Behind This Wall is a little hideaway in the most unsuspecting of locations, a five-minute walk from Hackney Central station. Blink and you’ll miss it.
This basement bar doesn’t offer much by way of food, but what they do offer is definitely worth the indulgence. Sophisticated bar snacks include fresh oysters topped with seawater foam and a dash of pickle juice. They also serve Hawaiian poke bowls clam chowder or a pumpkin oyster with black rice.
The drinks menu deserves time and appreciation as each cocktail has an edge to it. I would recommend the Providence Martini with a cranberry and lime ‘olive’ which bursts in your mouth to give you a mouthful of cosmopolitan.
The Hail Mary can be likened to a Bloody Mary, though with a thinner consistency. It is topped with a seawater foam also used on the oysters, and really packs a punch.
If you’ve got a taste for the sweeter things in life, then the Raj Gin Fizz is a must-try. The saffron gin compliments the grapefruit sour perfectly, shaken with egg white for a velvety-soft mouthful of YUM.
Behind This Wall is a laid-back, comfortable setting for drinks where you can be tucked away beneath one of the stone arches enjoying the cocktails as a live DJ plays behind the bar.
This haunt is one of Hackney’s best kept secrets and well worth scoping out.
Behind This Wall, Basement, 411 Mare Street, London, E8 1HY
Tel: +44 (0)20 8985 3927
The easiest way to get to the bar is to take the Overground to Hackney Central or Hackney Downs station and then it’s just a five-minute walk. Look for the BAR lightbox at the top of the narrow way and follow the strip-light downstairs to the bar. The bar is open Tuesday to Saturday from 6:00pm to 11:00pm.
Type of Bar: Subterranean Neighbourhood Bar & Raw Bar
Grab the tables under the stone arches if you want a more romantic and intimate setting.
Price Band: Medium
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10
Kelly Greene is a freelance travel writer based in East London, writing for Good Housekeeping and presenting for East London Radio
Photographs by Alex Zalewska