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In a small victory for the small man, Hackney Council refused permission to turn this fine example of a cloth cap/real fire backstreet boozer into yet more City ‘lofts’. New brooms, in the form of
the owners of The Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, have swept in and – after a bit of titivation – the glorious old girl’s future looks rosy. A Tweet sums up the prevailing attitude: ‘Yes, we have
our own version of an Aperol Spritz. It’s called ale.’ Two representatives from Camden Hells and Budvar, Mac’s Gold and Windsor & Eton Republika sit alongside kegs brews from Portobello and
Dark Star, various ciders, scrumpy and other lovely ambers; ironically, they even stock big-name Carlsberg, too. Food runs to pork scratchings, hot dogs and salt beef on rye with gherkins. Weekend
opening until 2am and live music from a ‘cor blimey!’ ragbag of troubadours are also part of the plan.
Yes, 17 wines is on the titchy side for a wine list. But for a ‘classic London boozer’ it’s really impressive – particularly when accompanied by the kind of mark-ups that see half of the wines appearing at under £20 and a cru classé Margaux under £40. Its mission of making decent wine affordable is laudable, and likely to succeed.
I do seem to have a lot of things on my List without any real idea of why they’re there because they’ve been on there for so long. Such is The Wenlock Arms. I have a vague feeling it came from my Time Out 1000 Things to do book but I’m not sure. I know it was threatened with closure at some point but was saved from such a fate and opened by new management.I went on a Monday night, and it was far from heaving. I cannot imagine it ever gets particularly packed as the amount of passing traffic it would attract would be around nil. You either know it’s there and have it as a destination already, or you would never...
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