Farr’s School of Dancing: Dalston. For drinks, food and …cheating on your favourite pub.

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An open letter to The Clapton Hart…

Dear Clapton Hart,

I wasn’t going to write this, but decided it was only fair to come clean. I recently published a write-up on here which revolved around my unbreakable affection for you, in which I listed ten things I love about you. It was a bit like that 90’s film where she lists the ten things she hates about Heath Ledger, but …the opposite. I swore I’d never look elsewhere – my adoration for your interiors and your booze was a love like no other.

But then, one recent Sunday afternoon, I ran into your brother, Farr’s, in Dalston.

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I mean, you know what Farr’s is like. He’s too charming for his own good. That exterior of sanded-back wood and his huge sprawling windows so reminded me of you, I was drawn in before I even realised what was unfolding. I hadn’t expected this to happen, but the location was so perfect – I mean, he was waiting for me, right outside Dalston Junction overground, so as soon as I came out of the station, there he was, smiling at me, doors wide open, offering me a drink. I was thirsty. The overground gets really hot. Surely you can’t blame me for how this went down?

So, we went in for one drink, Tom and I – and I talked about you the whole time. I have to admit, I was struck by your similarities and your differences, all at the same time. It was all so confusing. I could tell immediately that you’re both from the same family. The huge bar, the mismatched reclaimed furniture, the rich mahogany tables and even the framed pictures on the walls. So many memories that we’ve shared together suddenly rushed to the surface and …it’s like I was with you.

Except, I wasn’t.

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But wait, there’s more. I wish that was where it ended, that I came to my senses and called it a day before it was too late but …I didn’t. On our second drink, Tom and I decided to … decided to …oh God, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write …look, we decided to get a roast, ok? We got one tiny roast dinner at Farr’s.

EACH.

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It wasn’t even that tiny, the portions of meat were huge – not that it’s about size, you know I’ve always said that. Farr’s gave us loads of gravy too – an entire extra jug, it’s no wonder I fell for it. Plus, the vegetables were perfect, everything about it was perfect. I know, I’ve always insisted that roast dinners are one of my favourite things about you, but I gave into temptation and …I don’t regret it. Farr’s roast was incredible, I’m sorry. Did you know Farr’s offers a dessert too called a Farr’s Bar? Like a Mars bar? It’s like this salted caramel and chocolate and ice cream and brownie thing and -oh, I don’t know, I was so caught up in the moment, it meant nothing.

…Except it meant everything.

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That Farr’s Bar was ridiculous. I was easily seduced by his sauce. I’d walk back to see Farr’s for another one of those bad boys, is all I’m saying.

Before I knew it, I’d fallen for Farr’s – it wasn’t just me, Tom had too. It’s obvious as to why though; Farr’s has got such a rich history, it’s so interesting. We learnt all about it’s background, how it started life in the 30’s as a dance hall – I mean, that’s amazing. Plus, Farr’s is really popular – you’ve only got to look along his bar for evidence of that; he’s got some of the best East London beers around, all fighting it out to have a position on that bar. Farr’s has earnt that …and he’s not even pretentious or arrogant, he’s just unassuming and effortlessly cool without trying.

The thing is, Clapton Hart, I think we want different things, you and I. You’re so …chilled and placid. You’re perfect for a Sunday or a hangover day or a family day – and that’s fine, it’s no bad thing. I just think …Farr’s …it’s more about the lively atmosphere with Farr’s, you know? The going out, the drinking, the dancing, listening to music, getting your game face on before a big night out – that’s more what Farr’s is about and I realised whilst I was there that, actually, I think that’s what I want.

I don’t want this to be the end though. I can’t just not ever see you again. In time, I’ll be back – maybe one Sunday, we could share a roast together? Sorry. It’s too soon, I agree. Look, just don’t forget me, ok? I still love you, just in a different way.

See you soon I’m sure.

Rachel.

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