Skylodge – Not for sissys!

Oh arrr, lumberjacks

Dust up that lumberjack shirt, muddy those felling boots and whack on a furry hat… Skylodge has opened it’s little wooden doors in a cleverly cosy rooftop setting in Hackney, creating a haven for all lumberjacks and Jills. These pop-up aficionados opened with a rather spectacular thanksgiving turkey chase through London Fields leading the lumberjacks (and the turkey) to a grand sanctuary.

I went to the opening and found some incredible food, amazing hot and cold cocktails and entertainment to mark a very sound addition to the quirky Hackney bar scene – Chuck Norris approved!

Skylodge Interior

As you turn off a Martello street (the lane just past Pub on the Park) and climb the stairs to Platterform, you enter a world of chopped wood, open fires, heated booths and a lumberjack diner, of course. There’s an outside terrace as well as a covered and heated indoor area where you find all the food and drink you could want to fill up on a winter’s evening.

Their specialties are the vast selection of hot cocktails – hot toddies and mulled everythings- as well as a cool cocktail list, wines and beers. The bar tenders are funny, friendly and odd, which makes it an interesting tipple. They recommend some ace alcoholicly warming drinks. Shame they are mainly served in rapidly cooling cardboard cups, but they hit the mark none-the-less.


A couple of drinks (a bit like a naughty cuppa!) and a wonder around later and it’s time for rumbling bellies to get find solace. The restaurant area has ample shared tables and some cute wooden hut-booths. American style plates are surprisingly small, but very tasty and filling. We went for the sloppy joes, baked beans and pulled pork, which were all really good, especially the baked beans with cheese.

Tuck in! Grrrrrr

The event clincher was that said chased turkey of the opening paragraph (once he got his breath back), played a sublime unplugged acoustic set later in the evening which ended a beautifully intimate and indulgent night within a solidly themed, fun place that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

This great winter hang out spot is open until April and as well as the restaurant and music they are hosting film nights too. Can’t wait to go back!

Website:; twitter @platterform and

Skylodge is open Thursdays and Fridays 6pm until 11pm; weekends 12 noon until 11pm

Full address: 274 Richmond Road with public access via Martello Street, London Fields, London, E8 3QW

Make a booking via or call 07870 487621

Skylodge - Acoustic set



Opening Soon – Oslo, E8


A new music-come-dining-come-drinking venue is opening in Hackney. And it looks fancy. The seldom noticed, but historical and beautiful old train station in the heart of Hackney central is being lovingly renovated into a Nordic themed hot spot.

Oslo opens its doors in December with some great acts already announced – Dry the River included! It’ll be open day and night for feeding and quenching visitors.

The food menu is centered around nordic cuisine and they seem to have a good focus on sustainability (lotsa fish!) and sourcing good ingredients.

The venue itself looks set to be grandiose with high ceilings, dark woods and minimal metalics featuring long benches and an impressive bar.

We’re looking forward to more live music in the borough and some interesting looking décor to relax in.

For the E8 area, this new opening is an example of the rapid change in Hackney culture taking place for a sweeping generation of affluent dwellers – a far cry from a dodgy boozer! Is this Hackney moving with the times, or a gentrification too far? I’d love to hear your comments on this…

1A Amhurst Road, Hackney, London, E8 1LL [map] and twitter @oslohackney



Netil House Opens Summer

Netil House Summer Series

Rooftops and BBQs and music are usually found holding hands and smooching. When the smoke gets-a-going with salacious burger flavours, add in a sausage or two and the party really gets started!

Welcome to summer… not that we’ve seen much of it so far this year, but help is at hand to bring those summer good-time vibes to Hackney! Netil house springs into action with the ultimate 360 rooftop party to kick start the season with their Summer Series on the Roof on  Saturday 4th May.

As well as offering panoramic views of our beloved neighbourhood  some sensational foody friends are popping by, serving up authentic southern friend chicken, tasty tacos and impressive Italian. They’ve got music from Urban Nerds’ DJ Rattus Rattus and an essential array of quirky cocktails to whet your whistle.

Unfortunately, public tickets to this event have now sold out, but you can get a bargain membership for £35 for a year, which gets you free entry and a lot more besides.

Bring on the Hawaiian shirts and pina coladas! Ayayayayyyyy! 

Saturday 4th May


Netil House, 1 Westgate Street, E8 3RL

Netil House

The Cock Tavern, E8

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 13.11.26

When thinking of areas where it is a struggle to find a decent, non-violent, non-Weatherspoons pub with good beers that is not a café… or the cinema, Hackney Central tops the list. It was a walk up to The Prince George or The Spurstow… or The Pembury (all good choices!) but, no more, Hackney-ites! No more!

Our very own cosy ale-house has arrived, rendering the short walk up to other pubs obsolete. Hello Cock Tavern!

There are usually cute / sad, but brutish dogs in there, so it gets my vote immediately, but it also has some great, local beers and a cosy, local atmosphere.

The bar stretches along with oodles of real ale and cider taps to choose from. A good way to go about this would be to sample half pints, or the friendly, beardy bar staff are happy to offer tasters or advice if you’re not sure what to have.

The Smoked Porter springs to mind as a dark and sultry brown ale with shallow chocolate tones and beery depth of flavour. It’s the kind of thing that puts people off sugary lagers, never to look back. Speaking of chocolate, they house an excellent chocolate stout. Hackney Brewery is well represented as re many others!

They serve “meat” according to the sign. This includes a cabinet of “meat”, pork pies, scotch eggs and, ahem, veggie scotch eggs. Which are actually rather tasty and served with tangy, bright piccalilli.

The ale revolution seems to be in full swing, but I hope it is more than that. If you think about it, local breweries who give a shit about how their beer is enjoyed, benefiting local independent businesses – there’s real substance in that. Oh, and i’ve just noticed on Twitter that they have their own microbrewery… @howlinghops

Cock Tavern

My Head Hurts – Mezcal Tasting…

See the below post… but be quiet… and stroke my head.

Last night STARTED with Mezcal tasting at Quiquiriqui

Tom, an enigmatic former DJ who travelled on a Mezcalian venture around Mexico, brings this exotic ‘way of life’ whole heartedly to Hackney. A total ‘Mezcal head’, he stands behind the DJ booth preaching the delights of Mescal to a captivated audience while taster shots are handed out by the skeleton faced bar tender. A cacophony of flavours varying from lighter fuel to barbeque sauce mixes are sampled and explained.

One of them came from a distillery “at the end of road, on the way to the beach” in Wahaca, Mexico.

They all tasted fairly rank, but I can see how you could get into this… the result was something other than drunk – sparky and bright and ready for pizza.

Stringray cafe, The Royal Oak and Callooh Callay completed the night.

Tom’s top tip was to “drink water, and plenty of it…” I should have swallowed this advice instead of the third gin cocktail…

Twitter @HackneyBubble

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