Another sign that Clapton is on the up, this once-dilapidated boozer is now a humming hostelry dedicated to good beer and victuals – not surprising given that the new owners also run The Empress in Victoria Park. Situated a few yards from the station, it now tempts locals and commuters with its stylish 1950s colour schemes, ironwork chairs and a massive back garden the size of a local football pitch. Ales from Hackney’s thriving microbreweries loom large at the bar, along with names from elsewhere in London and beyond; otherwise dip into the short, but interesting wine list. Food plays it straight, with a few gastro-flourishes in the shape of moules-frites, mac ‘n’ cheese, grilled chicken Caesar salad, ‘proper’ ploughman’s and burgers – plus roast beef and pork (courtesy of Ginger Pig) for Sunday lunch. Monday’s quiz night is another crowd-puller.
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