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With this once moribund boozer now under their wing, will the posse behind DreambagsJaguarshoes do for Shacklewell what that bar
did for Shoreditch, turning a sow’s ear of a postcode into a hipster’s silk purse? Hopefully, the pagan trappings that inform Hand of Glory’s darkly gothic decor should ensure the gods smile
favourably on the enterprise. Liquid offerings include small-batch London gins, cask-aged cocktails, ales from Hackney’s Crate and Five Points breweries, plus a trio of artisan ciders. House
Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon is fairly priced and there’s organic claret to be had with food from pop-up chefs Fleischmob: expect ham hock and black pudding terrine, beetroot and dill-cured Loch
Duart salmon or cheese and mushroom pie, followed by fruit crumbles and regional cheeses. The bar’s name refers to the ancient practice of severing thieves’ hands at the wrist. Gothic, indeed!
I could feel my friends' patience dissipating the longer we walked up the residential street towards a destination they muttered 'better be worth it'.Well, in my humble opinion it was. Brought to you by the same people who run the Shoreditch institution Dreambags and Jaguar Shoes, this is a homely yet polished new pub which, yes, is kind of in the middle of nowhere in terms of nightlife happening around it. Which is fabulous if you live along Amhurst road and want a nice place to go for a pint, not so great if you're coming from Bethnal Green or Dalston. And it's also pretty good in terms of not being absolutely rammed. We got there at about 10 pm on a Saturday night and there was plenty of room for us to perch at the bar, although all the tables had already been filled.There are lots of wicker animals and horse's heads all over the place, giving the whole bar a slightly pagan festival feel. This is in recognition of the pub's name - Hand of Glory - which is some kind of cursed or magical dried and pickled hand of a man who has been hanged. This bears out a tenuous link to the fact that there has been a pub on this spot for yonks and that the surrounding area used to be fields and rural stuff (like most areas of modern day London compared to the 1800s) and I guess the Dreambags lot are somewhat macabre. But anyway, I'm quite macabre and the aesthetic pleased me. It also pleased me greatly that they had proper cider on tap not just a few bottles of Kopparberg in the fridge. I like Kopparberg but I can only drink one before it gets too sweet. I had a couple of Burrow Hill at the relatively (compared to Impeared Vision) alcohol light 6%. They also had a range of ales and beers which kept my male friends happy. They conceded that the place was, in fact, a pretty cool pub. Exonerated!They have Fleisch Mob in residency in the kitchen but we had just filled our bellies at the last night of Hawker House so had no excuse to try any of their stuff. (For the record I had some pork ribs from Hot Box and shared a burrito from Kimchinary. Both amazing.)If you're somewhere around Stoke Newington/Kingsland Road, or even Hackney Central and don't mind a bit of a walk for quality and somewhere you can hear each other as well as a bit of space to spread out then you should definitely wander up to the Hand of Glory.
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