Fanny Nelsons pub exceeds its former glory

PUBLISHED: 07:53 20 May 2016 | UPDATED: 08:04 20 May 2016

Fanny Nelsons

Fanny Nelsons


Fanny Nelsons has been transformed back to its former glory and more, after narrowly escaping being converted into flats when it shut 18 months ago.

Although it had only re-opened only a couple of weeks before my children and I turned up for Sunday brunch, it was packed to the brim and full of regulars who had signed a petition to re-open the much-loved Nelsons Head, a public house dating back to the 1830’s.

Having undergone a revamp, the new name Fanny Nelsons, is an affectionate nod to its previous incarnation, and a reference to the nickname of Horatio’s loyal wife, Frances ‘Fanny’ Nelson.

The pub is the latest venture from Andy Bird, a man on a mission to rejuvenate great watering holes who also saved the Chesham Arms in Hackney Central.

Located at the end of Horatio Street, a peaceful residential strip off Hackney Road, the new décor blends the past with the modern day, and has been sourced from around the world, with beautiful lights from an old hotel in France and charming tiles flown in from Lisbon.

The lobster hash at Fanny Nelsons The lobster hash at Fanny Nelsons

Staff are exceptionally friendly, making the place very child-friendly. Although they’re not on the menu, the non-alcoholic cocktails went down a treat, with tropical or zesty flavours offered depending on what they have fresh in the kitchen, and the kids loved the array of ginger beer, raspberry, strawberry, lime and passion fruit mixtures.

The brunch menu is available Saturday and Sunday, making it a perfect stop-off for those heading to Columbia Road flower market just yards away.

Lobster hash at £16 comes with the tail on top of a bed of sautéed shallots and homemade cube fries, with dill, spring onion and a bisque hollandaise.

Meanwhile the Full Nelson, priced at £11 is served with the ‘sausage of the week’ – Toulouse for us - streaky bacon, grilled baby tomatoes, poached eggs, and sweet braised pork belly with beans – their own version of the baked variety. Sides include smashed avocado and the cubed chips.

“I think it was worth it walking all the way here,” my daughter confided after the meal enthusiastically. And she was right.

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Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

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