i have known lumiere, the one and only colourful, sexy and mysterious juice bar on chatsworth road, in lower clapton, london for three years now, when i visited it for a friend's birthday before a screening at bfi for llgff...
it's totally zen! a permanent fountain with water gently pouring, calms the senses and there is a lingering flower smell, so pleasant and positive, you are in sweet yummy trance never to cease...
thare are flowers and fruit and heart shaped labels of the products and a plethora of teas, some spirits, a coffee machine, plants, a big golden L decorating the wall, before you go downstairs to another room, leading to another room, leading to another room and an outside area on one side and the loos on the other...
magic is always needed and embraced and lumiere represents this very well, as a wonderfully tucked away paradise in a middle of a gentrified community full of artists, nuclear families and old locals and the dodgy eggs and the queers! a melting pot...
so, it made great sense that i brought stav B's liquor bar at lumiere, which i transformed as dark room for fringe fest 2012!
fringe film fest, in its second year, is an alternative film festival, which started as a flippant chat on facebook (as the T club, too; the joys of facebook), when the london lesbian and gay film festival was cut to one week instead of two, because of UK's useless and conservative government (awful tories)!
one thing led to another and the festival was born, with an array of films, screenings, exhibitions, talks and events in various alternative east end venues... beautiful!
i was asked to participate with my bar in the festival, as my work is known, recognised and appreciated and generally fits the bill and the collaboration begun. last year, i was doing the bar at bob's in his pie n' mash, so when i was asked this year, i had the perfect venue in mind, which eventually fell through, because it was not structurally safe, although, i have it in mind, when it gets ready for my events, for the foreseeable future!
this year, we pushed the event further, by incorporating, along with the screenings, performances, a workshop and a catalogue launch... and we added the idea of the dark room, inspired by and emulating the dark and crusing rooms for women in the 20s, 30s and 40s in paris, berlin and new york...
so, it all fit into place, choosing lumiere, the dark room, the female ejaculation workshop, the performance with blood marking the body and fresh lillies decorating the cranium, screenings of lesbian porn and the cataloque full of lesbian female erotica, washing it down of course, with concoctions, mixed with spices and jam, fresh fruit and juices and a lot of spirit!
there was a lot of activity! upstairs, downstairs, in the dark room, behind the bar, you get the picture... we were busy and despite, the hiccups, the tiny bar, some art stalling, we did it, pulled it off, managed it and completed the task successfully... and we'd do it again and again, with passion and positive energy!
phew! and my goodness, so wonderfully exhausted!
working with spices and fire (not yet) has been on my mind for some time, so and because of this particular event, i decided to put it into fruition...
after a skype meeting with my friend and curator of the screenings, etc, where we were talking logistics and arranging details, i exclaimed that i was going to make spicy pomegranate(fertility, sexuality, femaleness, get it?) martinis and the drink was born!
OMG! it was seriously yummy, sexy, delicious...
it was a vodka based drink, with pomegranate liqueur, which i travelled to soho to get, lemon juice and the amazing cardamon sirop, which gave the drink the spiciness and roundness it deserved! very popular!
as well as the fig margarita, with tequila, lime and cointreau and a good spoonfull of figue confiture, which cost me £6.50 to buy from the local deli!
even more spice there, as the gold tequila interacted with the pulp very very well!
there were marmalade vodka collins and apricot jam treacles with dark rum, there were sours with a hearty/ frothy head and there was beer and wine and a huge bowl of mocktail punch i had made earlier with lots of tropical juice (passion/ mango/ pineapple), fresh fruit (melon/ apple/ blackberries/ strawberries/ lime/ ornage/ lemon), grenadine and sirop d'orgeat, who a lot of folk demanded it with rum, as the night progressed! the red chiili was crushed before the vermouths, the rich and scrumptious chocolate liqueur and the bourbon were stirred in for the manhattan! so good!
i used the fresh strawberries to make caipirinhas with them later on, too, as the liquid diminished and the imagination flourished!
i had a fantastic team from security to the door, the bar, the photographer, the djs! beautiful, competent people and good friends, too! blessed, or what?
lumiere left us alone in trust and love, as they fell asleep, watching the remake of the 'the thing'! cute! and i left the venue at 6am, where the dawn was cracking gently, leaving the place decent, switched off and locked, to drive down to soho and have breakfast!
look forward to the next year's fringe, as i'm sure it will be expanding more...
the dark room continues... in the liquor bar... watch this space and see you at the east london fawcett society fundraiser, which i am really excited about!
many thanks to all involved, helped, supported, especially, kaison, anka, andre, william, zbigniew, mustique, sophie, shar, sj, fahmida, ivana, derrie, noga and lorenzo at lumiere!
sexy love! stav B. x