Wave is a café without a home. All this year it’s been popping-up at locations in and around Muswell Hill. Unlike your typical café, its organisers aim to combine tasty food and drink with an exciting arts programme. They want to unite the local community, bringing together people with and without disabilities, to work and to socialise.
On the way in to a recent event at The Pavilion in Albert Road Recreation Ground, a sign invited people to eat a jelly bean whilst holding their nose, as a means of experiencing life with reduced taste. On the tables there was information and suggested activities on the theme of sensory issues. They covered topics like why some people struggle with conversation and why some don’t like being touched. As an inclusive organisation, it makes sense for Wave to promote awareness of these things.
Singer and beatboxer Tom McConnell performed. He layered his own voice with a loop pedal and played guitar, Ed Sheeran style. A rendition of the Jungle Book classic ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ hit the spot, with an enthusiastic crowd joining in. He was charismatic and charming, building an easy rapport with the audience. He even taught them some beatboxing basics, like how to imitate a hi-hat drum.
There was a clay sculpture workshop, prompting people to get creative. A polaroid photography ‘booth’ allowed patrons to take snaps with their friends, which could be stuck on the wall immediately. This sort of picture taking was a welcome antidote to the modern smartphone selfie. On top of all this we got a comedy quiz, where players had to decipher whether a foreign sounding word was the name of a Swedish town or a Swedish vegetable.
The food was a treat for the tastebuds. There were delicious savoury offerings of pizza, curry and halloumi wraps. Profiteroles, strawberries and cream provided a mouth watering dessert. This was accompanied by a well stocked bar, with a range of soft and alcoholic drinks. If the pop-up is anything to go by, Wave Café will be a destination for foodies and culture vultures alike, once it finds a permanent base.