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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

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 6109 recommendations about 6109 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 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Black Lion

Situated in Plaistow High Street, The Black Lion is a 16th Century former coaching inn that is immediately noticeable as looking much older than the surrounding buildings.

The main bar is up several steps from a smallish lobby and features a low beamed ceiling, a longish curved bar and fixed banquette seating. In this main bar, by the far door, is a framed newspaper article written by Harry Redknapp relating how, when he was a West Ham player, the players used to come here after games up the road at nearby Upton Park. Another newspaper snippet tells us that the pub used to be a haunt of smugglers when the pub was on the edge of the Essex marshland. Several plasma TV screens in this bar were showing horse racing and golf.

A separate "quiet bar", which can be accessed through the bar servery, or via a separate street entrance, is more comfortable and features patterned leaded windows. In this bar, a blackboard lists the real ales on offer.

At the back is a largish beer garden which can be accessed from the quiet bar or through a separate sturdy looking black oak door, which I presume is the original cobbled coach yard entrance. As you walk down to the beer garden, you pass the headquarters of West Ham Boys Boxing Club where Barry McGuigan ( a portrait of whom hangs in the quiet bar ) and Nigel Benn, inter alia, used to train. Opposite the Boxing Club is a function room, where, allegedly, Dick Turpin used to stable Black Bess. Some of the bench seats in the beer garden have seen better days and I'm afraid the garden does look a bit neglected.

The pub is run by an affable and welcoming Irishman who, on my recent Sunday lunchtime visit, came over and started to talk to me about the pub and its history. The pub displays an isolated Guinness poster and an Irish road sign, but this is certainly not an "Oirish" pub and the Irish influence is not overplayed. It's a former Courage pub and the old cockerel sign is displayed on one of the beams in the main bar.

Beers on were Adnams Bitter, Courage Best, Young's Kew Gold and Northumbrian Bucking Fastard. The blackboard in the quiet bar indicated that other Northumbrian beers either had been on or would be coming shortly. The Adnams was in good form, but I might have expected it to be a bit cheaper than £ 3.20p in this area of London. The pub was in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for 2009 and was displaying a poster for the forthcoming GBBF. Based on my visit however, I'm doubtful if there's a lot of real ale trade here.

It's a bit of a trek to get out here if you're not from the immediate area, but I think it's well worth it.

On 7th October 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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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
3rd Jun 2019, 20:15
Review submitted by Just a quick pint, then I'm off
31st May 2019, 23:44
Picture submitted by Just a quick pint, then I'm off 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.

  • Function Room : Yes - From review - last updated 07 October 2010 by Dave McNally
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 14 March 2016 by Rex Rattus
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 14 March 2016 by Rex Rattus
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