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Beer of the Week (w/e 26th June 2022) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

Hand of Glory, E8

240 Amhurst Road
E8 2BS
Phone: 02072497455

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Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Hand of Glory

Formerly the Amhurst Arms, as evinced by the last real trace of original history, a piece of etched glass to a small window on the north side. A bit scruffy in parts, this is an avowedly hipster pub in a rather out of the way hinterland, with nothing by way of competition for quite some distance. Its website describes the place thus: ‘Giant maypoles, wicker masks, brass icons, a straw bear and a ghostly mare; the cosy interior unites a collective of artists in a disquieting but colourful exhibition of British folk culture. Like The Wickerman sacrificing Bill Oddie to the gods of Countryfile, it celebrates pagan festivals, traditional iconography and folkloric customs from across the history of the British Isles. Hand of Glory is a seductive experience that re-explores the rich foundations of Cool Britannia’. Ho hum. The floor is bare boarded, walls and the ceiling are off white with some slate grey paint to other areas, furniture is mismatched with some items more distraught than distressed and hop bines abound. There’s a large display cabinet to a wall displaying old ammunition boxes, hopefully not sourced locally. There are some attractive wood support columns and the bar has pleasing field panelling, probably dating from the ‘50s. To the rear, there’s a sunken carpeted area with indoor picnic tables and on high, a glitter ball to accompany the DJ evenings when presumably music will be even louder than on normal nights. Lavatories are adequate and out back there’s a fag patio. Customers are young Hackney types and staff were friendly and efficient.
There was at least one pump clip visible in the gloom, reversed so only craft keg was available. I plumped for the Partizan Brewing’s IPA at a painful £6.10, paid for thankfully with contactless as the QR ordering code on the table didn’t work. It didn’t really taste like what I’d call an IPA, tasting almost like a citrus beer.
This place is just about ok, but the Pembury Arms is on the same street, sells real ale and for considerably less, so I doubt I’ll return.

On 28th May 2021 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1516 recommendations about 1496 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Hand of Glory

This is a fairly nice, but somewhat scruffy, Grade II listed pub that reopened in 2014 after a period operating as a restaurant. The pub was originally known as the Amhurst Arms, as evidenced by the nice etched glass panes on the side of the building. Nowadays, the place has decidedly hipster vibes, despite the retention of a variety of original features. You enter into the main bar area with tatty dark wood flooring throughout and the servery along the left-hand wall. The front left corner provides a compact seating area with several tables and chairs under plain walls decorated with various certificates and some random bits of artwork. Over to the right, ancient looking scratched and gouged tables are served by old school chairs plus a few pews further back and formed into booths opposite the bar. The servery has a square ended counter with a pillar at one end set-up to look like a Maypole, with lots of coloured ribbons attached to it, fanned out across the ceiling to create a striking and quite pleasing visual effect. The bar back is a simple dark wood affair, enlivened by some large tree branches which spread their way across the top of the bar back and beyond. Some sofa seating can be found to the rear of the room, past a hop-lined lintel where you can find a DJ area under a massive glitterball. A door leads out to a simple rear garden and there are plenty of picnic benches available outside the front of the pub along the pavement too. Perhaps the pub’s most striking feature is an enormous display case to the front right, full of old boxes of bullets and other such items of ammunition – a rather unique feature I thought. Each table had a jar on it, full of brightly coloured fresh flowers and there were some 80’s disco and funk tunes playing in the background, to which one of the barmen couldn’t help himself from dancing to.
Only the one cask ale – Five Points Pale – was available on this visit, with the other handpull out of action, but it was in good nick, which was sweet relief having been asked to fork out £5.70 for a pint of it. Dancing barman aside, the service was prompt if a little brusque and aside from a few punters catching the last rays of the day on the pavement outside, I was the only customer.
I had pretty mixed feeling about this place which had a number of interesting original features plus the highly unusual ammunition display but let itself down with an unkempt look and general feeling of neglect. The extortionate beer prices tipped this into the ‘no revisit’ category, but I wouldn’t want to discourage others from checking out the place and enjoying its merits.

On 28th October 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2795 recommendations about 2795 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Komakino . left this review about Hand of Glory

This pub on a semi-crossroads was formerly named The Amhurst Arms, evidence of which still remains in frosting on one of the external windows. We all know what a 'hand of glory' is, and despite the low-lighting within, they have removed some of their original Goth-ier elements (see below) such as the taxidermy (which has now been removed and replaced by a cabinet of shot cartridge boxes). It's still a bit of an oddball - an L-shaped room with seating around the perimeter L and the bar in the crook. Follow the bar and the room drops down a couple of steps with seating to the right and DJ decks to the left - live music here appears to be vinyl-only. A small corridor leads to the conveniences and a tiny 'beer patio'. Although there are a string of dried hops against one beam, there are a variety of gnarly twigs and branches affixed to the ceiling, making you think this place treads water until the end of October every year. Two beers on - two other stumps unclipped. Five Points Pale Ale and a great By The Horns The Mayor of Garrett. Like other Hackney pubs on a Tuesday evening it was busy. Say what you like about this new generation, but they're keeping pubs going.

9th November 2014
Now gorily-named the 'Hand of Glory', the darkened décor along with the wicker animal head lampshades, dried, twisted thorns hanging above the bar and museum-like glass sideboard housing animal skulls and taxidermic paraphernalia give somewhat of a Gothic air, but it seems to works with friendly staff, great beer and great music.

On 12th October 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 995 recommendations about 995 pubs]