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Des de Moor
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Accredited Beer Sommelier
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"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
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"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Sebright Arms E2

’s Best Beer, and Bars updates
East London: Bethnal Green and Mile End

Sebright Arms,

Traditional pub (Independent, small group)
34 Coate Street E2 9AG
020 7729 0937 w f SebrightArms tw SebrightArms
Open 1700 (1200 Sun)-2300 (2400 Th-Sat, 2230 Sun). Children welcome until 2000.
Cask beer
5 (usually London guests), Other beer 5 keg, 25 bottles, Also 1 real cider, 18 wines, some specialist spirits
Food Burgers and hot dogs, Outdoor Benches on alleyway, Wifi.
Events most nights (live music, comedy, theatre), Fri-Sat DJs, quiz planned

Don’t be put off by the forbidding frontage this East End landmark presents to Coate Street – glance instead down Sebright Passage where stained glass windows and picnic benches on the narrow alleyway from Bethnal Green Road form a prettier picture. The place has had a chequered history, and was almost demolished and redeveloped, but was reopened in November 2011 by independent pub operator Charles Ross, continuing the tradition of performance with a packed programme in the cellar bar, and also offering an excellent lineup of beer in a funky but friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

The ground floor has been refitted in traditional style, divided into large slightly raised booths lined by red padded settles. Distinctive wood panelling with a curious lozenge motif is particularly evident in an attractive side room with a boardroom feel and a display of kitschy artwork. The five cask ales constantly rotate but almost always feature London or London-related breweries: Brodie’s, East London, Moncada, Redemption, Sambrook’s, Truman’s, Windsor & Eton and the like. Keg beers come from Camden Town, London Fields and Meantime. Other London brewers like Kernel and Redchurch pop up in the expanding bottled selection alongside numerous US craft brews (Brooklyn, Goose Island) and international choices like Chimay. Food is provided by pop-up chefs on extended residencies: at the time of writing it’s quality burgers and dogs from Lucky Chip but that may well change. Lovely Haggerston Park and Hackney City Farm are only a few steps away.

Visitor note. A pub first appeared on this site in the early 19th century, and became a major local attraction when a music hall was added in 1865 – Charles Chaplin and Marie Lloyd performed here early in their careers. The cellar space was created sometime in the 1980s, and turns out not to have been officially licensed until recently. In recent decades the pub has been associated with heavy metal, disco, cockney singsongs and music hall revivals featuring Barbara Windsor, drag shows and jazz. In 2009 it was closed following a police raid and slated for demolition, but was saved following a local campaign – a rare example of a pub closure story with a happy ending.

National Rail Cambridge Heath, Bethnal Green Overground Hoxton Underground Bethnal Green Bus Warner Place (numerous Hackney, Cambridge Heath, Liverpool Street) Cycling LCN+ 9 16, Shadwell link, Regents Canal towpath Walking Jubilee Greenway, link to London Fields paths

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