Everyday I receive an email with a list of the hottest fashion launches, chicest events and most hip-happening parties to go to this coming week. And everyday I pretty much head straight for the delete button. I mean schmoozing with the ‘IT crowd’ and ‘media scenesters’ in a venue that’s either so painfully upmarket even the toilet attendants scoff at my scuffed last season nikes or so painfully downmarket it doesn’t even have real walls, just some graffiti’d paper mache found in a skip on Upper Clapton Road that’s actually an original ‘Banksy’ and even then, the Haiwaian-shirt wearing, bespectacled and bearded hipsters also scoff at my scuffed last season nikes (it’s all about New Balance now babes!); To then have to subtly try and make sure you’re in the right place at the right time to get your fill on the canapes and cocktails which is what you really came for all the while pretending to have a really good time despite knowing that you are dressed utterly wrong and not at all ‘fashion’ as everyone around you is in black, face-covering veils and you’re just stood there in an H&M cardy that your mum bought you for Christmas. No ta! I think I’ll go home and watch Game of Thrones and eat spaghetti hoops straight out of the tin.
A few week’s ago as I swiftly moved my mouse to the X button on one particular email something caught my eye. This was no fashion launch, it wasn’t an exhibition unveiling and it certainly didn’t list names of famous models who were going to ‘DJ’ later on in the evening. This was the launch of pop-up restaurant,
Psychic Psycho Burger at The Old Queen’s Head (just an ordinary pub!) in Angel. And on the menu for the launch…
F R E E B E E R & F R E E B U R G E R S!!!
Obviously my fingers went into panic mode as I bashed out an email to the PR begging (for once) to be added to the list. Luckily all of 5 minutes later I had a reply confirming I was in – phew! Now to find a partner in crime to go with. Enter Jerri, my old-colleague, once upon a time model and now budding photographer.
We met outside the pub just after 6.30pm and much to Jezza’s surprise there was already quite a queue. It moved quickly though and soon we were inside clutching a raffle ticket each for our free bottle of Camden Brew, Hells larger. We wedged ourselves in at the crammed bar and handed over our beer tokens to the flat-out bar staff. I surveyed the area and realised I hadn’t actually been in the Old Queen’s Head before, I’m sure I’d have remembered if I had due to the trophy style heads mounted on the wall…and not just animal heads, no, but freaky, fake chav heads looking down on you too. It was slightly unnerving. With quirky decor like this I think it’s safe to say that the Old Queen’s Head is a bit of a hipster pub and a quick once over of the other event guests sure confirmed that fact. Not that this is a problem, I like hipsters, they make scary places feel safe! East London/Peckham/Brixton + Hipsters = friendly directions, returned wallets and gushing apologies are made for any mild misdemeanour.
With all the bodies in the main downstairs room, temperatures were starting to soar so (after bumping into an old mate and his pals) Jezza and I decided to escape upstairs to a cooler less crowded bar. We even managed to nab a table! Alas this table nab turned out to be a big mistake. HUGE. (you said it Vivian!). Y’know back up there in paragraph two when I crossed out the word Psychic and wrote Psycho? Well there was a reason for that because although this was the launch of pop-up restaurant Psychic burger it turned out to be for Psychos. And burger Psychos at that. I don’t know whether hipster can’t afford to eat because they spent all their money on fake glasses and kale but when the burgers came out it was like a scene from a Zombie apocalypse film. It was ugly! I mean just look…
Not pretty huh? Very grabby, grabby and not very sharey, sharey. Groups began loitering in the corridors and on the stairs, acting all nonchalant before losing their god-damn minds as soon as the patty trays appeared. To the credit of the staff at the Old Queen’s Head, they were doing all the could to ensure a fair selection of people got a freebie but mob rules meant that they barely made it out alive. Me? I sat back and watched in horror as tray after tray and staff member after staff member was devoured by the braying pack of new-balance wearing cannibals. And to think I was just preaching about how nice Hipsters were!
An hour and half after arriving and Jezza and I decided to call it night despite not having been within an inch of a Psychic burger. Disappointed and dejected, as we got up to leave an effortlessly cool girl approached the table and asked if she and her friend could jump in our seats and there in her Henry Holland manicured (yet slightly chipped) fingertips was a Psychic Burger, in all its glory. Past all caring I very (very!) weirdly asked if I could snap a picture of the Burg to share on my blog, quite why I really don’t know…it’s not like I can tell you what it tasted like (and it’s not even a very good picture) but I was weak from hunger as well as a little drunk (thanks to lack of food!) and it felt like the best way to take a step back up onto hierarchy after my pitiful fall to the bottom of the food chain during the apparent ‘survival of the hungriest’ conquest that had just taken place. I thought that when people asked “so, did you get to try a Psychic burger?” I could reply with “No, but I got a picture of one, look, look!” and then they’d oooh and ahhhhh in awe at my near greatness. A bit like a celeb-spot, this was my claim on the evening.
The girl then politely informed me that I could actually go and buy my own burger at the bar if I wanted to. I know, she’s was clearly on crack. As if I was going to come to an event with FREE burgers and instead end up buying one, pffft that’s just all sorts of illogical thinking. So instead Jerri and I headed for home via McDonald’s, although not before jumping in the Psychic Burger photobooth. I then vowed to always press the delete button on that daily email, as even if something’s free it will always cost you
your dignity something.
Pyschic Burgers will be residents at the Old Queen’s Head for the foreseeable future. So if you’d like to pop in, try and burger for me and report back, that’d be great (tell me what you think on twitter @killofox). As well as burger pop-ups the Old Queen’s head regularly runs events such a comedy nights, karaoke, pub quizzes and more! And on Wednesday’s
we wear pink you can get a burger and a beer for a mere £9 – sounds like a better deal than free to me.