Alfred Le Roy
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A Hackney Wick boat bar from the Crate Brewery team.
In the build-up to Brexit, Nigel Farage caused chaos on the Thames with a campaign flotilla seen off by Sir Bob Geldolf’s Remain fleet (yeah, sure). You won’t find such piratical drama on the gentle waters of the Lea, but that’s not to say it’s free of antics. The ever-popular Crate Brewery has opened up a barge bar for the summer, naming it the good ship Alfred Le Roy. And it’s a good ship indeed, serving cocktails while moored and taking pre-booked passengers on two-hour booze cruises.
Aboard the pretty blue boat are rows of communal tables with space for around 40 seated shipmates. They crank up old school house hits to add to the summer feel. At the bar, you’ll find classic cocktails done well – order a strong Dark ’n’ Stormy for seafaring the proper way – as well as new creations made with kombucha (fermented tea) brewed at the bar’s other venture in the vicinity, Mick’s Garage. An Akoya featured the tart tea and was seriously sour (in a good way) and refreshingly fruity.
Alfred’s an elusive kinda fella, though. We tried on three occasions to track down the barge, only to find that it was out for maintenance or taking a charter of drinkers out cruising. Rather than being all at sea, you’re better off booking one of those voyages for two hours of guaranteed Hackney hedonism (£20 including one cocktail, £40 with two drinks and a sharing platter). Forward planning may not be the pirate’s way, but at least you can party like one.
Queens Yard Mooring, Queens Yard
White Post Ln
|Transport:||Overground: Hackney Wick|
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