Hubble, bubble, toil, burgers and trouble. With a penchant for Buffy and a dress code more affiliated with The Craft than, (okay, offers to buy me a black dungaress dress and chokers are now open) no one else was going to get their mitts on a review at Hand of Glory; I had folklore interiors to cruise and a hangover cure to craft.
More than likely a location where Salem's favourites would come out to play, Hand of Glory is a classic boozer with folklore flair. Hailed by the venue themselves as 'The Wickerman sacrificing Bill Oddie to the gods of Countryfile', Hand of Glory is a humble and oh so slightly small pub brimming with Pagan trinkets, the scattering of candles, independent, culture based art and wicker animal trophy heads a-plenty.
Nipping between disused dining school chairs to a candlelit chesterfield cove, Hand of Glory have cultivated so many tropes of British folk culture that are lovely, and more enjoyable to keep track of; so much so that from eating under hop laced ceilings or nipping to the beer garden for a breather, Hand of Glory feels welcome, intimate, original and even boasts a pub license dating back to 1800s.
The Food and Drink
While their roast was a done dead deal on the day we visited (a sad note as they're infamous for them, so we'll be heading back on a later weekend), their continued menu still held weight. A Cheeseburger quelled tales of the night before thanks to rare produce, caramelised onions and mustard, but star of the show and winner of a washing machine was their Veggie Dog (£6). Crafted with Glamorgan Vegetarian sausage, summer slaw and caramelised onion with a cheesy twang, HOG showed that veggie food isn't to be considered the latter option on a menu, and why would it be?
Drinks wise, thirsts were curbed by lemonades and a hand-crafted, Tabasco spiced Whisky Sour , showing that while the venue doesn't have a cocktail menu per say, they're willing to get messy behind the bar for one. And while we didn't snag any beer (even with a Five Points tap takeover happening at the venue), credit should be given to Hand of Glory for its insistence on independent brewers and home-made drinks. From home-brewed Lemonade to rustic, countryside ciders, the farmland and folklore of HOG is easily swallowed.
The venue was quiet for a Sunday afternoon, and we were faintly thankful (hangover head dread). Scoffing down amongst a few Dalston day drinkers, 1pm was a chilled time to visit, and considering the roast dinners were unfortunately off that afternoon, people still continued to pour in from 3pm onwards for their afternoon fix before the call of 9-5 took hold. If you're after somewhere relaxed, open and willing to hold you on a Sunday, Hand of Glory is more than open arms.
Most avid a credit to the venue, has to be the bar staff. Up for a chat, more than willing to curb heads that hurt, and funny, the staff at Hand of Glory will likely be something that continues to make it the humble and hearty pub that it stands as today.
The Hand of Glory is my kind of pub. It's unique, it's charmed, it boasts its own selection of hand-crafted bevvies and keeps itself away from the mardy hustle of commercial, cheap pint pubs that you find today. From a respect of folklore based culture to a burger that'll knock the willies out of your hangover, Hand of Glory didn't leave me bewitched (that would sound too corny), but it did leave me with a wanting for more, and you know you've got a gem when that's the case.