The Kings Arms
Whilst there’s no doubt its handsome faÃ§ade could do with a lick of paint, don’t let that discourage you from enjoying the Kings Arms (18 Kingsland High Street, Dalston E8 2JP): the landlord and locals are sure to give you a warmer welcome than even the Dulux Dog.
What makes this pub so pleasant is the fact that its patrons are so comfortable in each other’s company. Whether they come to meet friends, read the paper, play pool or simply have a quiet pint, they’re all on friendly terms and glad to see newcomers.
If you like to talk, it’s also a good place for conversation. When we visited, the hot topics were proposals to increase taxes on alcohol and the likelihood of paying up to Â£100 for a Christmas turkey. Not surprisingly, no-one favoured either prospect.
You’ll also relish the Kings Arms as a traditional pub that is proud of its established place in the community. It has a beautiful bar, inlaid with decorated tiles; there are original wooden booths, separated by frosted, patterned glass; and the walls display fascinating old photos of a bygone East End.
If you’re hungry you can pick up a filled roll or two, and if you want to take a break from your shopping you can get a cup of tea. There is a good selection of beers, with a wide choice of lagers and some real ales too. All in all, this pub is a peaceful haven in one of E8′s busiest streets, so give it a try: you’ll be pleasantly surprised.