Sometimes, as Freud might have remarked, had he not suffered from so many sad misapprehensions, a pint is just a pint, you know? Yes, there are times when you might desire a cheeky wee sauvignon and a bowl of moules garlicked-up to infinity; or else you might need to discuss plans for Justin’s Installation at the old factory, for which meeting nothing less than scrubbed pine, a blackboard, and a cast list of skinny jeans and black-rimmed eyes will do: on both such occasions you’ll likely head to one of the shedload of gastropubs E8 has to offer, and a good thing too. But sometimes, maybe more often now, with the sun a distant memory, and the lowing grey sky so close you could touch it, sometimes you just want to sit quietly, alone but in company, and let an honest pint work its therapy.
Had Freud ever wished to pen a discourse on the Therapy of the Honest Pint, he would have done well to base his research on The Perseverance. Why avoid cliché? This is an honest-to-goodness East End Boozer of the sort we once took for granted. Very popular with Irish builders (the accent of one half of the friendly husband-and-wife team who run the pub will give you a clue as to why), satellite sports on the TV, pool table, comfy seats in a large open space and – thank God for Irish builders – a weather-proof and heated smoking “room” disguised as a beer garden. A living definition of a local. Tempting to start a campaign to have a preservation notice slapped on it.
This is the place to be on a winter afternoon, with a newspaper, a bag of crisps, and a pint, if the bittersweet tide of introspective melancholia is your thing (and it is, don’t deny it). You’ll get the peace and quiet that you need, but you’ll also get conversation with the guvnor and salutations from the regulars. It gets busy at weekends and match days, though. I’ve spent hours of bemused bafflement here over the years, watching premiership games with various friends who were fans. Most of them have gone now, off to the south coast or metropolitan Essex, but the football’s still here.
When the government set out to destroy pubs, I wonder if they ever thought to measure the psychological cost they were exacting? The smoking ban and drink taxes have nearly destroyed these beacons of quiet civility, which were as important to the functioning of the good life as the Reading Room of the British Library. We must persevere, however. Thank heavens for The Perseverance.
112 Pritchards Road, E2 9AP