Bars and pubs
Mason & Company
Sitting on a slightly barren canalside stretch of Hackney Wick, where old industrial grubbiness meets the box-fresh Olympic Park development, there’s a sense that Mason & Company is catering for a crowd that isn’t entirely there yet. Though, as nearby scaffolding and cranes attest to, times are changing.
The interior is slick and inviting: plywood benches, comfy booths. The staff have that wide-eyed attentiveness that you get in new places. They offered table service, and happily talked us through the craft beers. Of which there are many, from a range of brewers across the UK. It was Liverpool-based Mad Hatter that really shone, with a hoppy IPA called Eminent, and Down the Rabbit Hole, an American-style strong ale. East London Liquor Company’s product also shone in an excellent G&T.
Snacks came courtesy of resident foodsters Capish?, who do an Italian-American truckstop-style menu. We went with the poutine – beef shin pimping up the usual unholy trinity of ingredients – and courgette fries with basil aioli. Which, admittedly, didn’t taste of basil. But at £5 and £4 respectively, both dishes were good value for hefty portions.
Yes, it sounds like millions of other east London drinking spots. But it’s not like they’ve left it on the default setting; staff are too friendly, and there are lovely little touches, like serving customers on the grassy bank outside and letting dogs bound in and out. As custom inevitably picks up, I hope Mason & Company can maintain its cheeriness