It’s not often in London that you find a venue that really takes you out of the city for a peaceful hour or so, but I have quite fortunately ran into two such places recently; Farley Macallan, here to ‘reinvent the local’ being one of them.
Situated in the fashion district of Hackney, Farley Macallan occupies a corner building with high ceilings, a light and airy colour scheme and basement space; utilised not only as a restaurant and drinking den but as an arts space for local artists and designers to showcase for free. The venue even serves breakfast every Mon-Fri (9-5pm) where it is opened as a work space for members to bring their laptops and enjoy unlimited coffee all day - yes, I have found my new little hang out. The wine certainly takes centre stage visually, with wine bottles proudly displayed nestled in the interior wall, and fear not, they definitely don’t drop the standards when it comes to the food.
Atmosphere and Clientele
From the outside it has all the visual traits of a pub yet the interior design brings it up a notch from your traditional pub; it still has that welcoming, relaxed feel. You can easily 'stay for one more drink and another' type vibe but with more contemporary aesthetics. This venue is as much for the locals, beer drinkers, winer/diners as it is for the wine connoisseurs with their sophisticated palates. No matter if you’re up for a chat or just want a quiet one on your own, Farley Macallan was open armed, making you feel plenty welcome.
The Food and Drink
The wine and food pairing menu is really want you to know about, and it begins with cheese; punchy-pack-a-fist-full cheese (Brawn, Bresoala, Gratin Blue) all served with the quintessential cracker and paired with a lovely red Oltre Passo Primitivo. Our second course offered a mix of fish and meat dishes, the first two small plates to surface were the Deep Gravadlax with Samphire, Horseradish Quark, Crutons and the Scallops with a Balsamic Glazed Quinoa and Pea Puree. My date for the evening (not the biggest seafood fan), couldn’t quite muster the courage to try the Gravadlax - but this was all the better for me as both dishes were casual, cool and inherently backed by a roster of seasonal and radiant flavours. Although skipping this dish, she was more than happy to enjoy her glass of Biodynamic Sancerre, a lovely, light and zesty white wine; next time I visit I’ll be ordering a large glass as the bite was crisp and added the perfect informal accompaniment to the fish bites.
Soon to follow were the Cauliflower Fritters with Curried Yoghurt, Cucumber (£5.50) and Breaded Lamb Ribs with Lemon, Za'Atar (£6) and a side ofTogarashi Fries - forget your forays into basic seasoned salt, these were the most stunning chip inspired bites i've ever tried in London - I don’t entirely know what the spices were thanks to quick indulgence, but it was a mix of spicy and salty heaven. To finish the evening we had a delicious glass of British Chapel Down Brut Sparkling wine with a light and not too sweet Clotted Cream Cheesecake with Roasted Rhubarb - it was heavenly and just the correct semblance of sweet, I could almost feel my angel wings sweeping *more like dragging* me up to the pearly gates.
All dishes are in season and spot on trend - I am excited to come back in the winter to see what surprises they have in store; so do mosey on down to enjoy a chilled out glass of vino and some glorious small plates.