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Carpenter's Arms

© Ed Marshall
Brick Lane

Traditional fittings, a friendly mood and a regular crowd identify the Carpenter's Arms as a long-time local - which it is: but there's a twist. These days, it's run by the laid-back Eric and Nigel, draws its clientele from the market-shopping classes and enlivens its simple decor with flowers and chandeliers.

Decades ago the pub was run by Ronnie and Reggie Kray's mum - surely harbouring a couple of villains, and smothered in Regency wallpaper. The only sign of that now is an appropriately expresssionless painting of the twins on the wall; otherwise the place has moved with the local demographic, which it keeps happy with a small fire in winter, a small deck in winter and a good choice of drinks and food year round.

The beer list crawls the globe for standout bottles and three pumps dispense cask ales incuding seasonal offerings from Adnams. Wines are given less attention, but there are a dozen available by the glass. The food menu is short and snacky, with cottage pie as substantial as it gets, but it's all freshly turned out on the premises.

Venue name: Carpenter's Arms
Address: 73 Cheshire Street
E2 6EG
Opening hours: Open 4-11.30pm Mon-Wed; noon-11.30pm Thur, Sun; noon-12.30am Fri, Sat. Meals served 4-10pm Mon-Wed; 1-10pm Thur, Sun, Fri, Sat.
Transport: Tube: Liverpool Street tube/rail

Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
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  • 1 star:1
3 people listening

Don't mind the reviews from those who have based their opinion on a Sunday visit to have the lunch. That is a mad time to go when it gets so packed it's simply not comfortable. Go any other time (especially afternoons), and you will find the nicest pub serving great draught beers (Bitburger and craft ales) , well chosen winesand a good choice of quality bar food. The staff are friendly and efficient, the punters a good mix of chatters and the interior is lovely with wood, flowers and chandeliers. This place is a gem.


Had sunday lunch there today and food was average at best - veg was nice, roasters and yorkshire clearly been in oven for hours and beef rather stringy - onion gravy was tasty Great walk along the market to get there so overall experience was OK, but price of food not good value


This place is racist and won't serve foreigners. Way too expensive considering the staff is rude and the service is slow. There's no disabled toilet and way too crowded.

David S

A fantastic range of beers and spirits, good service. To be honest though I wasn't that fussed by the Sunday lunch. It did the job, filled the hole, pretty good value for money, but nothing too spectacular taste wise by any means. Meat, carrots and parsnip was nice, potatoes were a bit salty for me. I felt it was value for money, so you'd do worse.