Posted on

A chat with Jonny Lindsey – the local artist behind our upcoming Bog Gallery exhibit

On Sunday 30th January, we’ll be donning berets and dusting off our weariest withering looks for our Bog Gallery opening party at Corto — the launch of Jonny Lindsey’s first ever gallery exhibit.

Jonny has been making art in East Lancashire since 2020 under the name @paint_yer_brain, and every piece displayed in the Bog Gallery is brand spanking new, created between Christmas 2021 and the days leading up to the month-long exhibition in Corto.

You might have seen some of Jonny’s work already — he’s designed cans and pump clips for local breweries and pubs and he’s even painted something for us before, the brilliant portrait of Anthony Bourdain that’s hung in the alcove by the window. We love it!

We asked Jonny to tell us a bit more about himself and his art ahead of his opening party.

How would you describe your art?

I’d like to think it is as chaotic as a pigeon trapped inside a Greggs.

I’m a big believer in doing things a bit outside of the box, the more eye catching and strange – the better! Bright colours that pop into your eyesight and make you wonder what the hell you’re looking at. I don’t have any formal art training as I just started it out of boredom in (way back when) the first lockdown about March, 2020. It has largely and always will be trial and error (emphasis on error..!)

Who are your main artist inspirations or heroes?

This is one of those questions where I will immediately regret not mentioning about 10 other artists BUT here goes: David Shrigley is a big influence, I love his simplistic style be it his illustration or paintings, I think if I could be assed I’d stalk him. 

Picasso’s line work fascinates me. Francis Bacon had some mental paintings which look like nightmares which I can relate to, being from Accrington. I love the chaos of Noel Fielding’s work and how abstract and simple it is. Celeste Mountjoy is incredible, I love her line drawing! Jim Moir (Vic Reeves) bird paintings have me in stitches and awe in equal measure. More recently the writing of Babek Ganjei is hilarious, his writing style is so unique. also Albert Willem, Ruth Mora, Isabella Cotier… So many more!

What makes East Lancashire a unique place to draw inspiration from?

I think it’s the lack of seeing our accent written down the way we say it. I love local dialect, I use it in my poetry also. I think the scenery in a lot of England is so drab and grey, carbon copy towns with the same supermarkets. The thing that can set them apart are the independent bars, pubs, restaurants and breweries. There’s so much history in Lancashire’s pubs. 

I take a lot of inspiration from just listening to how people speak and the stereotypes some people play up to. I hope my paintings can brighten up a few of those places too. Also, “Oreet” is great to write with a Posca pen.

Where is your studio?

I was getting pretty sick of painting in my bedroom. I live in a house share with a mate, renting. Have you ever tried getting paint out of carpet? I wouldn’t recommend it personally. Especially if you’d been drinking out of boredom in lockdown. Anyway, my friend Becky Livsey mentioned she had a space in Accrington at Haworth Art Gallery Stable Studios so I took a trip down! There was one space available in the converted old barn up in the attic. It’s a magnificent building and I feel like an Earl when I’m there, it’s got a Facebook page too if you want a gander at it. I’ve got some videos of it on my instagram also! 

I paint every week, I think there is always room for improvement and practice makes perfect, I have quite a lot of paintings displayed there at my work bench, with some being displayed at Corto also!

What are your themes for the Bog Gallery exhibit?

It will look like someone has thrown a paint pot at the Sun filled with every colour in the rainbow, as God sprinkles you with natural wine and IPA beer. The theme is fun, enjoyment and celebrating how stupid and funny a night out can be and the wild things you’ll hear.

Why are you working with Corto?

It’s the most relaxed space to have some beautiful beverages in. It’s the perfect sized building to avoid the chaos of the outside world and drink some extremely potent IPA beer, some tasty natural wine or cider. I always feel so welcome there and to be honest, if I did it in Accy Wetherspoons all my paintings would be nicked within an hour.

Local artist recommendation?

This is where I start getting uninvited on nights out if I miss someone out…so here goes:

Becky Livesy & Steve Crowther plus all the other resident artists at Haworth Art Gallery Stable Studios! @Treeanon.Paints Sometimes does some amazing neon mountains! @CatFunted also creates some hilarious illustrations about a very annoyed cat. @ProperRude creates some distressingly offensive bathroom and kitchen utensils. @SadGurl_Art makes some great Simpsons inspired portraits! My mates at True Til Death Tattoo Studio in Accrington (special mention to Christopher Kenyon who has tattooed me for over a decade now, proper ink wizard I tell thee!) There are so many… @BronxCharlieArt is my mate Lee who creates some stunning realism, he’s got one of Jimi Hendrix on his instagram that blows my mind. I will await the beatings for forgetting probably loads of people..

Would I be able to buy your artwork at the Bog Gallery? 

I will have some prints available and may put price tags on selected paintings towards the end of February but I want them to be displayed as long as possible till the exhibits closing date! There will also be a donations box if you happen to want to help me buy more paint. Cheers!

Check out Jonny’s art from January 30th until February 27th at Corto in the Bog Gallery!

Posted on

PRE-ORDER Marie Courtin -Efflorescence 2015 Champagne (A note from Katie)

Get yourself a special bottle of grower champagne to celebrate a Christmas where we’ll all be together again.

Last festive season Tom bought me a magnum of Efflorescence, with the promise that when we opened it, we’d be surrounded by people we love again.

Needless to say, Efflorescence by Marie Courtin, the champagne house mastered by Dominique Moreau in Polisot, Cotes des Bar, means a lot to the both of us.

But enough mushy stuff. What does it taste like? Smell like? Feel like?

Efflorescence in chemistry terms, is the name for a layer of salt and minerals — so as you might expect, this cuvée displays beautiful glimmering textures of minerality brought up from the limestone-clay soil; the same soil found in Chablis and Sancerre.

If you prefer your champagne to be packed with leesy brioche richness, this might be a turning point bottle for you. 100% Pinot Noir and aged in ex-Chablis oak barrels and with no added dosage, it’s got a lemony brightness and raspberry fizz. It’s extra-brut. It’s spritzy, playful and perfect with festive canapés like blinis with smoked trout.

Dominique Moreau prefers to use the name Efflorescence for a more romantic meaning, however. To the house of Marie Courtin, Efflorescence is a word that encompasses constant and gradual evolution, shifting and changing with time.

This champagne will age fantastically well. As Moreau says, the grapes used for this cuvée have “great power”, and this fuller body and tart burst-berry-like acidity will enjoy time to itself for the next 15-20 years.

If you can wait that long.

We say: pop that bottle.

Marie Courtin – Efflorescence 2015 is £60 per bottle from Corto on pre-order ONLY.

PRE-ORDERS ARE BEING TAKEN UNTIL MONDAY 20th DECEMBER

PLEASE MAKE AND PAY FOR YOUR ORDERS AT THE BAR, OR EMAIL US IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT IN: hello@cortobar.co.uk

We will not be posting orders. Collection only.

Posted on

Perfect Pairings for your Christmas Dinner

Sit a-while and listen to our tales of drinks pairing perfection, and learn how you too could eat and drink your way to merriment this Christmas.

Festive meals can be a bit stressful to plan. Cooking for a large group of folk when you’re not used to doing it seems like a big task, and after you add in all the special side dishes and deserts, cheese boards and post-dinner boardgame snacks, it’s beginning to look a lot like a nightmare. The last thing you want is to have to think about what drinks to pair with what on top of all that.

Or, maybe you’re a grateful guest, looking for the ideal selection of booze to bring with you. 

“Just bring something to drink!” you were told. But what??

Relax. It’s not that deep. Let us do the choosing for you, so that all you have to do is memorise a few deets from below and pour with confidence. An instant home sommelier and general all-round Christmas winner.

The Door-Opener, Festive-Greeter and Merriment-Beginner

Nothing feels better than opening the door with a glass of something fizzy and fancy for your newly-arriving guests. It’s about the only time we feel anything close to how we imagine it feels to be Nigella Lawson.

If you’re looking for something a little different (and a little more budget-friendly) then I heartily recommend choosing Little Pomona — First Waltz.

Yes, it’s a cider, but we promise you’ve never tried a cider like this one before. It’s a wild-fermented pét-nat (naturally fizzy, basically) cider, made with Ellis Bitter, Dabinett, cryo-conditioned Egremont Russet apples and perry pears and aged in bourbon barrels, giving it a beautiful aromatic lightness and peachy complexity. It is a joy. Serve in champagne flutes cool, but not too cold.

Starters: Here We Go

If you’re not having smoked salmon or prawn cocktail or a delicious veggie option made with asparagus — what on earth are you having? It is the law to be eating one of the above as your starter for Christmas dinner, and to put your paper cracker hat on before you eat it. 

With seafood or a light vegetable starter, we’d normally recommend a dry white wine to lift and brighten like a squeeze of lemon juice, and to cut through any lingering creaminess in your chosen sauces (be they hollandaise, marie rose or mayo — no judgements). 

We all agree that Mikaël Bouges — French Clara is Corto’s white wine of the year. A fresh, natural, minerally Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire, it’s got a super-delightful aroma of bright berries; raspberries, maybe? Cranberries? Could be.

The Main Event

Whether you’re having turkey or goose, nut roast or wild mushroom wellington, beef, pork or salt-baked cod, we’re gonna be honest — it’s impossible to really pair a drink perfectly with a meal that has so many different elements.

What we suggest is choosing a star flavour from your meal and picking a drink to suit it.

Pair the best bits of Christmas dinner (roast potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce) with Judith Beck – Ink, an Austrian red with surprising subtle acidity and spicy tannins. It’s light body means it goes down easy, and won’t lay heavily on white meat, poultry and veg.

Are you having pudding? We’ll have pudding if you’re having pudding.

Everybody say “Ooh!” because the Christmas pud is being carried to the table, alight, regal, majestic.

We’d choose De Dolle Brouwerij — Stille Nacht for its festive spice and moreish sweetness to pair here. Belgian beer is often a perfect match for food, and Stille Nacht, while on the sweet side, has enough prickly, estery spice to sharpen it up.

Cheese, biscuits, Quality Street, Scrabble

Honestly you need some barleywine in that glass you’ve got there. Pass it over.

Rivington — Barley Wine 2021 is a beautiful accompaniment to an evening of snacks, cheese, sofa naps and board games. Forget Port (sorry Port.)

This is the very same barley wine as we’ve been enjoying pouring on tap the past week or so, presented in a beaut 750ml wax-dipped bottle, and we wholeheartledly love it.

Buy the Pack

Grab everything on this list in a super-convenient pack!

1 x Little Pomona — First Waltz
1 x Mikaël Bouges — French Clara
1 x Judith Beck — Ink
1 x De Dolle Brouwerij — Stille Nacht
1 x Rivington — Barley Wine 2021

All for £66 — a £16 saving on our regular take-out prices. WOW.

Something Special

If you’re looking for something really special to celebrate with around the table, we are taking pre-orders for Marie Courtin — Efflorescence, a truly special biodynamic champagne.

Naturally grown, made with as little intervention as possible, no sulphites added. A gorgeous representation of what natural champagne can really be.  It is £60 per bottle, and we think it’s worth every penny. Let us know if you want some and we’ll get it ordered for you.

Serve with oysters, smoked salmon blinis or in the bath.

Posted on

Corto Christmas Opening Times

Corto is run by two Capricorns, which means we’re always scheduling, planning and prepping. Blame the arbitrary alignments of the stars at the individual times of our births for what’s about to come next: WE ARE PLANNING FOR CHRISTMAS.

In all seriousness though guys, it’s November now. Christmas is coming. Plan now, relax later. Why get stressed about the festive season a week before it happens when you could get it all worked out now and then eat stollen bites for the next month and a bit?

Some of you are super organised, and have been asking us about our Christmas and New Year plans for a while now. Kudos. We meant it when we said we didn’t have a clue — but we do now! So without further ado, here are the Corto festive opening times, 2021.

Thursday 23rd December: 12-10

Christmas Eve: 12-6

Christmas Day: CLOSED

Boxing Day: CLOSED

Monday 27th December: CLOSED

Tuesday 28th December: CLOSED

Wednesday 29th December: CLOSED

Thursday 30th December: 12-10

New Year’s Eve: TICKETED EVENT – MORE INFO TBC

Sunday 2nd January 2022: CLOSED

Monday 3rd January 2022: CLOSED

Tuesday 4th January 2022: CLOSED

Wednesday 5th January 2022: CLOSED

Thursday 6th January 2022: 12-10

Book Your Christmas Party!

We’re now taking bookings for Christmas parties. Our diary is filling up, so if you’d like to host your own bash at Corto over the festive period, give us an email on hello@cortobar.co.uk

What we need to know:

  • How many folks you’re planning to invite (to a maximum of 30)
  • Whether you’ll require food
  • If you’d like to put on something a little different – a wine, cider or beer tasting perhaps? A quiz?
  • Your budget per person

FYI we normally do not take whole venue bookings on aFriday or Saturday as this is our busiest time of the week. If these are days you need to book on, please get in touch to find out hire rates for Corto on the date you had in mind.

Christmas Present Shopping

Make life a bit easier for yourself and let us choose your christmas presents for you!

We can offer personalised natural wine, craft beer and cider shopping so you can find the perfect gift for the choosiest people — and we’ll wrap it for you too. And throw in some stickers. God, we’re good to you.

If you’d rather treat them to a day at Corto somewhere down the line, we do sell gift cards in any amount you fancy. Just let us know what you’re planning to spend and we’ll take care of it. We can also post gift cards nationally, just ask!

So there it is, our tentative first steps towards the Big Christmas Season. Get those dates in your diary so you don’t pop down when we’re closed. See you soon x

Posted on

POURING AT CORTO ALL HALLOWEEN WEEKEND: Rivington x Chainhouse Evil Dead Trilogy Tap Takeover

This weekend, we’ll be pouring Rivington and Chainhouse’s collab Evil Dead Trilogy beers as part of their national tap takeover. And we can’t wait!

From 4pm on Friday 29th October 2021, Rivington Brew Co. and Chainhouse Brew Co. will be well and truly taking over our taps with their full Evil Dead Trilogy range. The Evil Dead Trilogy beers are:

THE EVIL DEAD: Mango, Raspberry and Vanilla Sour – 5%

EVIL DEAD II: DIPA – 10%

ARMY OF DARKNESS: Imperial Stout – 10%

Each beer will be available all weekend, INCLUDING at our Halloween Pizza Party with Marley’s authentic Neapolitan pizza. Oh yes. Wood fired pizza and brand new beers. You can’t get better than that.

Corto x Marley’s Halloween Pizza Party

That’s right – we’re having a pizza party and you’re invited.

Just what is it about pizza that makes us feel all halloweeny? Maybe its all the fresh slices oozing mozzarella on our screens during the teen horror movies of the 90s we grew up with. Maybe we just love an excuse to throw a rager with an old-school house party vibe. Whatever it is, we can’t wait.

Rock up on Saturday 30th October 2021 from 3pm for a pizza the action!

Rivington Evil Dead Trilogy Take-Out Cans

Over the weekend you will also be able to take home your own cans of The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness in a special edition pack complete with its own limited ed. glass.

Glassware! You know you want it.

Grab all three beers and the glass for £20. What an absolute bargain.

Posted on

Fly In Your Dreams – Pouring at Corto this Sunday 17 October

The brand new beer from Duration Brewing in Norfolk is Fly In Your Dreams, a hedgerow Saison brewed with mugwort and blackberries. It was brewed in collaboration with Dark Times Apothecary, and it’s got a lot of really cool meanings behind the ingredients and the artwork.

Continue reading Fly In Your Dreams – Pouring at Corto this Sunday 17 October
Posted on

Mod Weekender comes to Corto – flamenco vibes, let’s go

IT’S BACK.

The Ribble Valley Mod Weekender is taking over Clitheroe this weekend after a year away and we’re super jazzed to be involved this time.

All weekend from Friday to Sunday we’ll be doing things a little differently:

No Reservations

This weekend we will not be taking bookings for tables or seats. It’s walk-ups only, friends! This includes Friday night when we’ll have some amazing live music (more on that in a bit.)

Can Bar

We’ll be expecting a lot more guests this weekend (hurray!) so we’ll have a second bar to take care of your rapid tinnies.

Biodegradeable Plastic Cups

Mod Weekender is a busy time and while we’d love to serve you all in proper glassware, we just don’t have that much of it. This weekend we’ll be serving beer, wine and cider in biodegradeable plastic cups for your safety and our speed.

Take-Out

Special event rules this weekend mean you’ll be welcome to take your drinks and snacks out of the bar to enjoy in the town centre. That’s right — take-out snacks, this weekend only!

Tom Metcalfe – Live Music

This Friday 24th September, Tom Metcalfe will be performing at Corto from 8.30pm as part of the Ribble Valley Mod Weekender.

We can’t wait to have his amazing flamenco guitar playing in our bar! We know what you’re thinking – what’s flamenco got to do with Mods? Well, we like it and we reckon Paul Weller would to, so we’re ‘avin it.

Get down early to avoid missing out — entry is free and it’ll be mostly standing room only with chairs for those of you who might need ‘em. Parka jackets and Lambrettas optional.