Standing tall overlooking picturesque Broadway market, Cat and Mutton is without doubt one of my favourite pubs in London Fields. Scrap that, it’s actually one of the best boozers in the whole of ‘appening ‘Ackney. Like a magnet, its welcoming buzz and Georgian charm pulls you inside for a pint, and before you know it you’re three gin and tonics in dancing to Prince thinking isn’t life great…
Cat and Mutton has been welcoming punters for over 300 years. Today it attracts both market traders and young Hackneyites who end up spilling out onto the picnic benches and streets outside. If you do end up inside, you’ve got the choice of a traditional East End boozer on the ground floor with shabby chic furniture, high ceilings and huge panoramic windows, or you can take the vintage spiral staircase up to the sophisticated first-floor cocktail bar.
We headed down for some Friday night revelry and secured a cosy table downstairs. The bar was heaving but those behind it did a great job of keeping up with the merry punters - our bartender even offered to bring our drinks over to our table so we didn’t have to wait. Top marks.
The cocktail menu attracts a keen crowd of booze enthusiasts and rightly so. I went for the Lavender Clover Club (£7.50) which was a summery, refreshing concoction of gin, lavender, lemon and raspberry. An egg white gave it a fruity frothy cap and a rich, creamy texture. My drinking buddy went for an Aperol Spritz (‘tis the season) which had a glorious fizz and was served with a juicy segment of orange.
Make sure you don’t have too many cocktails and bypass the food though - you’d really miss out! They offer a great selection of small plates, from the millennial favourite avocado on toast with dukkha and a poached egg to Merguez sausage with harissa mayo.
We fancied something a little larger, so settled on the yoghurt baked chicken and the steak. The chicken was fried and deliciously crisp, tucked inside soft flat bread with a tangy mango chutney sauce - delicious. The minty, creamy raita was a tasty accompaniment. My carnivore dinner date devoured the Onglet steak, which wasn’t going to win any beauty prizes but was full of flavour and buttery soft. Its accompanying chips were crispy and hot, the tomatoes juicy.
By the time we’d cleared our plates the music had been turned up and half the pub was dancing along to 80s classics. What makes this place particularly worth a visit is the great atmosphere; you’re in for a good night at the Cat and Mutton.
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