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10th Anniversary Pub Crawl in Birmingham with Real Ale Ray on the Pub Forum

The Palm Tree, Mile End, E3

24-26 Haverfield Road
E3 5RP

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

Tris C left this review about The Palm Tree

Originally dating from around the 1840s and built at the corner of Palm Street and Totty Street, this was a pub which served a myriad surrounding houses, swept away as a result of bombing, in what is now Mile End Park. Another first for an E3 pub, into this Grade II-listed former Truman's house dating from 1935. At first glance it would be easy to assume that it was built by their in-house architect, A. E. Sewell in the so-called 'improved' style, but this would be a basic schoolboy error, as it was in fact designed by Eedle & Myers, architects of the legendary Angel, which gives its name to a part of Islington and a square on the UK Monopoly board.
I won't go into any real detail about the place as it's well documented below, on CAMRA's Pub Heritage website and that of Historic England, suffice to say that unsurprisingly nothing has changed and the couple who have run it since the 1970s are presumably still here.
Arriving with around 40 minutes to go before the 'new normal' last orders and what a shock compared to The Lord Tredegar over the road, not because of the obvious differences in architectural style but because of the customers: the Lord Tredegar was pretty much as full as the law allows with diners aplenty and probably all recent incomers to the area. Here, just one old boy who has probably been a regular all his life, chatting away to the staff behind the bar.
Entry required very little in the way of track and trace, just a notebook for names and numbers and a bottle of denatured alcohol to be splashed sloppily onto the hands without any little pump with most of it spilling onto the floor. As mentioned, the lighting in here is rather different (or traditional?) as there's little illumination beyond a deathly orange glow. Music flowed gently but was contemporary where one would have expected Glenn Miller or The Andrews Sisters wafting over a windup gramophone. The floor is carpeted but I doubt it’s original though. The lavs were ok, but what was a little alarming is that there's no gent's cubicle.
There was one solitary ale, Mighty Oak's Maldon Gold which was very good but at an absolutely excruciating £5.00, which is more than a substantially stronger pint at the Tredegar with its far more affluent client base. It also had to be paid for in cash which I had brought along specially, having been forewarned, though it didn't go into the cash register of yesteryear.
I'm glad I saw this place in all its original glory, but I doubt the interior will survive in its current state once the current landlord/lady move on, so best see it while you have the chance.

On 28th November 2020 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1159 recommendations about 1138 pubs]

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Graham Coombs left this review about The Palm Tree

Still as described previously, an imposing pub standing alone in a small park by the canal. Don't be put off by the lack of signs of life from outside; at first sight it can appear firmly closed but inside is a very traditional and unspoilt two-roomed pub. Still two ales on offer from Mighty Oak, although condition can be a bit variable, as can Alf's jokes! Definitely one to visit before it inevitably gets changed beyond all recognition.

On 14th March 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2432 recommendations about 2377 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Palm Tree

The very thorough PSM review needs little imbellishment.On my trip only the side bar was open,with it's small stage for live music and a very friendly welcome from the guv'nor.Val & Alf Barrett have been here since just after the War,and that is why so much has been preserved,so it's well worth a visit to this CAMRA Regionally Important Interior listed pub.No food and cash only,it's old school.The public bar opens when demand is sufficient.A lot of filming takes place both outside and in because of the authentic features.
The two handpumps were drawing Mighty Oak Endeavour and Maldon Gold (good nick,pricey at £4.50),and it seems Alf will usually stock their ales,he is rightly a keen fan of the brewer.
The muzak was gentle ballards creating a good atmosphere and this is a proper welcoming East End boozer.

On 30th August 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2175 recommendations about 2175 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Palm Tree

Standalone building just up from the canal that retains it Truman's exterior. 2 roomed traditional interior with a curved bar in the one I visited with reddish lighting giving everything a strange hue. Something completely different in a world of bland chain pubs. 2 real ales served.

On 26th November 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2786 recommendations about 2728 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Palm Tree

A combination of wartime bombing and the post-war creation of Mile End Park has left this fine 1920's Truman's pub in a somewhat exposed and isolated position alongside the Regents Canal. This makes the approach to the pub quite a sight, as the fine ceramic tiled exterior gradually comes into focus with its dramatic Truman's eagle perched high above. The pub has a traditional two room layout, with a small corner bar and a larger room to the right hand side. Sadly, on my mid-week evening visit, only the corner bar was open, so I was unable to explore the pub in full. The entrance takes you into a small carpeted room with a fantastic curved servery opposite, boasting a solid tongue and groove counter and a broad canopy with a curtained fringe. The bar back is fairly minimal, running through the middle of the servery and on into the other bar, but the undisputed highlight has to be the ancient looking, 'Open All Hours' style cash register, which takes pride of place behind the bar. The room has rather limited seating options, with bench and standard seating along the front and right hand walls and a short drinking ledge with high stools over in the rear right corner. However, a small stage area in the front left corner and a smart fireplace on the left hand wall rules out the chance of any seating on this side of the room, so I imagine the other bar would be opened up once the pub fills up a little. The walls have been decorated with some fantastic old wallpaper which gives off an atmospheric golden glow under the muted evening lighting. Elsewhere there is a large Truman's mirror above the fireplace, frosted windows with heavy drapes, a hop lined section of wall, a collection of plates and an extensive series of black and white photos of entertainers from yesteryear on the bar canopy, some of which are signed but none of which were familiar to me. Relaxing music played unobtrusively throughout my stay and the gentle hum of hushed conversation made this a nice place to relax with my paper and a pint.
There were two ales available on this visit - Wadworth Horizon and Mighty Oak Maldon Gold. The landlady had her back to me when I arrived, busily chatting to another customer who unhelpfully decided not to draw her attention to my arrival, but I was eventually served up a half decent pint of the Maldon Gold - perhaps a little past its best but still drinkable.
I really liked the spectacle of drinking here, from the imposing approach through the time-warp feel of the traditional interior to the moody ambiance with muted lighting and glowing wallpaper. The beer could certainly have been better and it was a shame to only see half of the pub, but this was a memorable experience and a pub I'd like to visit again.

On 18th April 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2607 recommendations about 2607 pubs]

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Alan Winfield left this review about The Palm Tree

The Palm Tree is a decent looking three storey pub that stands alone next to the canal.
Once inside i went into the front room,no alarms or having to have my drink outside,so i was now inside this pub,the main room is a decent sized square shaped room,there is a really nice looking curved bar with an old manual till,which the landlord was proud of.
The floor was carpeted this was slightly worn,the seating was basic bench type.
There were two real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Portobello VPA which was a very nice drink,the other beer was Black Sheep bitter.
I had a good chat with the landlord who said he been running to pub for over 30 years,the pub was almost empty apart from one other younger male customer.
There was some background music playing of the jazz type,not my cup of tea.
I told the landlord about how i took photo's of every pub i went in,i then asked him to come outside to pose in front of his pub which he went ahead and did.
This is a pretty much unalterd pub,well worth the visit.

Pub visited 19/2/2014

On 19th February 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Palm Tree

A disappointing visit yesterday having arrived at about 12.50 lunchtime the only sign of life was a couple of staff/Landlady? chatting at an open side door,after inquiring if or not they were open we can open in a minute but you will have to have a drink outside for the time being.After lengthy discussion as to what was available or not we received three pints of Mighty Oak Snake in the Glass in plastic glasses,the beer wasn't an good condition and at £3.60 for a 3.5% beer we decided not to prolong our visit,and so left with out even stepping inside the pub. I have previously enjoyed my trips here and would rate it a good 7/10 but after yesterday it will now average 4/10, zero yesterday.

On 27th June 2012 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1430 recommendations about 1415 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about The Palm Tree

A short walk away from Mile End Tube Station and close to the Regents Canal is The Palm Tree, a splendidly traditional old fashioned East End local.

Largely due to planning and demolition in the immediate area, the pub is oddly isolated, standing alone in the middle of a grassland park. It’s a former Trumans pub with the trademark tiled exterior and the eagle logo prominently positioned on a corner wall.

The main bar of this two bar pub is carpeted and features striking gold flowery wallpaper, half height wood panelling and leaded frosted windows. Seating is basic benches and unusual round tables with cork tops. The curved semi circular wooden bar counter has a gantry which is decorated with photos of various singers and musicians who have performed here over the years. In one corner of the room is a small stage with several drums and there’s live music on weekend evenings. Note also the old manual cash still in use behind the bar. We find some surviving features of its former Truman days – a Trumans mirror and the trademark black and white chequered spittoon around the bar.

A larger bar with a separate entrance appears to be the favoured location of the regulars. Here there’s a rarely seen London 5’s dartboard and a collection of boxing photographs, including one signed by Billy Walker addressed to “Alf and Val”.

The surviving features of this 1930’s pub merit a listing in CAMRA’s book of London Heritage Pubs.

There’s usually 2 or 3 real ales on. Pleasingly, these are invariably interesting selections rather than the usual suspects such as London Pride and Greene King IPA. On my latest visit last week, beers on were Robinsons Enigma and Newmans Red Stag Bitter ( Caerphilly ). The latter was an enjoyable pint, but, with an ABV of only 3.6%, was rather pricey, I seem to recall. The pub is in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2012.

There’s something of a time warp feel to the place - it’s a real collector’s item. Do make the effort to seek it out

On 22nd March 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Palm Tree

I thought I was going to be disappointed when I arrived at this pub, having walked up from Bethnal Green tube and slithered my way across the park in the melting snow, as the first door I pushed was resoundly shut, and no light was showing, however I tried the corner door and it opened, but then the burglar alarm went off! Unsure what to do, I did nothing, then the landlady appeared. They were open, they just had the alarm on as they were upstairs as there were no customers mid afternoon on Monday.
The inside of this excellent pub is a time warp, small round wooden tables with bench seating, plates on a high shelf, the wooden fronted bar has a pelmet over the gantry, and your cash (no cards here) goes into an old fashioned manual till. There is an old Trumans mirror on one wall. The shiny gold patterned wallpaper reflects a shimmering light from the windows, these are leaded with the green and amber banding indicating a previous Charrington's life, I assume after its Truman origins. The corner has a small stage, replete with drum kit and a bunch of dried hops above. There are jazz evenings on weekend nights when the pub stays open late. You won't disturb the neighbours here, there aren't any. Two beers on handpump, both rotate I believe, my visit had St Austell Tribute and Brains SA Gold, not cheap for the area at £3.60.
Curious to have a look in the back room I asked if this was ok and despite my earlier inauspicious arrival the landlady was happy to unlock the door for me. I'm glad I looked, one wall is covered with old photos and drawings/caricatures of boxers, another has an impressive display of black and white photographs of East End life in years long gone. There's a high shelf groaning under the weight of numerous trophies, mostly darts related, and a cabinet revealed a London 5's dartboard, not something I have encountered previously, which has numbered sections of 5, 10, 15 and 20; The game counts down from 505.
This is a fascinating little pub, well worth a visit and clearly in good hands, the current couple have been there for 35 years.

On 7th February 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1689 recommendations about 1664 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Palm Tree

There are still two separate bars in this CAMRA inventory pub. As I walked up to the pub the door to the corner bar on the left was invitingly open, and never one to spurn an invitation like that in I went. This bar had two ales on handpump – Maldon Sherpa Tenzing and Warwickshire Beer Co’s. Darling Buds. The Tenzing was a really good and well kept pint, even though I have no idea why they would want to name an ale after one of the first men to conquer Everest at this time. This pub has all the appearance of an untouched inter-war pub, with the exterior still decorated with Truman’s trademark beige tiling, surmounted by the rampant black eagle. The interior of the corner bar was similarly largely untouched from its inter-war roots, with at least some of the furnishings looking to be of pre-war vintage. They must have live music on at times, judging by the small raised area on the left bearing a drum kit, and the signed photos of artists (none of whose names I recognised) above the bar counter; there was also a photograph of ol’ blue eyes himself, but sadly unsigned.
They weren’t doing any food on the sunny and hot Saturday when I visited “because we are too busy today” although I surmised from this that they sometimes did so. I would have thought that being busy, which a pub like this on the Regents Canal would be, is a reason to maximise profits by offering food rather than a reason to not do it. I am guessing that the inability to have seating on the grassed area by the canal might be the reason, and if so it’s a great shame as I feel confident that they would have done a great trade.
Anyway, I still greatly enjoyed my visit to this unspoilt East End pub. The ales they had on were from two of the smaller and lesser known breweries (in London anyway) and I would be delighted to pay a return visit.

On 6th June 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2583 recommendations about 2499 pubs]

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