Hand of Glory

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Shacklewell

It sounds like a specialist room in a Vauxhall club involving holes in walls and a lot of trust, but this is the best name for a new pub I’ve heard in years. A hand of glory, according to medieval folklore, is the pickled appendage of a hanged man, which when grasping a lit candle made from the rendered fat of the same condemned takes on dark magical powers. Beats the Dog & Duck. 

So what does this mean for an incongruously located boozer on a traffic-busy road in E8? It means: wicker animal heads on the walls, maypole ribbons on the ceiling, bone offerings, votives, hop flowers (bacchanalian symbols), dried/dead branches, wyrd icons and flagons and flagons of cider (with names like Farmer Jim). But beneath the superstition and mythology is a friendly and thoughtfully stocked pub in an area not stuffed with them. As well as the ciders, almost all beers are from Hackney (Five Points, Crate etc); food is uncommonly good for a pub too – in a model increasingly adopted across London, it’s provided by a kitchen ‘residency’, this time from Fleisch Mob, an Austro-British street food team. Here they focus on the domestic side with a meat-dominated menu which includes the likes of aged steak, chicken and mushroom pie and British charcuterie. 

And this celebration of merrie Albion isn’t filled, of course, with hale draymen and rosy-cheeked milkmaids, but with their less sturdy modern counterparts, the sort of young locals who are pleased to have something like this open in their hood. It’s unlikely to provoke a flurry of morris dancing or cheese rolling in the bucolic downs of Hackney, but at least it serves a nice pint. 

Venue name: Hand of Glory
Contact:
Address: 240 Amhurst Road
London
E8 2BS
Transport: Rectory Road rail

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
2 people listening
Tito D

The Hand Of Glory is the breaking wave of gentrification, crashing over a corner of Hackney that, not too long ago, was little more than a forgotten outpost for man-bag wearing teenage drug dealers on bikes demanding to know if 'you smoke weed'. It's still that place - sit on the picnic tables chained to the pavement outside the pub on an evening and you can smugly sip your £5 pint while watching gangs of youths hovering outside the chicken shop across the road, waiting to demand the recent arrivals in their part of town take their phone numbers. The pub's proximity to the nearby heart of hipster darkness that is Hackney Downs Studios, where all manner of 'creatives' while away their days on their MacBooks and dreaming of working for Vice, ensures that, by contrast, the Hand Of Glory's cliental are decidedly less edgy, mostly sporting beards and £50 Scandanavian tee-shirts, rather than man bags and Nike tracksuits. The booze on offer is good though, with three-pint jugs of Hell's Lager offered up for a tenner and a shifting menu of decent enough, if frighteningly priced, pub food. Last time I checked it was £3 for a little dish of fries. Bargain.... The bar staff are friendly too and the decor, while gloomy is pretty interesting, going all out on a theme of English paganism (think weird straw animal heads and maypoles). A good, if pretty weird, little boozer.

Sally M

Wandering past on valentines night we peeped through the windows bemused as to why this lovely looking pub was so empty. Soon found out why. After a couple of rounds I went to pay off my tab with a final round. "Can I have an Irish coffee please?" -"no you normally can but- just - no". Erm ok. Then ensued difficulty in locating my card followed by they'd already charged on my contactless because they thought I had done a runner. Then mid serving my final round they announced they couldn't continue serving me as they'd already cashed up. After discovering I couldn't pay in cash they magically re-opened the tills an upsold me a G&T. However, 20 seconds after serving it I was asked to leave so the French bar chick could, "pick up her drugs". Cracking service.

Bizzo B

WTF! did these people forget the origin of cider!? I just had to pay £6 for a pint.

 I've been known to make a barrel or two and let me tell you that cider is only apple juice and made by country folk, farmers and people who love the stuff and like sharing it, Don't try and be clever about it......, for a minute I thought I was in Helsinki not Dalston, come on gents get a grip and bring your selfs back to reality and your prices before the real people go else where.