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Picture of The Black Lion
Image posted by Just a quick pint, then I'm off
Submitted on Friday, 31st May 2019
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The Black Lion, Plaistow, E13

61 High Street
E13 0AD
Phone: 02084722351
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Reviews of The Black Lion (Average Rating: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about The Black Lion

Just a short walk from Plaistow station, this is a fine old traditional local’s pub with an almost rural feel to it. You enter to a small lower front room with some limited bench and chair seating under bare brick walls, timber beams and plenty of old black and white photos and brewery mirrors. It’s a pleasant enough space but a couple of steps over to the left lead you up into the public bar. This space is dominated by an unusual, almost wavy shaped bar counter along the back wall with a chunky quarry stone base/foot rest. The counter front has some attractive wood panelling and there is a long, dark wood bar back, all of which fits in nicely with the room’s numerous wooden beams and pillars, most of which are covered in horse brasses or pump clips. The wall opposite the bar has a single long banquette running its full length, serving a row of tables with some low stools in support. The banquette has been divided up with the addition of several surprisingly sturdy makeshift screens to aid with social distancing, resulting in a series of booth-like compartments each facing the bar. The pub seemingly has strong Irish connections, with the room notably decorated with numerous whisky mirrors, Guinness advertisements, an old Irish road sign and other such bits and bobs, whilst TV screens were showing football and live horse racing, with most punters eagerly watching the latter before nipping out to the nearby bookies. The bar counter hatch was open at he far end, allowing customers to pass through the end of the servery to reach a second bar and the beer garden, neither of which were visited due to my decision to claim a table opposite the bar.
A friendly barmaid greeted me from behind the plastic cover draped in front of the entire servery and took my track and trace details whilst pouring my pint of Mighty Oak Captain Bob (£4.10), which was one of two cask ales available alongside St Austell Tribute, with a Wychwood Hobgoblin Gold clip recently reversed. The beer was in good shape, befitting the pub’s regular inclusion in the Good Beer Guide and making it a bit of a lone beacon for ale drinkers in a part of the city where a good pint can be hard to come by.
I liked this place and thought it was a good example of a well-run local’s pub in a part of London that has seen its pub stock continually diminish over the years. Some of the locals were a bit earthy in their language and the obtrusive sports coverage does detract somewhat from the pleasant traditional interior, but overall I thought this was a nice place to enjoy a pint and seemingly the best option for quite some distance.

On 13th November 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Black Lion

Old coaching inn, retaining a surprising amount of character while all around has changed (and is continuing to do so). The main bar is accessed from the side, with the front entrance leading first through a lower small seating area and then a few steps up. However, there is also a separate Quiet Bar accessed via a zig-zag through the end of the servery, and both parts are very traditional in appearance. There are also a few wooden benches out in the cobbled rear yard (with a covered passageway back to the side road), then the Stable Bar / function room and finally a rear patio beer garden beyond. Four real ales available from the various handpumps on the two counters: the regular Captain Bob from Mighty Oak (£4.00), Bombardier, Pride and Tribute. Good Beer Guide listed, and a real oasis in an area with no cask beer in any of the few remaining estate pubs.

On 3rd June 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6204 recommendations about 6204 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Black Lion

The Black Lion is essentially the same as when the previous reviewer visited it over five years ago. I too entered via the door on the right, into a very small room, or a lobby as described by JB, with a banquette and a few chairs. Up a couple of steps on the left takes you into a ribbon of a room with a long upholstered bench by the window, accompanied by a rank of small round tables and small stools. The bar counter has a nice fielded wood panelled front, but this room is very faux rustic with black posts and beams on the walls and ceiling, and with a rough plastered ceiling. It's been a while since Plaistow's been anywhere the countryside.

There were a couple of TVs on in the bar, one showing some horse racing and the other tuned (but muted) to some sports channel, but more encouragingly a row of pump clips was displayed on the beam above the counter. There looks to be an Irish influence here, with a couple of Bushmills advertisements displayed, a sign pointing to Killarney, another sign saying "failte", plus some of those ridiculous green-rimmed Guinness hats behind the bar presumably awaiting St Patrick's Day. One piece of unusual decor in here was the row of (presumably empty) whisky (and whiskey) boxes on a shelf beneath the window.

There's another completely separate room on the left, seemingly called "The Stable Bar", which I glimpsed across the servery. I'm not sure if it was open when I was in on Friday afternoon; at least it didn't seem to be accessible from outside.

A chalkboard at the end of the bar counter listed the available ales as Doom Bar (£1.85 a half), Courage Best, Woodforde Wherry, and Truman's Blindside, but only the first two were available in the main bar (with two handpumps unclipped). Mayber the other two were available in the Stable Bar - I didn't ask. Food was available at very reasonable prices. Sandwiches were £2.80 a pop, with hot stuff essentially being pub grub, with the "old favourites" list containing staples like steak & ale pie (£6.80), and double sausage, egg & chips (£4.90).
This is a real pub. Although it does food it's a million miles from being a gastropub. This is probably the best pub in Plaistow, but I have to say that that isn't saying a great deal.

On 14th March 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

View more reviews of The Black Lion (6)
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Rex Rattus
West Ham, 1 miles, 19 min walk (show)
Forest Gate, 1.58 miles, 30 min walk (show)
Maryland, 1.62 miles, 31 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Black Lion, E13
13th Nov 2020, 16:18
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
3rd Jun 2019, 20:15
Review submitted by Just a quick pint, then I'm off

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 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Function Room : Yes - From review - last updated 07 October 2010 by Dave McNally
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 14 March 2016 by Rex Rattus
  • Jukebox : No last updated 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Karaoke : No last updated 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Live TV Sports : Yes last updated 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Micropub : No last updated 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 14 March 2016 by Rex Rattus
  • Real Cider : No last updated 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 13 November 2020 by Pub SignMan
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