This pub was editorially chosen for inclusion by Londonist.
Bethnal Green is quickly establishing itself as the best place in east London for a night out. Every month sees new cocktail bars, brewery taps and interesting restaurants, with much more to come if plans to open up further railway arches go ahead. Among this milieux Bethnal Green also has a healthy pub scene, with old classics and modern gastro-entertainment pubs to choose from. The King's Arms has to rank at the forefront of this wave. It looks like a typical old-school corner pub, hiding away from the main road among council blocks. Inside it sports the minimalist decor of the archetypal modern craft ale pub, yet still manages to feel cosy and comfortable, despite the somewhat creepy mountings of butterflies and insects that line the walls.
This place really is all about the beer. A generous menu offers 20 different tipples, including a couple of ciders and a perry. They do beers to go, as well. We sat against one of the large windows to enjoy a smooth half of Supertramp, a subtly cherry-flavoured beer from Flying Dog brewery, over in Maryland (as in the USA, not the small conurbation near Stratford). This being 4pm, the bar was spartanly furnished with customers. One guy had popped in from a nearby pub to exchange gossip. Another had come from the Czech Republic to offer some beer samples in plastic bottles to the slightly sceptical bar staff. We got the feeling that this is a place beloved of those in the drinks industry — and not surprisingly, given that it is the sister pub to Islington's Earl of Essex (hence why the beer menu looks familiar). More of this kind of thing, please.
Last updated April 2016.