It’s a Friday night and after having successfully made it to the close of another working week, you feel like going out for a drink or two. “Where will the night take me?” you think to yourself, and may be surprised to hear a far-off voice answering your query with a reply that sounds remarkably like “Bethnal Green”.
. . .
E2 may not have always been the first place you would make a beeline for if you wanted to find a quirky spot to let your hair down and debate whether to drink cocktails or beer, but in recent years there has been a huge influx of pubs and bars that have decided to call this postcode home. Here are ten of the most note-worthy that you should visit (split into two parts because there are just so many):
Redchurch Brewery Tap Room (1)
Redchurch craft brewery moved to Bethnal Green in 2011, but their Tap Room opened its doors to the public only last year. Their bar shares the same premise as the brewery, succeeds in being fashionable yet unpretentious, and creates the perfect, intimate atmosphere for any true beer lover as there are no middle-men to complicate the relationship between drinker and beverage. If you want to try a full range of Redchurch’s delicious and unique craft beers – from their pale ales to their more experimental beers – then this is the place for you. If all this wasn’t enough, the bar also serves food and plays host to quality live music.
275-275 Poyser Street, London E2 9RF
Peg and Patriot (2)
Peg and Patriot opened last year and it really puts E2 on the map as a place to go for quality cocktails. If you are looking to enjoy high-concept and experimental drinks in a minimalist venue that really lets the liqueur do the talking, then this is the place for you regardless of whether you fancy a ‘Perfect Martini’ or have ‘Pho Money Pho Problems’. If you visit here and begin to feel a bit peckish then don’t fear; Peg and Patriot offer some intriguing bar snacks too. As the resident bar of the Town Hall Hotel, it can only be imagined that the latter are punching the air at the chance to be so involved with this place.
The Kings Arms (3)
The Kings Arms calls itself ‘Bethnal Green’s newest local’ and it is clear to see why. This pub was taken over and refurbished in 2013 and whilst from the outside it may look like a traditional pub, if you go inside you will be in for a treat. Although still dimly-lit and inviting, there is a definite sense of being in a modern, down-with-the-times, drinking establishment when you enter. This pub seems to care only about one thing, however: supplying an extensive range of local and craft beers. With a rotating selection of beer on tap that comes from all around the world and a vast array of bottles – many of which have very interesting labels– any craft beer lover should not miss the chance to visit. They serve up some pretty good snacks, too.
11A Buckfast St, London E2 6EY
Satan’s Whiskers (4)
Tucked away just off Cambridge Heath Road, Satan’s Whiskers is the place to go if you’re in the mood for some mild debauchery or just some great tasting cocktails. They change their menu regularly and so there are always new cocktails on the agenda which have great sounding names such as ‘Salty Dog’ and ‘Satan’s Americano’. You drink these in an atmosphere that can be summed up by the bar’s vast array of vintage wall posters, taxidermies, and their red, neon sign hanging up somewhat invitingly outside. If you are hungry, bar-snacks are available and it should be known that whoever is in charge of the music has great taste.
343 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9RA
Sebright Arms (5)
Sebright Arms has its own venue space downstairs and has recently been nominated for NME’s Best Small Venue – the only place nominated in London – which shows that this spot takes its role as entertainer very seriously. As a place to go for a drink, it doesn’t disappoint either. Alongside the usual range, it serves over 10 local craft beers that cater to a wide range of taste buds and also hands over some unusual soft drinks for those who don’t drink or are just very busy the next day. The food menu is also rather extensive, making Sebright Arms a fitting choice regardless of what your plans are.
-By Hayley Downey