Best guide to Christmas Day pubs opening around Hackney this year 2018

ales©DA18: at Wenlock Arms 26 Wenlock (Sturt) Road, Hoxton N1 7TA 211218 © DavidAltheer[at]
Wenlock©DA15:jack russell Harvey at Wenlock Arms 26 Wenlock (Sturt) Road, Hoxton N1 7TA  091215 © DavidAltheer[at]
Dogs are welcome at the Wenlock Arms, even on Christmas Day

IF THESE WORDS sound familiar, it’s not necessarily that you’re tipsy, it could simply be that you read more or less the same last December 2017. Every year Loving Dalston publishes a guide to Christmas Day pub openings in and around Hackney and repetition in the piece is hard to avoid.

Still, the guide has so far been exclusive, although shamefully not an app (one day, eh?).

A few pubs have dropped out over the years because custom has not justified the costs. Other boozers have taken their place as more and more pubs decide that food makes the figures add up. Do not, however, expect to turn up on the day and get a seat for a three-course meal. Dinner sessions sometimes book up weeks ahead.

Whichever pub you choose for an excursion, you might want to go to a pub close to your home. World City No 1 or not, it runs no public transport on the greatest single holiday of the English year. Cheers!


159 Newington Green Road N1 4QU (020 7226 3531), noon-8pm, dog-friendly. Today no drinks-only: you’re expected to order a meal (£45 a head)


315 Mare Street, Hackney E8 1EJ. Unpromising exterior below the quality of this affluent-millennials favourite, 1pm-3pm

Dove pub 24/28 Broadway Market E8 4Q 07912 041122 © David Altheer
Christmas lunch at the Dove in Broadway Market, Hackney

24 Broadway Market E8 4Q (020 8525 9010), noon-3pm, dog-friendly.Some NE London ales but speciality is Belgian beers

 * Duke Of Richmond

316 Queensbridge Road, Dalston E8 3NH (020 7923 3990), noon-6. Resto-pub, dog-friendly. Tables in street-facing covered area please smokers

* Molly Blooms

525 Kingsland Road, Dalston E8 4AR, 11am-3pm, has had any names yet keeps its Irish identity, even to the Joycean extent of dropping the apostrophe from its name

Old Eagle

251 Royal College Street, Camden NW1 9LU (020 7482 6021), noon-4pm.  Traditional bar inside a handsome Georgian building. For Hackneyites a bit of a schlepp via Regent’s Canal towpath — but think of how deserving of a drink you’ll feel

In an alley running off Mare Street, the Old Ship Inn is an unusually sophisticated pub

Old Ship

Enter this pub — noon-5pm — by narrow alley in Mare St E8Q 1EN (020 8986 2732), a few paces north of Hackney Empire, or at rear, 2 Sylvester Path

Palm Tree

127 Grove Road E3 5BH (020 8980 2918), noon-4pm, discourages dogs. Ideally approached on foot (beware cyclists) or bicycle (consider walkers) via Regent’s Canal towpath: an open fire will warm you

Perseverance, 112 Pritchards Rd (just below Broadway Market), Hackney E2 9AP 2012 © DavidAltheer [at]
Proper Cockney: staff from wherever; style is straigh’-up East End

* Perseverance

112 Pritchards Road, Hackney E2 9AP, noon-3pm (020 76133498), discourages dogs. Though the Percy is only 100m from  Broadway Market, its only concession to hipsterism is to stock local ales. Smokers will like the outdoors heated rear garden

Royal Sovereign

64 Northwold Road, Clapton E5 8RL (020 8806 2449), noon-2pm, dog-friendly

Ramsgate©DA19: Town of Ramsgate, 62 Wapping High Street, London E1W 2PN © 110119
A bracing walk south of Hackney: the Town of Ramsgate in Wapping

Town of Ramsgate

62 Wapping High Street, E1W 2PN, (020 7481 8000), noon-2pm, dog-friendly. Backing on to the Thames, this venerable, river-history-rich pub is ideal for the fit up for a longish walk to their pint. From the waterside backyard, the hardy can savour super views up, downs and across the London River, as mariners call it in these parts. If you see any of the several A-listers who occasionally go there, do not request a selfie: even slebs deserve a day off

* Wenlock Arms

26 Wenlock Road (corner Sturt Street), Hoxton N1 7TA (0871 951 1000), noon-3pm. Alehouse often offering local craft brews, as well as quality ciders. A rickety-looking jo​anna waits for someone to suggest “han hold-style ’Oxton singsong” 

JD Wetherspoon

282 Mare Street, Hackney E8 1HE (020 8525 9010), 11am-3pm. Craft beers in spacious interior, usually male-dominated. A local loves the chain’s carpets so much (true) he wrote a book about them. Foyer smoking area, heated roof terrace. Company policy bans dogs, even those without a drinking problem

David Altheer 211218

* Publicans, the list has grown since it was first published so if you want your pub added to this list, at no charge, email editor[at], substituting @ for [at] and sending the necessary details and no more, not even a photograph.

Wetherspoon PH 282 Mare St, Hackney E8 1HE121215 © DavidAltheer[at]
Wetherspoon in central Hackney: it is well-patronised

* Backstory: Hackney boozers to the top; How Hackney rates in 2014 Good Pub GuideChristmas Day pubs 2017. All pictures© DavidAltheer[at] and all for sale for reproduction. Bigger format versions usually available.

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.

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