Friday 12 September, location The Laundry Hackney, the event, the House of Masks reveal of Cubanisto, a new rum flavoured beer. We were promised a night of mystery, surprise and intrigue and that is exactly what we got.
On arrival we were greeted by one of beautiful people dressed head to toe in white, whom declared we ‘confess to enter’. Behind number one stood four podiums housing what looked like cheque books….this was where we were to state, in writing, our confession. Once the confession had been written in what felt like blood, we waited in line to be let through a door, one by one, by the second. All those that stood in line, including me, had no idea what lay in wait on the other side of the door, we simply clutched our confession and anticipated our fate.
Once through the door I was welcomed by two rather robot like air stewardess looking ladies who snatched my confession slip from me and handed me what looked like a piece of a puzzle. I was told to seek the two other pieces of the puzzle to find the key! I was then pointed in the direction of a very small door and asked to enter. On the other side of the door was a dimly lit hallway with man in a mask. I was handed a mask of my own and told to ‘be whoever I wanted to be’. At this point I was smiling from ear to ear, this is awesome!! Behind the keeper of the masks was yet another door with a neon sign above that read ‘discover the spirit within’….I opened the door and was immediately handed my very own bottle of Cubanisto….I needed a drink after that!!!
The room was filled with walls adorned in graffiti art, neon signs, a confessions wall (which for the record had our real confessions being projected onto it) and other House of Mask revellers in their very own self-styled masks. We discovered very quickly a room aptly titled ‘The Mask Clinic’, we were supplied with feathers, gems and colours galore to adorn our masks and be whoever we wanted to be.
Once masked and ready I was approached by two other masked attendees who were interested in my puzzle piece. They were the two pieces that I needed. I was taken to the far corner of the room where I was given a key and told to find the four boxes, one of which my key would unlock. Of course I sought the boxes immediately….I needed to know what was in the box!
Once unlocked my box revealed a card that gave me ‘One Free Medianoche’, a pulled ham and macaroni and cheese toastie, an odd combination that just worked. Free food, free drink and music to make your body move. The DJ played a selection of tunes that ranged from reggae revival classics to trance. The night was a melting pot of contradiction that simply fit like hand and glove……perfect.
So what about the reason were all there, the beer? Cubanisto rum beer is described as having a fresh taste of citrus, orange zest and lime, accentuated by the aroma of caramelised cane sugar and treacle, I say it was lovely (I am all about keeping it simple). It didn’t taste like beer at all which was probably as a result of the sugar and treacle and part of its appeal. It is a drink that some would describe as a creeper; sweet and goes down a treat but before you know it, if you’re not careful, it will have crept up on you warming your soul and massaging your inhibitions. Cubanisto was a perfect balance and was certainly a hit with me and those around me if the smiles and queues at the bar were anything to go by. House of Mask, nobody could have done it better!!