The Golden Heart
The Golden Heart is a perfect example of East End pubs in London – rough and ready (ie, bare and bruised), classic pub drinks (ie, no highfaluting quadruple distilling), hugely popular (ie, loved by the avant-garde arts crowd that includes Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas) and, crucially, run by an eccentric landlady (ie, local celebrity Sandra Esquilant, recently voted one of the most influential people on the international arts scene). Sandra rules the roost here, and keeps the City slickers as well as the paint-spattered art brigade in line – if she doesn’t like the cut of your jib, you’ll be asked to vacate the premises (there’s even a paparazzi ban); if she does like you, she’ll give you her heart (cue framed photos of Ms Emin all around). The Golden Heart is located right opposite Old Spitalfields Market, the history of which is recorded in the old photos on The Golden Heart’s panelled walls. Look out for the occasional piece of Brit Art – and those Young British Artists – too.