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Tuesday 28 May 2013

Stag's Head Hoxton - Dead Dolls Club - Dukes Brew and Que

Friday 24th May - Hot on the heels of Sister Jo and Fiancé Ant's Extreme Garnishing adventures in Clerkenwell, Sister Em and boyfriend Al got in touch about an evening in Hoxton and Haggerston to put some more points on the board.  I met Albert for a cheeky pint of Guinness in his new local boozer, Stag's Head Hoxton, whilst Emilio was speeding over (points for anyone who gets that videogame reference) from work.  Stag's Head is a quirky pub giving off a few different vibes - barbers waiting room / saloon complete with piano / cosy pub with fireplace / gig venue behind red curtains.  Check the website for events as they host everything from punk music to afternoon tea dances plus movie screenings and BBQ parties. 

We popped back to Al's new canal-side flat to collect Em and to briefly experience his ridiculous new electrostatic speakers and ploum sofa before heading along the canal to Haggerston.  I wanted to pop in to Street Feast to say hello to The Good Egg, and to have a quick drink in the lovely upstairs Gin Store - read about my first trip to Street Feast in Merchant Yard here.  I had a cocktail rather than craft beer this time around which was excellent and generous in size.  As I said before, it's one of my favourite places at the moment, and it won't be around for ever!  Apart from the free Street Feast every Friday, there are exciting one-off ticketed events coming up on Saturdays such as Craft Beer Battle (this Saturday), Ginstock and Ribstock which are run by Tweat Up.  

Ben Spalding Stripped Back "Menu"
We moved up the road for another quick drink at Dead Dolls Club, an attractive little bar restaurant set up and designed by Tinker & Tailor duo Adam Towner and Katy Gray Rosewarne who also run the creative studios called Dead Dolls Club Creative Studios in Hackney.  On the bar front, they have a special G&T menu alongside an interesting cocktail list.  I had a refreshing Bathtub and Tonic whilst Al had an extremely tasty Gardener cocktail.  The Foragers have sadly just ended a lengthy residency on the food side, but a new summer burger menu is on its way which promises to be delicious.  On Thursdays they also have live music - check the website for details.  They are making great use of a small space and the design is really eye catching - well worth a visit for food or drink or both!

We couldn't stay for long as we had a reservation down the road at Dukes Brew and Que, "home to Beavertown Brewery and the best smoked meat in town".  This has been high up on my List since Haggerston local Rayna recommended it to me.  It is extremely popular so make sure you book ahead.  They only had space at 21.00 for the three of us but we took it.  The atmosphere is fantastic with people spilling out on to the streets with food and drink.  The busy bar is worth visiting on its own - I had a local Beavertown mashup brew to start and a Moor Raw later on, both very drinkable.  Beavertown make a lot of excellent beers - 8 ball, smog rocket and their Alpha experimental series are all impressive.

The food lived up to my high expectations.  Embob went for a cute pulled pork slider, whilst I had its big brother which was one of the specials that day.  Al said his Duke's burger was the best he had tasted in London.  Everything was served in trays, similar to but shallower than the ones in Pitt Cue Co (another great place for smoked/slow-cookeds meats - read more here).  None of us went for their incredible looking ribs so I guess we'll have to return.  They also do an American Style Brunch on Sat/Sun from 11-3 - no reservations.  Check out the communal wash basin outside the saloon door toilets downstairs!  The staff were extremely friendly and fun throughout - we were honoured to be served by our Saviour (see picture below!).  Get on that Overground to Haggerston asap - with Street Feast, Tweat Up events, Dukes, Dead Dolls, Passing Clouds, Fox Craft Beer House plus much more further up Kingsland Road, you really are spoilt for choice.

Sister Em moves up into 12th place with 8 points - lots of work still to do but for the moment comfortably ahead of Sister Jo who is on 3 points.  One of my favourite List trips so far was to Feast back at the beginning of March.  They have just released tickets for the next Feast food festival which will be held from July 4th-7th at Brick Lane Yard and will include offerings from Spuntino, Moro, Flat Iron, Patty and Bun, Yum Bun and Bonnie Gull plus many more.  Get your tickets fast before it sells out here.

Square Meal Square Meal

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