This old-fashioned, gay-friendly boozer is the hub of the trendy Shoreditch and Hoxton scene. So naturally it gets busy at the weekends, when 24-hour clubbers pop in for a pint between dance sessions. Much of the clientele comprises budding fashion designers and art students. On some evenings, it’s a sea of kids in skinny jeans, black eyeliner and vintage jackets; like them, the bar is scruffy but stylish. It’s cosy too. For one thing, it’s often crammed. And the crimson walls create a womb-like interior, enlivened by kitsch touches: twinkly lights (it always looks like Christmas here) and knick-knacks galore (pink flamingos, a rhinestone-studded cowboy hat, a stuffed weasel). A cardboard cut-out of Kim Wilde surveys the knowing crowd, who plant tongues firmly in cheek on Saturday nights as they dance to cheesy pop (Kylie, Girls Aloud), vintage gems (Kate Bush, Pulp) and forgotten oddities (Culture Club’s Time Out | Gay & Lesbian London 33 ‘The Medal Song’). Most punters drink pints from plastic cups. Arrive early at the weekend if you want to snag a table, otherwise it’s standing room only.
George & Dragon
|Venue name:||George & Dragon||Contact:|
2 Hackney Road
|Opening hours:||Open 6pm-midnight daily|
|Transport:||Tube: Old Street tube/rail or Shoreditch High Street rail|