Thursday, 13 August 2009
Poetic Justice - The Water Poet, Shoreditch
There are three things which I tend to dislike in a pub. In no particular order they are; venues with an all male / suited clientele; Fosters (or a similarly cheap lager) on tap; and a large Sky Sports screen. Lad pubs in every sense. Each of these elements on their own is sometimes tolerable, but two or even worse all three condemns it to a place that shall not enjoy my patronage. And I’m sure you can appreciate the impact of that protest on the brewery industry.
My first impression of the Water Poet near Spitalfields market was on a visit with Heavy D and the Rock Star and it struck us that it was a beautiful old fashioned East End boozer whose owners had foolishly taken down the Lad pub route. Sky sports screen, wall to wall ‘suits’ and Stella on tap. Although Heavy seemed to like it. I went back again a few weeks later and still, unable to get past the throngs of lager swilling bankers in the front bar, left with the same impression. Why does the City insist on ruining potentially great venues?
However I am nothing if not persistent, and after a pleasant afternoon of shopping around Brick Lane with the Northerner I decided to give it one more try, albeit in a weekend. And thank goodness I did. In the weekend the place is transformed into the scruffy cool Bohemian type pub that is hidden beneath during the week.
The interior which is all maroon and leather with tatty and restored pieces of furniture has several spacious rooms consisting of the front bar, lounge bar, pool room and a private side room. While the garden bar, which is probably the most spacious within the confines of the City square mile, is all urban industrial in style yet relaxing in ambience. Plus it is a suntrap, which is what you want in any garden bar. Apparently the do a superb Sunday lunch but we were too late to try the food thing. Nevertheless a good bottle of NZ Pinot Noir and a nice bit of people watching seemed to keep any hunger pangs at bay.
So I stand corrected and concede that the Water Poet is more then worthy of a visit, and may even become something of a regular on my pub circuit. But I would wait until the City boys have moved on.