Shoreditch is a very trendy area and it literally teems with pubs, bars, bistros and all manner of other places to drink and eat. This crawl is by no means the only one you could subject yourself to in this part of London but it is certainly a nice introduction and takes you through a good range of the good, the bad and the decidedly brilliant.
• Getting to the start. We’re going to start with Pub on the Park as it’s the simplest to get to from central London. A train from Liverpool Street will take you to London Fields station and if you have an oyster it’s only a few quid.
• When to do it. If it were me I’d aim to start this off on a Saturday afternoon and start around lunchtime as you’ll benefit from a little less chaos in the earlier pubs and a lot more rowdiness in those later on which are much more lively in the evening and benefit from it.
• What’s the route? Here’s a google map of route for you. I suggest doing these in the order I describe below but it would work almost as well in reverse.
1. Pub on the Park (E8 3PE) is pretty much opposite the station and very easy to find without too much faffing about. If you’re starting around lunchtime then this is a perfectly good spot to eat but I’d advise booking ahead if there are more than a few of you as it gets reet busy. Get em down ya and then head off to…..
2. The Cat and Mutton (E8 4QJ). Cross your fingers it’s a good day as the Cat is a walk across London Fields towards Broadway. You’ll have to dodge the odd cyclist on the path but after only one pub you ought to be able to get there reasonably unscathed. The Cat is right across the pedestrian crossing at the corner of the park. Drop in. Get a pint. Enjoy. It’s a little further to the next one so anyone with a bladder like a tiny leaky egg ought to consider a pit stop before leaving for….
3. The Marksman (E2 7SJ) is about 10 minutes away but it does give you a chance to walk down Broadway towards Hackney Road which is always a nice jaunt. You’ll also go past Hackney City Farm which has an exciting collection of farm animals if you’re into that sort of thing. If not then ignore it and take a right towards The Marksman. Always a good atmos at The Marksman and it’s your penultimate choice to eat if you fancy some food on this little outing. Whatever you decide to do the next stop is only a few metres away….
4. Nelsons Head (E2 7EH) at the end of Horatio Street is the lowest rated pub on the agenda and if you feel like you’re flagging then it’s probably best skipped so you don’t miss out on some of the delights that are in store around the corner. Head across from the front door and down a very Dickensian cobbled alley and you’ll find yourself at…
5. The Royal Oak (E2 7RG) last chance saloon for food that isn’t from a newsagents or a kebab shop. This is one of two pubs that book ends Columbia Road Flower Market when it’s in full bloom on a Sunday but the road is still a lively little spot without it. Enjoy the calm here as it ought to be getting a little later by now and it all kicks of at….
6. The Birdcage (E2 7QB) is a personal favourite. It’s unpredictable and brilliant and if you hit it at the right time you’re in for a treat. Play a bit of pool, rub elbows with the locals or strut your funky stuff. Don’t get too comfy though because the night is young and you still need to get those dancing trotters over to….
7. The George and Dragon (E2 7NS) by the time you arrive you ought to be sufficiently well lubricated to enjoy this East London legend the way it ought to be. Find yourself some standing room and round off the seven listening to questionable music choices and lively banter.
What do I do now? Well if you want to go home then you can get to Old Street, Hoxton or Shoreditch High Street Stations without too much pain. Or there’s a mini cab office across the road if you’re to *ahem* light headed to walk any serious distance.
But I want more!! Then you have several options. The Owl and Pussy Cat and The Griffin are fairly nearby if you want a bit more pub drinking. But you’re likely to find that the majority of the crowd in The George and Dragon are heading to The Joiners Arms; good luck.