The Penbury Tavern, Hackney

The Penbury Tavern has been the one constant in my life since I moved to Hackney. Ok, so if any of my friends are reading, I am being a little dramatic, and of course, they are always my constant. But it terms of pubs, it is The Penbury every time. Apart from being ridiculously close to my flat, they have great food and “well kept” (so I’m told) ales. They also have regular beer festivals – I went to one a couple of weeks ago, and they really make you feel like getting pissed is a learning and almost noble experience. The atmosphere here is reminiscent of a student union. In a nice way

I have never had a bad meal in here – they have fantastic Sunday roasts, pizzas like you rarely find outside of Italy, and this amazing Italian sausage with polenta. The latter is my usual choice, but after being jealous of my dad’s succulent roast beef last time, for the first time ever, the whole Zak family ordered the same meal today. If you don’t know the mealtime habits of the Zaks – this is highly unusual. In fact, I can’t remember when it last happened. My parents have this “thing” where they feel everyone needs to order a different meal, so we can all try as many different dishes on the menu as possible. It’s great in theory, but very annoying when, inevitably, you end up with the crap one

The Penbury chef is a friendly Italian bloke, who always recognises us and makes us feel at home. It’s a lovely thing, although can make you feel slightly embarassed when you have the sort of family moments we have… hopefully, being Italian, he’ll understand that people can get emotional at times. Strangely enough, in the course of this blog, my old uni mate, Rob, texted to see if I fancy a drink at The Penbury. I don’t think I’ve ever been twice in one day before – now it really feels like it’s back to the student union!