There's been a Plough inn on this site since actual ploughs were common in the fertile fields of Homerton. So it's undoubtedly an old pub, although the current one is a Victorian rebuild. A best-forgotten stint as a charcoal grill restaurant left the Plough with few of its original features, but new owners have salvaged an attractive wooden back bar, which looks all the more striking given that everything else is stripped back to the bare bones.
The place needs punters to warm it, and on both my visits they were there, punting away – most of them, it must be said, were of the art student sort who've decided that Dalston is dead. There's plenty here for everyone else, though: some local ales and craft beers (Five Points from Hackney Downs, say), a couple of straightforward cocktails, and wine from Borough near London Fields.
You can eat here too – simple bar stuff, riding on the US comfort food bandwagon, with the likes of chilli macaroni cheese and grilled meatball sandwich.
Few high streets have suffered such ignominy at the hands of the Luftwaffe and over enthusiastic urban redevelopers as Homerton's – it's fairly bleak, especially here around the Ponsford Street intersection – so it's great to see an honest pub returning to its roots.