Saturday 1st June - The weather forecast said sun so I put together a plan around London Fields involving Coppa (the new rooftop bar and BBQ), the local brewery and Portside Parlour. The sun was slow to rear its head, London Fields brewery had a sold out ticketed event (British Craft Beer Challenge) and my Team List members were delayed for various reasons so we had to come up with some new ideas. I made my way to Hoxton with Team List leader Natalie (closing in on a half century) and we wandered up Hackney Road towards Broadway Market, where East Londoners James and Olly have just moved to.
Our first stop was going to be Quiquiriqui (a mezcaleria tucked away underneath a kebab shop) but this was sadly temporarily closed for renovations. Thankfully, The List is very long so we went instead to the nearby Sebright Arms for a quick pint. Foodie favourite Lucky Chip can be found here serving up burgers such as "Kevin Bacon" and "Royale wit Cheese" alongside other meaty delights. Check out their new Licky Chop residency near London Fields too. We begrudgingly saved space for dinner that was being cooked for us. Sebright Arms has plenty else going for it anyway with a gig venue downstairs and a fantastic range of beer. I had a delicious pint of Redwell Steam Lager which I hadn't come across before. They have also started micro-brewing their own beer - Pure Evil Black IPA (in collaboration with Redchurch Brewery) is their first offering, with a brilliant label (see below) to match the name.
|Pure Evil Black IPA|
We moved off after one drink to find Olly and James who were caught up in the madness that was Canalival. This crazy event that you probably read about this week was officially cancelled due to safety concerns over having too many people in inflatables on the water, but tonnes of revellers still turned up, floating their way down the canal with live music pumping out all day. We dragged Olly and James away to get dinner on the move, and were joined by List regular Luke. The atmosphere was electric by the lock at Broadway Market, though I was glad to be soaking it up from a safe distance on a balcony overlooking the canal. We watched as flares, DJs, comedy shaped boats and impromptu games of catch the pineapple made their way past us. Apparently the mess left behind was terrible - perhaps they will have a plan for this next year after all the bad press it received. Go and read more on the Canalival Facebook wall for some lively arguments.
Pretty mad eh? All this inflatable nonsense distracted our hosts so dinner was heavily delayed, making us incredibly late for our 9pm PortSide Parlour booking. We eventually made our way along buzzing Broadway Market that was still filled with Canalivalers (that's a word). I must return on a Saturday afternoon for the proper market experience. PortSide Parlour is a pop-up rum bar below Off Broadway on Broadway Market, with the entrance disguised as a toilet cubicle - pulling the chain opens the door. We sadly didn't get a chance to enter in style as there was a constant flow of people in and out of the door.
Our table was predictably given away to another group, but they were very kind to squeeze us on to another table instantly without a fuss - thanks must go to the group who happily let us share their table. They pack people in to their small, candle-lit bar which had the feeling of being below deck on a rowdy rum-filled boat. It is loud and busy in a good way, and one of the most atmospheric places that I have visited so far. I must admit that I stuck to drinking wonderful Kernel Simcoe IPA beers out of a tankard whilst the rest of Team List tried out some cocktails. They weren't blown away by their drinks but it certainly wouldn't put me off coming back as there was such a great vibe. They are opening a second site nearby called PortSide Cabana on 29th June which promises to serve up Tiki drinks in a lush Cuban garden - you heard it here first!
Enormous thanks to James (for cooking) and Olly (for hosting) and also to Luke and Natalie for their continuing commitment to the cause. Natalie moves on to 44 points (with more on the way after two more trips to Soho and Shoreditch this week) whilst late bloomer Luke moves up to 9. Olly is meanwhile on 7 points ahead of James on 4. I will be back for more Broadway Market / London Fields adventures as there is so much left still to do in the area, and James has also promised a whopping Wapping jaunt once the sunshine is more reliable as he knows the pubs well.
Rekorderlig Cider's Midsummer House in Victoria Park - 21st June to 5th July
Pimm's Summer Garden popup in Covent Garden - 19th to 29th June
Meatopia at Tobacco Dock - 7th September - a long way off and expensive but how can you resist with a name like that?