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The Carpenters Arms, Shoreditch, E2

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
73 Cheshire Street
E2 6EG
Phone: 02077396342

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Carpenters Arms

A first into what was once supposedly London's most notorious pub, on account of it having been bought in 1967 by Ronnie and Reggie Kray for their mother Violet; Reggie's funeral cortege passed by in October 2000 and indeed a photo of the two hangs above the bar.
It's undoubtedly an attractive Victorian pub, the curtain to the door now having gone. Otherwise it has a simple, homely interior with some pew seating and photos of the area from yesteryear; in all, unchanged since the review below. Clients are young and do indeed seem to be of the trustafarian type. There was a lively group in the rear room, when most of the other pubs around here were almost dead. There's a fireplace, which I hope will be used as the winter draws in; the lavatories though are a little scruffy, with coarse graffiti.
Staff were friendly enough serving just two ales with a third pump reversed, dispensing Gloom Bore and TT Landlord which seem to have got the pub an entry in the GBG 2019. It would however, appear that this pub's notoriety lives on in the form of my pint of Landlord costing £6.00! This is simply the most expensive pint I've ever bought; I could almost see Ronnie and Reggie's lips in the photo curling into a smile.
On balance this is a very nice pub, but the price is such that I could only justify staying here for just the one drink, hence the low mark.

On 1st October 2019 - rating: 4
[User has posted 997 recommendations about 982 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Carpenters Arms

Not realising I’d done this one before a few years ago, I popped in without expecting anything. It’s still a classic corner pub that has mercifully stayed out of the hands of the hipsters retains a traditional feel. Enter to a small L shaped bar with half-length varnish wood panelling, mint painted uppers. Noted the classic and rarely seen circular curtain to pull in front of the door on cold nights. Some modern filament lights are the only encroachment and even those are fairly tasteful. To rear right is a discrete doorway which leads to a back room and small garden. Three pumps with two ales and a cider. Tim Taylor Landlord and Adnams Mosaic as the choices, the latter was a good drop (NBSS 3.5) if expensive at £2.70 a half. 12 kegs with an eclectic selection too. Punters on the 'moved to Shoreditch on daddy's funds yah' spectrum but could be worse. Enjoyable stop. 7.5

October 2010
A grand old corner pub recently re-opened, this makes for a good stop-off if touring the Brick Lane area for a bit of the ethnic grub as it’s a decent yomp away from Liverpool St station. Three ales (Trumans Runner brewed by Nethergate, Adnams Old Ale and TT Landlord) available on my visit and although certainly not cheap, the Trumans was in good shape. An interesting selection of bottled beers was available alongside prominently-advertised coffee. The recently refurbed interior has a horseshoe shaped bar which is quite lively, with a quieter drinking area at the right rear. The big etched windows at the pub’s front allow for a lot of welcome light to give a contrast to the dark wood floor, chairs and tables. Is the greenery dangling in the interior real though? Unobtrusive piped music and good atmosphere made for an enjoyable visit, despite being a bit of a hipster magnet. In an area struggling for good pubs, this one is well-worth your time. Rated 7

On 5th August 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Carpenters Arms

Bare boarded interior that snakes it's way back from the entrance. 3 real ales.

On 27th September 2017 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2719 recommendations about 2662 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Carpenters Arms

A classic street corner boozer once owned by Reggie and Ronnie,and with a small picture of the twins as a reminder.However no sign of any old lags these days,it's quite a hip vibe with a young serving team.You enter into the bar room with lots of wood panelling,long benches and traditional furniture.Chalk boards describe the craft beers,bottled beers,wine and a very decent looking food menu,including meat and cheese platters with around 6 mains between £9 -£14 together with bar snacks and escargots.There is a fireplace but just with a coal affect gas fire and art on the walls.Take a walk around the winding corridor to discover a small back lounge and a walled beer garden.It's all quite charming.
At the bar the three handpumps were drawing Purity Mad Goose,TT Landlord and Adnams Mosaic Pale (in good nick,£4.50) .Although quite a mainstream choice of real ale ,the quality justifies its GBG listing.
The 10 craft keg selection looked solid.The muzak was well chosen and was played at a sensible volume and I found this a relaxing place for a quality pint.

On 30th August 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2087 recommendations about 2087 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Carpenters Arms

This is a good pub, much changed no doubt from its notorious past,normally three ales on and this time round I plumped for Project x ,a black IPA from Eagle Brewery(Trumans linked as far as I can make out) it was pretty good anyway. There is always a good vibe about this pub and I always try to include a visit when in the area.

On 5th September 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1354 recommendations about 1340 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Carpenters Arms

Nicely described by the previous reviewer, I too found this to be a friendly and welcoming pub. Unfortunately my chum and I caught this pub at a wrong time, with all the tables in the main bar occupied by a large group of young people seemingly having a celebratory lunch. And a jolly good time they seemed to be having as well; on one level it's good to see a pub like this doing a healthy trade. So, we occupied the small room at the back of the pub, which leads out to a small pub garden. This pub was indeed owned by the Kray brothers back in the 60s, and I believe that it was run by their beloved mother. The only link that I saw to its previous owners was a cartoon depiction of the two brothers on one of the walls.

There were three ales on - Timothy Taylor Landlord, Purity UBU, and Adnam's Tally Ho, which the pumpclip said was a seriously strong barley wine, although the ABV was not specified. Anyway, we both gave that one a swerve, opting for pints of the landlord and UBU, both of which were in good condition. There were chalkboards on the walls, one of which seemed to function as the menu, and advertised a good menu at what appeared to be reasonable prices. The Cottage Pie was £8.80; the Fisherman's Pie was £8.90; the beefburger with chips etc was £9.50; and the roast beef sandwich including chips was £6.90.

I liked the feel of this pub. It's quite small, cramped even, but comfortable and homely nonetheless. Food pays a big part in this pub's business - like so many similar places these days - but three ales on in such a small place is good going. I would be happy to pay a return visit here.

On 17th January 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Carpenters Arms

This is a simple, small, street corner pub just a short walk from the bustle of Brick Lane. The pub was apparently purchased by the notorious Kray twins back in 1967, but seems to be in much more reputable hands nowadays. You enter through double doors on the front corner, which have nice frosted panes showing the carpenter's coat of arms which is also on the pub sign. This takes you into the main bar, with exposed floorboards and a compact, dark wood servery to the right. Long bench seating runs along the front wall and around the front right corner before reaching the bar, serving three small tables with standard chairs opposite. A couple of larger tables with standard chairs face the bar on the left hand side of the room, under some large frosted windows that provide plenty of light for the bar area. A low partitioning screen with the day's papers arranged on it, acts as a low drinking ledge and a few low stools have been lined up along it, although it didn't look very appealing and would presumably be used as a last resort if all the tables and bar space was taken. Beyond this is a cosy rear section with bench and standard seating to the left and high stools along a ledge to the right. A nice fireplace under a huge mirror dominates the end wall, further enhancing this space as the cosiest part of the pub. The décor throughout the room is fairly restrained, with some glamorous chandeliers being the most extravagant feature, with old black and white photos (including some of the pub) dotted around the walls, potted plants in the windows and a large candelabra on the bar rounding out the points of interest. A door to the rear of the room leads to a small second room with basic seating and a lot of strange empty picture frames on the walls. Quiet background music played throughout my stay and I didn't notice any TV screens or slot machines.
Three ales were available on handpull on this visit - Weltons Finest Hour, Taylor Landlord and Adnams Mayday. The latter was priced at £3.80 and was a very tasty pint in pretty good shape. An interesting keg range included Lagunitas IPA and Aspalls cider and a blackboard next to the bar detailed a pretty good selection of bottled beer. The service was prompt and very friendly and there was an interesting mix of customers, including plenty of hipster types and a few old boys who look like they've been drinking there all their lives.
I really enjoyed spending a bit of time in this well looked after traditional pub. Whilst it may be a bit awkward to get comfortable in here when it's particularly busy, if caught at the right time, it is a great spot to relax over a well kept pint or two and as such I would gladly make a return.

On 26th May 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2541 recommendations about 2541 pubs]

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picasso 09 left this review about The Carpenter's Arms

A pub a bit off the beaten track in Cheshire street ,between Brick Lane and Vallance Road,however its always been reasonably lively on my visits.Has a mixed customer base leaning towards the 20/30 something trendy, but this gives the place a live buzz and yet laid back feel at the same time. On my last visit about 6 weeks ago the Adnams Oyster stout was excellent. A pub worth seeking out if in the area, one of my favorites.

On 31st March 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 14 recommendations about 14 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Carpenter's Arms

A small street corner pub with what at first appears to be a small single room with the bar to one side, however further exploration yielded another small quiet room beyond to the rear, past the toilet lobby. Wood flooring, wooden bench seating at standard tables, decor includes the usual B&W photos of the area plus a colourful framed drawing of the Kray twins. A laid back feel nonetheless with a rack of newspapers, pot plants and candles on the window cills. The pub name is displayed in large red lettering on an internal beam.
Three handpumps at the time, one reverse clipped, the others being Tim Taylors Landlord (£3.40) and Adnam's Oyster Stout. Chalkboards had an extensive list of mainly European bottled beers, Belgium, Germany, Holland but some from further afield, plus a long wine list. Not a bad spot at all but be warned opens 4pm Monday to Wednesday and the metal shutters on the doors and windows prior to opening do not mean that the pub is a closed one.

On 9th February 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about The Carpenter's Arms

Small but very nice traditional back street local well worth checking out.

Nice beer.

Is this a gay pub?? Gay barmen and clientel, lol, not what you would expect from Krays old pub! Well worth a visit, good beer

On 11th October 2009 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1281 recommendations about 1258 pubs]

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