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Posts Tagged ‘Hackney’

I am scraping the barrel for London pub reviews now, but I had to give a mention to the Chesham Arms in Hackney. This was a bit tricky to find, hidden snugly away in a back street, but it is not far away from the busy main streets.

This is an old fashioned pub without being scruffy. One corner had enough noise from the TV and a gaming machine, but there was plenty of room elsewhere. The menu seemed to be pickled eggs plus a Sunday roast. Happy hour between 5 and 7 means a pint of real ale at £2, which is very decent.

The pub was run by an elderly couple, the recruitment of young and bored Russian ladies has fortunately not reached here.

4 Nethergate ales plus two others on hand pumps. The best one I sampled was the Red Santa, a lovely bitter with an edge of fruit. A little pleasant yeastiness, long lingering dry bitterness with some sour cherries, or, rather lingonberries. This would have been wonderful with rich Christmas Food.

What else? Probably the cleanest loos in London, there should have been awards for that, too!

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It was Stonch who sent me to this one, in a comment to an earlier post he told me there are two good pubs in Hackney, East London. (I’ll get back to you about the other one).

The reason I went to Hackney was the Pig’s Ear beer festival in December, otherwise I would hardly have found my way there. It’s a bit out of the way, not being served by an Underground line, but there are trains and buses.

Judging by the facade, the Pembury Tavern has been there a long time, in a purpose built building. It is just five minutes from the railway station – actually I think it is five minutes from two railway stations.

The pub is bright and airy, so even if it’s been on the spot for a long time, it looks very new. (It says on their web site that it was completely redone after a fire, so that’s the explaination) It is bright and airy, not the place if you want stuffed kangaroos and framed photos from WWI and II. There is a lunch menu with lighter items and a very comprehensive evening menu, which implies that this part of London is moving upmarket, there are farmhouse cheeses, pigeon and four different gourmet sausages.

No music at lunchtime, a friendly and laid-back atmosphere. Free wifi, with several customers tapping away at their laptops while enjoying their pints.

8 cask ales on, which meant 6 beers from the Milton brewery and 2 guest ales for various micros. A large blackboard tells me about a fine range of Belgian and German beers, too, and there are even single malts at 3.50 per double measure, which is a nice deal.

I tried a Milestone Lion’s Pride, a beer with a pronounced hoppiness but not enough to lift it above the crowds. I only had time for one of the Milton beers, the Augustus. A full malty ale with a nice hoppy finish. A quite fruity beer – well composed and well balanced.

I don’t know if I will spend several hours to get to this pub, but if I am in the area, I will make sure to get there.

Ot their web site they say without modesty:

Since we opened in January 2006, we’ve sold beers from 3 Rivers, All Gates, Arran, Arundel, Batemans, Beartown, Belhaven, Black Country Ales, Blackfriars, Blakemere, Brewsters, B&T, Buntingford, Burton Bridge, Butcombe, Cairngorm, Caledonian, Carlow, Castle Rock, Clarks, Cottage, Crouch Vale, Cwmbran, Dark Star, Downtown, Elland, Evans, Everards, Exe Valley, Fenland, Fox, Front Street, Fyne Ale, Gales, Glastonbury, Grainstore, Great Oakley, Hampshire, Hart, Hidden, Highgate, Highwood, Hopback, Hydes, Iceni, Isle of Purbeck, Jarrow, John Joule & Sons, Lees, Marston Moor, Matthews, Mauldons, Milestone, Milton, Moor, Moorhouses, Nethergate, Northern Brewing, Northumberland, Nottingham, Oakham, Ossett, Otley, Otter, Potton, Robinsons, Rudgate, Rugby, Saffron, Saltaire, Shepherd Neame, Shugborough, Skinners, Slaters, Smiles, Son of Sids, Springhead, Stonehenge, Titanic, Tower, Tring, Ushers, Vale, White Horse, Woodfordes, Wychwood, Wyre Piddle, York.

I need to relocate! (Note: the bottom photo is from their web site, the others are mine.)

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Hackney is a part of London that’s new to me. As I will be going there for the Pig’s Ear Beer Festival next week, I thought I’d check if there were any interesting pubs close to the venue of the festival.

Fancyapint? is a really useful tool to find London pubs, even if they tend to be too vague about the beers on offer in their reviews.

This review of the local Wetherspoon’s is illuminating about what type of locals you will find there:

We can’t even remember what used to be there, but it now has a bright, Modern interior that unfortunately contrasts with the somewhat dingier clientele. Wetherspoon’s fine beer keeping standards are evident here – the de Koninck was excellent, but we suspect most of the clientele are buying on price. The bar staff were politely struggling to persuade some of the clientele to refrain from singing and shouting, early on a Monday evening. But don’t think the lager louts here are in the 18-30 age group. Far from it, they’ll not be paying for the night bus home, not with a pensioner’s bus pass.

I think I’ll pass on that one.

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