Pubspy - The Royal Oak, Columbia Road, Bethnal Green
COLUMBIA ROAD in Bethnal Green might be best known for its bustling flower market. But locals know the street’s real draw card is the handsome and atmospheric Royal Oak pub.
The stylish and stately building, decked-out in a dark wood panelling with dim art deco lighting, is a favourite among vintage-clad hipsters.
East London ‘it kids’ Peaches Geldof, Alexa Chung and Arctic Monkeys boyfriend Alex Turner are frequents at the ever-busy watering hole.
And with simple, solid furniture, candles on each table and beautiful people propped at the enormous and inviting bar, it’s easy to see why.
The well-stocked bar has the usual lagers on tap, a huge choice of wines and a jug of Bloody Mary ready to take the edge off a Sunday lunchtime.
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A glass of Venetian spritz - including Aperol, Prosecco and orange liquer - was pricy at �6.00, but a delicious and original addition to the vast menu of drinks.
Venture in on a Sunday with the flower market in full swing on its doorstep, and the Royal Oak is just as jam-packed with young families as it is hipsters tucking into a gourmet lunch.
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A mixture of traditional pub food – fish and chips, lamb burgers – is on offer, along with succulent antipasto plates of cold meats, cheeses and vegetables.
The creative and mouth-watering menu included whole trout, grilled squid with lentils and green beans with mustard dressing and a soft boiled egg.
The mussels with skinny chips on the side were perfectly cooked and reasonable at �9.
Bar snacks of garlic-infused olives and nuts were also available and the staff were helpful, though not overly friendly.
The quaint beer garden had plenty of seating and on the weekend doubled as an outdoor caf� with pastries on offer.
As the weather takes a chilly plunge the Royal Oak is the perfect place to cosy-up with a glass of red and watch the young trendies in action.