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Picture of The Dolphin
Image posted by Rex Rattus
Submitted on Saturday, 11th July 2015
With picture contributions to 1098 other pubs
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Requested be closed with reason - Other: Lost licence after a violent incident.

The Dolphin, E8

165 Mare Street
E8 3RH
Correct details

Served areas

Tweets by The Dolphin
the dolphin mare st. the dolphin mare st. Thirsty Thursday at The Dolphin, open until 2am as usual. We may play your chunes. 6:43 PM Sep 6th 2018 from Twitter Lite
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Reviews of The Dolphin (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 Dolphin

Dating from 1736, this must have been rebuilt in the 19th century for Truman's, judging by the name still visible to the sign bracket. There are also some Taylor Walker lanterns with aftermarket 'Dolphin' glass panes, some missing; indeed the exterior looks a bit tatty and uninviting.
Inside, and what you can't help notice is the nightclub-style accoutrements such as Tannoy horns strapped to the scruffy metal columns with ornate capitals and the loudspeakers mounted on brackets. There are also disco-style lighting arrays, so obviously a quiet pub this ain't; it's open 'til 4.00 am on Saturdays and a minimum of 1.00 am every other day. The floor is modern herringbone parquet and the scarlet ceiling is a combination of what looks like matchboard with hexagonal cells; it's quite attractive. The island bar appears to have a wraparound plywood front and probably dates from the 1950s; there are some careworn full-height drape curtains, presumably to help keep the noise from leaking into this rather unprepossessing part of Hackney. Furniture is completely mismatched whilst lighting comes courtesy of Tiffany lamps.
To the rear there's another room, wood panelled and home to an ugly pool table with a beer patio beyond. Also, here are the gent's lavs which not only are scruffy, but there's no door, so you can have a pee whilst being observed by the pool players and bar staff - nice. The place was virtually empty, apart from a group of excitable young women; every other venue around here was buzzing.'s the utterly stunning polychromatic glazed tiling which makes this pub so special, dating from the 1890s courtesy of W. B. Simpson & Sons. Indeed, it's on CAMRA's list of historic pubs with interiors of National Importance. Some are glazed blue and white, others multi-coloured whilst some depict friezes, one from Greek mythology which stands out depicts Arion being rescued from pirates by a dolphin, naturally. There's more finery in the form of vestigial wooden screens with large mirrors and leaded stained-glass infill, depicting leaping dolphins.
A rather disinterested barman presided over taps with shot glasses to indicate their inactivity; no real ale was substituted with a decent pint of Guinness at £6.00, so the pirates have obviously returned.
This place doesn't get the respect it obviously deserves and whilst very pretty to look at, it makes for a pretty poor pub experience unless enticed by the wall mounted banner proclaiming that it's recently been voted '4th Best Dive Bar in Europe'.
It's worth popping in for a half to appreciate the beauty - hence the grade - before moving on to pastures new, but now I've been, I don't plan to return.

On 16th July 2021 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1532 recommendations about 1510 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

custodian 42 left this review about The Dolphin

One room pub with island type bar. Three hand pumps - none working. Rest keg rubbish. Why bother?

On 19th September 2018 - rating: 3
[User has posted 1693 recommendations about 1691 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Dolphin

Sometimes it's hard to know where to start. This pub is on CAMRA's National Inventory of pubs with unspoilt interiors, mainly in recognition of the superb Victorian tiling that still survives in here. The W B Simpson tiled panel on the right featuring Action being rescued by a dolphin after having been tossed overboard by his avaricious shipmates is as good a tiled panel as anything I've seen in London. This panel is on the right hand wall and would have been the first thing you would have seen on entering the corridor that would once have been there. In the room on the left is another, much smaller, panel featuring Diana the Huntress, and all of the other walls had tiling on them. I was told by the guv'nor that the tiling had been covered up (and thus preserved) and only revealed when a previous landlord had removed the hardboard, or whatever, that was hiding it. There is also some internal screenwork (featuring dolphins in the glazing of course) that would once have completely separated the various rooms. And the ceiling also deserves a mention, being elaborately wood panelled. It's worth looking up from your beer to have a butcher's at it.

But apart from the maginificent tiling, this is a very ordinary pub. There were three clipped handpumps at the front of the counter, but none were on, and when the barman failed to get the keg Meantime Pale Ale to work, I settled for a half of Kozel (£2 a half). This pub is definitely worth a visit if only to view the heritage features.

On 12th July 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]

View more reviews of The Dolphin (4)
External web links for The Dolphin

No known official website for this pub.

Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Rex Rattus
London Fields, 0.18 miles, 3 min walk (show)
Cambridge Heath (London), 0.57 miles, 11 min walk (show)
Hackney Central, 0.62 miles, 11 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Dolphin, E8
2nd Dec 2021, 14:15
Request to mark pub as closed by ROB Camra approved
2nd Dec 2021, 14:15
Request to mark pub as closed submitted by ROB Camra, with included notes: Other: Lost licence after a violent incident.

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 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Car Park : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Darts : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Function Room : Yes - According to Twitter - last updated 21 July 2015 by Dave McNally
  • Hot Food : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Karaoke : Yes last updated 13 March 2014 by Dave McNally
  • Live TV Sports : Yes last updated 26 October 2014 by Alan Winfield
  • Micropub : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Pinball : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Pool Table : Yes last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Quiz Night : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Real Cider : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
  • WiFi : No last updated 16 July 2021 by Tris C
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