightening up the bar, there’s an air of cool sophistication without trying too hard.
One thing they do care about is good drinks.
After ordering the £9 Vieux Over Manhattan, I watched mesmerised as the bartender gradually turned a cocktail of ingredients into something drinkable.
The finished (very) palatable poison, consisted of 100 proof rye, sweet vermouth, pisco, herbal liqueur, cold apple cedar smoke and orange.
Another must try – especially if in need of a pick-me-up – is the coffee liqueur-infused Salem Witch Reviver, topped with a dash of white rum, maraska liqueur and maple-candied apple.
Just so you don’t get too carried away on the drinking front, there is also a neat and novel food menu at BTW.
The chilli cashew nuts are perfect to snack on, along with the cheddar cheese and candied fruit menu.
If you’re looking for something more substantial, plunge your fork into a portion of poke.
BTW has its own twist on the Hawaiian-born appetiser, with a clam chowder flavour and pumpkin option.
Each bowl comes served with with black rice, lime pickled onions, lemon sea foam (it’s not washing up liquid, as I heard one person say), Chesapeake seasoning and toasted pumpkin seeds.
And for those looking to infuse a little romance in the candle-lit hideaway, a half dozen of oysters should serve as the perfect aphrodisiac.
So if you’re in need of some warm and fuzziness inside – or just some decent cocktails – be sure to check out BTW if you happen to be by Hackney.
Behind This Wall, 411 Mare St, London E8 1HY, to make a reservation visit behindthiswall.com or call 020 3632 1951