This pub was voted by our readers as the best in Stoke Newington. See the full list of winners here.
It's a safe bet that Shakespeare never drank here. The building and the Bard are separated by two or three centuries. But old Will would have no doubt enjoyed the cast of characters enjoying this backstreet pub. There seems to be no stereotypical local, with a mix of elderly solo drinkers, packs of giggling youngsters straying over from Dalston, and couples chatting quietly over a glass of wine.
The decor's also rather theatrical, with mosaics, sculptures, football scarves and placards competing for your retina. A painting of a rubicund waiter decanting wine while inexplicably holding the word BITTER leers down at customers from behind the bar. The actual staff are the very model of friendliness and charm.
It's not a big beer pub. The two mainstream ales we sampled were ever-so-slightly on their way out, but we're assured that's a rarity here. Otherwise, a convivial and memorable place to pass an evening.