The Prince Arthur
This one of the more derelict pubs of London was home to squatters and dusk-to-dawn ravers. Then Tom and Ed Martin, the duo behind gastropubs The Gun, The Well, Empress of India and The White Swan, arrived. The building’s hedonist heritage lives on, but, with its original Victorian public house status reclaimed and décor thoughtfully restored, it’s a much more refined take on how to enjoy an East End evening. Push through the heavy wooden doors for a time warp into dark oak, rickety tables, lead-framed windows, Chesterfield banquettes, taxidermy, plenty of Prince Arthur portraits (Queen Victoria’s favourite son) and that old East End favourite – a genuine, welcoming smile from behind the bar. Liquid offerings include award-winning ales (such as London Pride), continental lagers and interesting ciders. Food is British: traditional with a twist (roasts, pies, stews, deep-fried jam sandwiches – precisely) with a fish focus (all from Billingsgate Market), and novel bar snacks (feta-stuffed jalapenos, Bloody Mary crisps). In fact, rather like its previous incarnation, all too easy to overdo.