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Pub Of The Month - November 2021 with Spinko on the Pub Forum

The Old Ship, Hackney, E8

2 Sylvester Path
E8 1EN
Phone: 02089862732

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

hondo . left this review about The Old Ship

The pub has 2 entrances I entered via the narrow lane from the street. Central bar served 3 real ales & food.

On 30th September 2021 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2802 recommendations about 2744 pubs]

Tris C left this review about The Old Ship

Existing from the early 19th century and rebuilt in 1877, this is a rather interesting place. I had initially thought that I was entering through some mysterious deep recess off Mare Street (now tidied up), only to find out that in fact, I was making my debut entrance up the pub’s back passage, as there’s a rather impressive frontage to Sylvester Path. It must once have had a more commanding view, but is now a little hemmed in by modern housing. This was originally a Courage pub, as there are some impressive brewer’s tiles to Mare Street, the alley doubling as a type of micro covered beer garden. There’s also a tiled floor mosaic with the pub’s name of The Ship, indicating that ‘Old’ is in fact new.
Once inside and what was once original has been totally hipsterfied. The floor’s part bare boarded, part patterned tiles (not cracked) and paint is either Farrow & Ball smoky blue field panelled to the dado then cream. The wood topped modern bar is clad in distressed cream tiles, which are also applied to much of the walls, especially to the open kitchen; there’s a little bare brick too along with a fireplace which seems unused. What little of the original pub remains is part of an attractive cornice. There are some structural RSJ-style columns, painted black. Lighting comes mainly from hanging filament bulbs in exposed wire cages with black flex looped beneath the ceiling like some giant cat’s cradle; there are similar sconce lights. Furniture is a mix of modern and traditional tables and chairs – some high – with a modern black and tan leather button back banquette to the rear. Décor comprises a hotchpotch of mixed prints and paintings and even a framed airbrush depiction of a Porsche 911; a wooden shelf displays some old crockery. There’s a dartboard, but given that it has a wide shiny metal surround – off which darts could ricochet – I think it’s decorative. The lavs are decent but open directly into the faces of diners; there’s food, but it seems burger-orientated rather than true gastro. Customers are what you’d expect of a venue of this type in E8. The Rolling Stones played over the gramophone at an agreeable level.
There were five pumps – one a cider – but the other four were all off, meaning I had to plump for a pint of BrewDog Punk IPA for the extreme of £6.00.
I actually quite liked this place, despite its pretensions. Combine it in a crawl with The Cock, Hackney Tap, Pembury, Three Compasses and The Hand of Glory and prepare to make the jump to hipster hyperspace.

On 11th June 2021 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1309 recommendations about 1288 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Graham Coombs left this review about The Old Ship

A surprisingly trendy place, accessed down an artily-decorated passageway off Mare Street which you could easily miss if not looking for it. Once inside, there is a largeish room with a central bar area, done up in a mixture of bare wood and tiles with further arty decorations. Although more of a restaurant feel than a pub, drinkers are welcomed by the attentive servers. Beers on offer at time of visit included two from Sambrooks and one from Wimbledon, as well as a cider on handpump. Far from a traditional pub but ok for a visit.

On 8th December 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2465 recommendations about 2410 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Old Ship

This rather trendy looking pub is accessed from Mare Street via a passageway decorated with all sorts of graffiti art, slogans and collages, making it quite a trippy experience just getting into the place. Once inside, you find yourself in a bare boarded room with a decorative tiled floor area to the right and the servery mid way along the same side. The bar has a white tiled counter front and bar back with various drinks drawn on it in cartoon fashion. The front part of the pub has a mix of cracked white tiling and exposed brick walls decorated with mural artwork, all under a nice skylight with a plasma screen to one side. Standard tables and chairs in four neat rows fill the space and there is a kitchen hatch on the front wall with a menu detailed on a board above. The area opposite the bar is painted a nice shade of maroon with white trim and sports various seafaring images on the maroon uppers, whilst spooky portraits and out-there artwork fills the gaps between. Button backed banquettes run around the angles opposite the bar before giving way to basic seating including a number of high stools along ledges and metal framed chairs around cheap tables in the opened out rear section of the pub. This space has a large blackboard on the right hand wall with another TV screen sunk into it and a dartboard. A note on the blackboard explained that the pub would be open until 2am the following evening, showing the General Election results. There was a good young crowd in on my midweek visit and a decent indie soundtrack played throughout my stay.
Four handpulls were in operation on this visit, offering Hackney Kapowi, ELB Pale Ale, Old Dairy Summer Top and Trumans Runner. A friendly barman poured me a pint of the Summer Top, which was clearly a good beer, although suffering a little from the heat unfortunately. I didn’t eat here, but the menu listed reasonable value meals focussed mainly around burgers, chicken and salads.
This is quite a nice place to escape the hustle and bustle of Central Hackney. Whilst the pub has a very contemporary makeover, including lots of ‘art’ that is likely to be off-putting to the pub traditionalist, I nevertheless thought the place was smart, comfortable and offered a good beer selection which is perhaps better sampled during weather more befitting of the English climate. Not the best pub in the local area, but a solid addition to any local pub crawl.

On 27th July 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2630 recommendations about 2630 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Old Ship

This place is unchanged since previous reviewers' visits. The graffiti (or perhaps it's supposed to be art) still assaults the eye if you walk through the passage from the Mare St entrance, and all the arty stuff is still there on the walls in the bar area. But I did spot a dartboard next to the large screen TV at the back (or the front if you enter via the Sylvester Path entrance), and the room is still dominated by the central peninsular bar counter.

There were four ales on - Windsor & Eton Boatman; West Berkshire Brewery Mister Swift's Pale ale; Caledonian Kick Off; and Old Dairy Summer Top (£4.25 a pint), and with one pump unclipped. The food menu was minimalist and straightforward - burgers are £7.50, rotisserie chicken is £6 for a quarter, wings, a couple of salads (£9 - £11), a few sides, and desserts and that's about it. It makes menu scrutiny a simple affair.

All in all it's not a bad place, with a decent ale selection, although £4.25 for a pint of low ABV beer like Summer Top's not cheap, but that's Hackney for you these days. I'll probably end up in here again sometime.

On 29th June 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2590 recommendations about 2504 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Old Ship

I was quite surprised after walking through the afore-mentioned passageway to find a modern vibrant gastro pub with equal emphasis on pub as well as food,I only counted five pumps as opposed to Mm's six below,I could well be mistaken though,anyway only three beers were on while I was there, West Berks Good Old Boy and two from Truemans,Blindside and Scorcher,the Blindside was decent enough.There was a quite vibrant feel about the place with some decent background music in the background,I did like it here and would come back.

On 27th March 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1436 recommendations about 1420 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Old Ship

The entrance from the Mare St end is down the previously described scruffy alley with poor quality "artwork" and designer graffiti. Once inside however there is a pleasant boarded room with a central bar and a food servery on an end wall. There is another entrance here from the back road where there are also a few outdoor tables. Arty decor, distressed tiled bar front, anchor and mermaid themed murals, 12" LP records fixed to a pillar and a dartboard in a case but with a table in front. A 70s style piano sits against a wall.
Six handpumps, one not clipped and two reversed, the three on were Truman's Runner plus Zephyr (£4.10) and ELB Foundation. Food seemed to be mostly burgers or rotisserie chickens.
There is accommodation available, ten bedrooms upstairs, no idea about prices.
Despite the offputting entrance this was actually quite a nice laid back pub, they do have Sky Sports but the TV was off on Saturday afternoon, I suspect they show rugby going by the posters.

On 25th January 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1690 recommendations about 1664 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Old Ship

Agree with Alan below, the main entrance alley is very scruffy and off putting. In fact the rear entrance is a lot more pleasant and customers who know the pub, tend to use this way in. This is a one roomed pub, with a central bar, which was decorated with cream broken tiles to make it look aged. The flooring was bare boards, which were left rustic. There were five ales on handpump and one cider, plus a comprehensive range of bottled beers. The Tiny Rebel APA and Trumans Attaboy were both in great shape. The downside was we paid £4.40 for two halves.

On 9th February 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3035 recommendations about 3035 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alan Winfield left this review about The Old Ship

The Old Ship is entered by going up a long and very scruffy alley which has drinking shelfs along it,why anybody would want to drink here is beyond me.
The main room to the rear is a fairly large square shaped room divided into two halfs by the bar,the room is bare boarded with bench seating on the left side and normal tables and chairs elsewhere,for some strange reason most tables had cactus plants on them.
There was a good choice of real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Windsor & Eton Windsor Knot which was quite a nice drink,the other beers i noted were Trumans Runner,Trumans Swift and Swallow and Trumans Export.
There was background music playing.
The pub opens at 10.30 am,i was the only customer in at 10.45am.
I quite liked this pub.

Pub visited 4/10/2014

On 4th October 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john gray left this review about The Old Ship

Quaint little pub up a covered scruffy little alley.One room but bright and airy with outside space to the rear.Low ceilinged with a bit of exposed brick and lots of white cracked (purposely)tiles.2 large tv,s showing the tennis and the football.Good soul/reggae on the sound system created a relaxed feeling so I stayed for a couple of drinks.6 handpumps and some good craft keg London beers.3 interesting cask beers for me were Arbor-mortueka, Tiny Rebel -billabong and Anarchy -quiet riot. Impressed and only yards from the Cock Tavern. Result.

On 5th July 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

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