The Film Buff's Hangout at The Birds
Black and White artiness, to reflect the work of the gentleman that this pub is named after (Photo credit - The Birds Instagram)
For all the horror movie fans out there, this one is for you. In the neighbourhood of Leytonstone, lies the independent pub, The Birds. But what makes this venue so special? Well, for one thing, Alfred Hitchcock was born in this particular area of London, and the locals have ensured that his legacy is appropriately marked. My good friend, geek queen and a long-term resident of the neighbourhood, Lou, introduced me to one of the hot spots here.
Named after one of Hitchcock’s iconic films, The Birds takes the book's theme to the max. From a portrait of Jack Nicholson from One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest on the wall of their main seating area, to an ‘avery’ in the outdoor terrace with delicate trinkets and fairy lights hanging from above. The toilets even have a special surprise, with tweeting sound effects played on the wall speakers.
To be fair, it does make for a rather relaxing ambience whilst you’re doing your business.
The cozy atmosphere of The Birds (Photo credit - The Birds Instagram repost from jesshardyldn)
The pub has a very hipster edge to it, appealing to my little Leeds student heart (miss you, UOL). With shabby-chic furniture and creaky floorboards, the venue has so much character and feels warm and inviting. Not to mention the awesome food and drink that they boast there. Myself, Lou and her friend Tom tucked into some scrumptious small plates of snacks, which included mac and cheese fries.
I know. I nearly died and went to heaven when I realised these existed as well.
Not only that, but every Tuesday the kitchen is taken over by a local chef, who offer a unique menu for the evening. Most recently the venue had dishes from Zara’s Caribbean Kitchen. The chef is a local Leytonstoner, who offered up home-cooked jerk chicken and fritters with chilli jam. So you can go along every week and expect something new. Plus, by hosting this night, the pub is promoting other businesses in the area. Screw commercialism.
Traditional Caribbean Jerk Chicken. Anyone else hungry now?
But Tuesdays aren’t the only night that offer something new. Lou had been adamant that the quiz nights here are something to behold. Booglaloo Stu's Quiffy Quiz is every Wednesday, holding an abundance of inappropriate humour. Hosted by an eccentric host, the quiz’s final round involves ‘PlasterSEXcine’ making. I would try to explain exactly what that is, but I know my mum is reading. So I’ll leave it to your imagination.
For #ThrowbackThursdays, the pub hosts a classic cult film viewing from between the seventies and nineties. You can see all their listings here. (I have also just noticed that True Lies is airing, so I know what I’ll be doing on the 25th January 2018. Love you Arnie). Fridays and Saturdays are all about live DJ takeovers and partying.
Of a night, the cozy pub transforms into a local vibrant hub for the area
If you are also at a loss for events this holiday season, The Birds are hosting Sunday matinees of Christmas films, whilst for New Years Eve the bar will be splashing out on an all-American frat party. Complete with beer pong, togas, kegs and cheerleaders. What more could you want? Check that out here.
The bar also has a space upstairs which is used for various different events. One of these include a takeover by The VR Concept, an events company who set up pop-up VR installations for punters to enjoy. This event takes place in the arcade room, which is gradually undergoing redevelopment.
Check out the work of the VR concept, here
The room currently holds a small collection of retro consoles, and the hosts have plans to expand this number and turn the room into a fully-operating gamers hangout. Alas, you can still grab your table-top kicks downstairs, as the bar has some classic board games such as Connect 4, Guess Who and (my personal favourite), The Bratz Game.
Look, I was a big fan of Jade, okay?
Prior to being shown around by Lou, I hadn’t known much about the area of Leytonstone, and having an evening out here with great company put me in high spirits. This place is truly a hidden gem of the city, and it showcase the area's quirky and artsy atmosphere. So if you’re looking to get your geeky kicks (and yummy food and booze) somewhere upcoming and independent, then this is the place to be.