The Magic House in Dalston

Dalston House has been without a doubt the most exciting art installation I’ve seen since Carsten Holler’s big slides at the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in 2007. It is an installation by argentine artist Leandro Erlich, known for his three-dimensional visual illusions, his latest project is a reconstructed house facade lying face-up and a mirror positioned over it at a 45-degree angle, the mirror reflects your image and creates the illusion that you are walking up the walls or dangling from the window, the possibilities are endless.

After a few attempts to get in, or shall I say, on Dalston House, I finally did it last Saturday morning, and although it only lasted 4 minutes I enjoyed every second of it. It was so interesting to see how the viewer interacted with the house and just let their imagination go in order to create the illusion of walking on the walls, dangling up side down from a window or even crawling from the bottom to the top of the house, it is fair to say the experience wouldn’t be complete without a camera and a friend or someone photographing you on the house.

I went with my friend John and regardless the hot weather and the 1 hour queue we waited with excitement, just like a pair of kids, I found myself thinking of the objects I could have brought or outfits worn to create a more surreal illusion, for me it was all about capturing those moments in photographs.

Dalston House is on Ashwin Street, the road before mine, which makes it impossible to walk past without having a peak of what people do and what age they are, I really enjoyed watching a group of three friends in their late 50’s or quite possibly early 60’s, suspended one from another like a chain, screaming and doing funny facial expressions, you don’t see things like this every day so, visit this magical house and let your inner child go!

Dalston House by Beyond Barbican, 1-7 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL, free.

Women in Black

These two girls were playing and posing on the house once it had been closed to the public, I was walking past and managed to take these photos with my phone.

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Never let me go

My friend John dangling from the top of the house and I’m holding onto his foot while a woman stares at us with panic from the window.

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A mysterious man

A man is walking up the wall as he is coming to rescue us, John is only holding both of us with one hand and I don’t want to let go of my handbag.

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Testing Gravity

John reckons it’s time to play and test the laws of gravity and floats up side down while I’m busy taking pictures.

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A different perspective

My world is up side down and I like it.

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OUI MADAME! A fabulous new french restaurant in Dalston

OUI Madame!_Bistrot

It is not a secret that I am a little bit obsessed with Dalston and all the fantastic things it has to offer, shops, bars, cafes and restaurants, and when it comes to dinning I really love its well known Turkish places but apart from that there isn’t a great variety of cuisine, so when I heard about a new french restaurant opening I was really excited.

It’s called OUI MADAME! and it just opened last weekend, it’s in Stoke Newington High Street, more Stokey than Dalston I suppose but it is literally a 5 minutes walk from Dalston Kingsland overground station.

It’s creative french food, no menu, it’s a surprise on the day, they have delicious wines from independent producers in France, a brilliant selection of cachaca (better known as brazilian rum) and special caipirinhas and cocktails made with absinthe.

OUI MADAME! 182 Stoke Newington High Street

OUI MADAME! 182 Stoke Newington High Street

Great & interesting selection of cocktails.

Great & interesting selection of cocktails.

It is also opened for Brunch on Sundays 12-4pm

It is also opened for Brunch on Sunday 12-4pm

OUI MADAME is inspired by the great surrealists and their beautiful ideology that dreams can solve problems, also by what they used to drink, absinthe, knows as “la fée verte”, the popular drink consumed among Parisian artists and writers in late 19th century.

I visited it last night and I cannot recommend it enough, the food was gorgeous, it’s exactly what I call original french sophisticated dishes. What I also loved is the deco and the character it has, quirky but mellow and to me this place ticked all the boxes.
My friend John and I were welcomed with an OUI Madame cocktail, I’m not going to reveal all the ingredients of this fabulous drink but it has raspberry and absinthe, that’s all you need to know. The starter was cream of artichoke with jerusalem artichoke chips and mussels, the main course was duck breast with sweet garlic and vegetables and last but not least baba de rhum with blood orange sorbet for dessert, everything was delightful and so was the bottle of Domaine d’Homs Cahors we had to accompany our meal.

The concept of this bistrot is lovely and interesting, owned by a french creative and very talented bunch OUI MADAME! is without a doubt something special in this part of town. There will also be a club in the basement opening soon but sadly I can’t share any details as it’s best to keep it as a surprise, it will definitely be the subject of another post in this blog though.

It is opened Tuesday to Sunday and mostly until 12am and later on the weekends. Excellent drinks, food and vibe, and for those of you who think it might be pretentious because it’s in trendy Dalston/Stoke Newington well, let me tell you that the staff and owners are extremely friendly and they really create an enjoyable atmosphere.
Visit OUI MADAME! soon and check out their Facebook page to understand the fascination, you will love it.

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Fantastic selection of  wines form independent producers in France.

Fantastic selection of wines form independent producers in France.

Oui Madame!

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John and the quirky clocks of Oui Madame!

John and the quirky clocks of Oui Madame!

After cocktails and cognac comes the red wine.

After cocktails and cognac comes the red wine.