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Picture of The Royal Oak
Image posted by Blackthorn _
Submitted on Sunday, 5th May 2019
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The Royal Oak, E2

73 Columbia Road
E2
E2 7RG
Phone: 02077292220
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Reviews of The Royal Oak (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Tris C left this review about The Royal Oak

Popular with the area’s new professional and hipster throng, this is another Tower Hamlets’ cracker, making for a good triple with the Birdcage across the road and Marksman just to the north. A replacement for a Victorian predecessor, this was designed along the lines of the inter-war ‘improved’ or ‘reformed’ hostelries being a very impressive pub designed in 1923 and given the design, only one man could possibly be responsible: the name’s Sewell. A. E. Sewell. Local brewer Truman, Hanbury & Buxton’s golden boy. The exterior features his classic Dutch bell gables and muted pastel-hued glazed faience tiling; two Truman’s sign brackets also remain. Inside, there’s a simple central field panelled bar without back, and a parquet floor, but it’s the remainder that really impresses: the nearly full-height wood panelled walls with Truman’s lettering at top, the lovely Art Deco lights and gorgeous white panelled Vitrolite ceiling; according to Historic England, there’s a very attractive upstairs bar/dining room too. To the rear there’s a fine fireplace, sadly unused. Unsurprisingly, the ensemble is Grade II-listed and has featured in films such as The Krays and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Furniture is simple and conventional. Thankfully the customer is spared electronic gimmickry, the only exception being muted music on the gramophone. There’s certainly food and I don’t know whether it qualifies as a true gastropub, but the guinea fowl salad with figs, sorrel and pomegranate is a far cry from the area’s jellied eels of old, though as mentioned earlier, there is a bit of a problem with cooking smells.
Ales: one unused pump, the awful Sharp’s Doom Bar and East London Brewery’s Cowcatcher, price not clocked though a bit strong for a session ale but well-kept nonetheless.
This is a genuinely lovely pub. With a better choice of ales and improved ventilation in the kitchen, this place could be right up there as a local destination for the discerning pub-goer and I’ll certainly be returning when next in the area as this was the highlight of our mini-crawl.

On 8th February 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 936 recommendations about 922 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Moby Duck left this review about The Royal Oak

Nice looking pub , very busy in part I'm sure to the adjacent flower market . Beers were ELB Cowcatcher and unfortunately Doombar. Its worth a look.

On 1st August 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1297 recommendations about 1284 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Rex Rattus left this review about The Royal Oak

They still have Doom Bar and East London Brewery Pale Ale (£2.10 a half) on. I didn't see a menu, but food is clearly a big player here as the open to view kitchen at the back on the left seemed to be a hive of activity when I was here. A chalkboard on one of the walls advertised Sunday roasts (served between 12 - 4), with the sunday roast standard of "roast Wiltshire sirloin & Yorkshire pud" - plus the trimmings of course, weighing in at £17. That's a top of the range price for a pub Sunday lunch.

Being here on a Sunday, the Columbia Road flower market was in full flow, making movement down the road a tortuous affair because of the crowds, and flower stalls cluttering up the road. But it was worth it to visit this pub that was surprisingly uncrowded when I got in there a bit before 12.30. However, it was starting to get crowded when I left some time after 1.0 PM. The old Truman's signage dominates the exterior, and inside the the typical Truman's features are still present, such as the Vitrolite ceiling, and the wording on the wood panelled walls mentioning their beers.

There's a central island bar with simple furnishings (plain wooden tables and chairs, plus a settle or two) surrounding it. I did spot some large candles on the window ledge, presumably for deployment in the evening. It was apparently dog friendly, as several well behaved mutts were loitering around the place.

Even though food is at gastropub - or even greater - prices, this still struck me as a traditional pub rather than a restaurant. None of the tables seemed to be reserved, nor laid for diners. I reckon that it's worth a punt if you're in the area - especially on Sunday morning if you're into flowers.

On 19th October 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2553 recommendations about 2471 pubs]


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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Tris C
Hoxton, 0.42 miles, 8 min walk (show)
Cambridge Heath (London), 0.59 miles, 11 min walk (show)
Shoreditch High Street, 0.61 miles, 11 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Royal Oak, E2
5th May 2019, 19:05
Picture submitted by Blackthorn _ approved
 
5th May 2019, 19:05
Picture submitted by Blackthorn _ approved

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Car Park : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Darts : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 19 October 2015 by Quinno _
  • Function Room : Yes last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Jukebox : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Karaoke : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Live Music : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Micropub : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Pinball : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Pool Table : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Quiz Night : No last updated 07 February 2018 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 09 May 2014 by Dave McNally
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