Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hackney Hardware and 184 Hackney Road, 14th June

Hackney Hardware

Let me never be accused of not jumping on a bandwagon as soon as it emerges – the other weekend I got to try the latest craze – orange wine. I have no idea which kind of orange wine I tried (apparently there are a few) but I can tell you it got a big thumbs up from me. It was still dry, and lighter than some of the usual dry wines we have when we go out (Pinot G, Sauv Blanc). A really refreshing summer wine.

I had this wine in the new pop-up bar Hackney Hardware, who have taken over an old hardware store (hence the name) on Hackney Road. It is pure hipster. They have not only taken the name of the store it used to be, they have also pretty much taken the whole d├ęcor, fixtures and fittings and just plonked in a very makeshift bar and some barrels and stools to act as tables and chairs. It was actually little too DIY for me, and felt like it could do with a little more of a woman’s touch to make it the sort of place you’d want to while away a few hours in.

But, we were just there for a couple of drinks before moving on to, well, Sager and Wilde. Again. I just can’t resist that place when I’m in the area! This time I finally got to try one of their famed grilled cheese sandwiches and…yeah, it was nice. Maybe a little too much hype for what it was. The Cheese Truck’s was better. But I did like it. We had one or two glasses in there, I now can’t remember how many before going over the road for the latest incarnation of the basement bar below the Golden Grill, simply named 184 Hackney Road.

184 Hackney Road

This is a collaboration between Stagg and Barber who are responsible for the cocktail list and Mezcaleria QuiQuiRiQui who are responsible for the mezcal and mezcal slushies (which I forgot to try). And of course there’s a mezcal cocktail on the list as well. I was last here when it was the Liquor Cabinet but 184 have managed to transform the space even though there’s not much space to transform. The result is better and more comfortable.

My friend Alison had a whiskey, Stephen had a beer but I couldn’t come to a cocktail place and not try a cocktail. Nor could I come to a mescal bar and not try the mescal. So I did both by having their mescal cocktail, though not before a tall, slightly fruity rye drink. I have to say, the shorter, stronger mescal drink was my favourite. So if it were Stagg and Barber vs Quiquiriqui, the mescaleria would have it. Not that I’m trying to stoke up any rivalries or anything.

We then realized what time it was and high-tailed it out of there to try to find a bar showing the England match. Which of course wasn’t a problem – getting into one after kick-off was. We had to cut our losses and go home before we missed any more!

So, glad I was able to drop by 184 to see the original residents taking it back. I hope they stick around long enough for me to try one of those slushies!

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