The Cock Tavern, E8

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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


A Personal View of the 2012 Olympics

We have watched the 2012 Olympic site grow over the last two years. From first seeing the building work and road works by the A12 to noticing the sculpted woodwork of the sleek velodrome and the protruding floodlight spires of the main stadium reach into the sky dominating the meagre Hackney skyline. You can experience an online virtual tour from the Guardian HERE.

When visiting Victoria Park on sunny afternoons or to ride through to my favourite coffee shop in Hackney Wick, I’ve seen the immense Olympic shaped city take shape from a pit of wasteland. And it has been impressive.

I was dreading the Olympics coming to London – the amount of people, the transport issues, the busyness of it all, but then after visiting the site and seeing the enormity of the project which will have all eyes on Hackney, I begun to see it as a once in a lifetime event; the chance to be part of something the entire world will be watching, happening in my neighbourhood, is quite exciting. I am not really into sports – watching or playing – but I do like events and this is going to be big!

Go to the lookout near Hackney Wick and see for yourself what’s taking shape. It’s worth it to see the incredible and diverse architecture. And grab a coffee at The Container Cafe!

I was lucky enough to get tickets to the athletics semi finals and can’t wait! I’ll be proud to be part of something that I’ve watch grow and change the landscape and the future of Hackney and east London. There is going to be an international rail station in Stratford, a Westfield shopping center (ok, not the best, but a Topshop is always handy!) and some world-class sports facilities including a brand new 50 mtr Olympic sized pool and diving center. I am also pleased that the roads have been repaved, the parks are getting a make-over and generally, the streets are improving for one of the most culturally interesting places on earth. Just have one more year to wait to see the results, unless you take a tour of the Olympic Village.

But, why have such a bad mascot and logo!? We saw this giant eye at a Search Party party last week and it scared us all… Especially its “tail”.

Twitter @HackneyBubble

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