The People's Park Tavern

The People's Park Tavern 360 Victoria Park Road Hackney E9 7BT

For the tourists who flock to the borough in their achingly trendy droves, all roads lead to Dalston. However life-long locals and those fleeing the painfully hip, head for the leafy confines of South Hackney. Sure the area is a tad on the gentrified side these days, but the area surrounding Victoria Park really does have a welcoming, almost villagey feel. The hub of this community is undoubtedly the age-old Royal Inn on the Park, but the People's Park Tavern, just north of the park, holds its own charms within. Sumptuous Chesterfield sofas and austere regal oil paintings are the décor de rigeur in this cavernous Victorian gastro pub. Besides the usual suspects, the bar specialises in some decent ales from the local London Fields Brewery while the food menu offers some decent pub grub fare, including double-roasted pork belly. The real draw here, though, is the pub's huge beer garden which backs right on to Viccy Park itself. The place gets mobbed in the summer – understandably so, with its deckchairs, barbecues, jugs of Pimms and the all-round relaxed atmosphere. There are also weekly quiz nights, live bands and even open-air movie nights on a 26x15ft screen.

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