Pub Spotlight: Farr’s School of Dancing – Dalston, London

Stunning mural on the side of Farr’s building. Also, to the left, the entrance to the Curve Garden in Dalston.

You might be surprised this series has another entry on my blog considering the recent Tier 4 clamp down in London. However, despite my hectic work schedule prior to that event, I managed to get out and visit one of Dalston’s pub offerings and enjoy a couple of pints (and a substantial meal of course). In a prime location opposite Dalston Junction Overground station it gets it’s name from being the home of Dalston’s dance academy in decades past. It was shut throughout a lot of the year but was reopened post Lockdown 2 under new management, now part of the Portobello Pub Group. It’s actually the group I work for, and while I typically wouldn’t do a write-up on a pub ran by the same company it was quite literally the only one I had time to visit before Tier 4… and I really love doing these!

Under Portobello it has had a bit of a makeover with a nice new finish to the floor and by the looks of it some fresh seating as well. That said, it has still kept with, what I imagine, was some of the pub’s previous character. Lot’s of retro clocks and radios adorn the shelves and walls giving a funky aesthetic. It does lack an outdoor area for your rule of 6 requirements but hopefully in the not to distant future that wont be a worry in peoples minds.

While we were in Tier 3 you had to order a ‘substantial meal’ (whatever that means, the government was characteristically unclear) if you wanted to have any sort of booze. Farr’s doesn’t have it’s own menu rather uses pop-ups to provide their customers with food. I actually love the idea, and I believe the plan was to rotate them, to have a fairly regular variety of food offerings which keeps people interested. At the time of visiting they had Oh My Dog! a burger and hot dog pop-up that serve gorgeous, tasty, affordable and certainly substantial homemade fast food classics. They also offered a variety of small plates including some of the loveliest Padrón peppers I’ve had outside of Spain.

If that’s not bloomin’ substantial I don’t know what is!!

As always, the most important part is the beer! My main pint of choice was from local brewery 40ft who are based out of Dalston and are very close by. You may remember my review on ‘Dalston Sunrise‘ where I said it tastes better on draft. Well just to double check I wasn’t imaging things I had a pint and it was fantastically fresh and fruity. The perfect accompaniment to my monstrous hot dog. They have a couple of Portobello’s own beers own including their two lagers (of which the Helles is great) as well as their Christmas brew on cask. It was nice to see that even in these uncertain times, a commitment to having a couple of hand pumps up and running.

A lovely hazy pint of 40ft’s Dalston Sunrise. Support local folks!

Farr’s used to be a bustling Friday and Saturday night events pub with awesome DJs on apparently. While we can only hope and yearn for those times to come back I think they’ve done a stand up job in transforming the space they have into a welcoming, quirky pub for these Covid times. It’s comfortable and warm with good service and cracking food and drink. As long as you don’t mind having you cigarettes out the front or a slightly steep journey to the toilets it’s most certainly worth the visit when we eventually get out of this Tier 4 madness!

Thanks very much for reading. Support local businesses and any advice on my writing is always welcome!

Additional Information:

Address: 17, 19 Dalston Ln, Dalston, London E8 3DF



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