Up That London

The Hackney Tap

With pubs opening up inside again, coinciding with me having a week off work (funny that}, It was time for a little pub trip to London. With things being what they are and were, planning such a trip can be a bit hit and miss, what’s open when and where and if they say they’re open, are they really and so on. So with half a plan in place I set off to sunny Hackney where my intel informed me The Cock Tavern would be open at noon, It wasn’t quite although there was prep going on inside. So I went to try my luck at the newly opened Hackney Tap a couple of hundred yards up the road.

Set in the old town hall next to the parish church it makes for a pleasing picture, a couple of people headed in just ahead of me , then promptly left for the outside seating, I decided to stay inside and was invited to pick a table and that I could get the beer menu via the QR code on every table and order by app, great! I managed to get to the checkout bit before discovering I had to “log in or register to proceed, the novelty was wearing thin, at which point, seeing my eyes begin to glaze, one of the girls came over and said “I can take your order if you’re having trouble”, I was so we did it the old fasioned way, which worked perfectly well and resulted in a fine pint of Redemption Pale Ale at a quite reasonable price for London of £4.20.

Another couple of people came in while I was there but it was a bit quiet.

Back to the now open Cock Tavern.

A proper little London boozer I have always liked, again on the quiet side but it was a Wednesday afternoon. There was a choice of three cask beers on the printed menu, all from Five Points but in reality two had gone and not replaced leaving just a red ale which wasn’t what I was really after , so craft keg murk it was.

Note the socially distanced solo drinkers all transfixed to their mobiles, a modern disease and one that I was obviously making use of at the time as well.

Well that was as far as my firm planning went, originally I was going to visit The Pembury Tavern and Chesham Arms but neither opened till 4pm and that was a couple of hours away , so I jumped on a train and headed west across North London to Gospel Oak.

The Southampton Arms was of course my destination but directly opposite the station is The Old Oak.

I was under no illusions as to what lay within and knew it wouldn’t likely be the sort of place I’d frequent on a regular basis, but the pub ticker in me was aroused, just a quick pint.

Pride and Doom Bar were the cask options, both thankfully had their clips turned, so it was Guinness and a light lunch.

A typical some what bland locals pub, a throwback to the 1980’s but another pub ticked.

On to The Southampton Arms ,a couple of minutes walk.

Picture from 2016 featuring the Kray twins, aka Big Nige and Big Trev.

Beer choice wasn’t a problem.

It again was quiet when I got there, just a couple of blokes inside and a couple out.
Gun Parabellum.
Pork roll with apple sauce and crackling accompanied by a pint Jaipur IPA, what could be better?

I made this my last stop and was there till late afternoon/early evening by which time the pub was begining to fill up.

What did I learn? Well, cask beer is still going strong, in some places.

10 thoughts on “Up That London

    1. Yes , it’s been a barren few months, can’t wait till pubs are really back with no restrictions at all, still not holding my breath yet though. Always a pleasure to stroll around a few pubs and share the experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Nice to read about your trip, Mick. You chose the best time of day for the Southampton Arms, it gets horrendously busy later.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Will, I have been there at night before now, and lucky to get a seat, great atmosphere though, definitely one of my top 5 London pubs.


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