The sizeable Cat & Mutton sits proudly at the helm of Hackney's Broadway Market, and has been welcoming its costermongers and consumers for 300 years. Over the centuries it has evolved into an establishment of two kinds: downstairs is a traditional pub, serving ales and roasts to thirtysomething locals. And up a spiral staircase is Pearl's cocktail lounge: a crepuscular bar with creative drinks, heavily draped windows and panoramic views of the market below. Both floors have comfy mismatched furniture, retro mirrors and old ceiling features made of tin.
Broadway Market never really stops being busy, even when the stalls aren’t set up, and the pub reflects this: it’s always got a welcome buzz and punters often overflow on to the tables outside. But it’s summer when the C&M really comes to life, as herds of Hackneyites descend on it like beasts on a watering hole from nearby London Fields. On those days, those who like a seat and would rather avoid the inevitable jostling would be advised to head elsewhere.