Years and years ago I remember to chatting to timeplease
here (I've never met him in person), and him recommending I visit the Pembury Tavern in Hackney (which I believe he ran/runs/owns/invented). It's very much the wrong side of London, and I never have, until last weekend when we were braving the perils of the East End to go to the Oddbox Weekender in Dalston.
Having failed to really consider what time pubs might open, we arrived at the Pembury just as its shutters were going up. I can now report it has a large array of handpumps selling excellent beer (and some cider, quality untested by me), serves good food from an interesting menu, has lovely graffiti on the walls and
has a bar billiards table in quite unusually excellent nick. We drank, ate, and played bar billiards before scampering off to see bands. The posters on the wall advertise that it has a chess club, and zenithed
tells me it's also board game-friendly. If anyone is in touch with TimePlease, tell him he was right, and it's a bloomin' excellent pub.
The Shacklewell Arms is slightly less excellent, but does have a moderately sized, muralled and only faintly damp "Dance Hall" at the back. And in it, we saw a number of bands which I will memorialise with mild brevity...( Here )