Stroll down a quiet back road in Hackney and you’ll be delighted to come across this handsome pub, its exterior like something on a postcard from the countryside, all light lilac frontage and classic lampposts. You can immediately see why the neighbourhood fought so hard to preserve the Chesham – the pub recently won its status as an Asset of Community Value after a fight that lasted years – and stepping inside just confirms things.
The interior has been tastefully renovated to look like your textbook Great British pub, but with design features that are strikingly London, from gold embossed ceiling panels to fisheye mirrors. Claret-coloured walls make it cosy as hell, with a fireplace for extra warmth and Scrabble for when you really want to make it a session. But summer is sure to be just as rewarding, with a pretty little beer garden out back.
Hungry punters can tuck into sausage rolls and pork pies or order in from nearby Yard Sale pizza. But mostly it’s the local drinks that interest customers, with an ever-changing range of six beers, two ales and one cider – as the barman told us, ‘You won’t find any Stella here.’ Sitting directly behind this attractive line-up is a framed poster declaring the pub to be ‘saved’, with signatures from all those involved in the two-year campaign. Too right this motley crew should take great pride in their old local and its new lease of life. Let’s hope they keep popping in and propping up the bar at this cracking community asset.