Palm Tree

Bars and pubs Mile End
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(23 user reviews)
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© Nick Ballon

A relic of a pub, the Palm Tree has no time at all for the modern trappings most east London hostelries. Don’t expect the crispest of pints or the most chivalrous service either. But people still traipse to this middle-of-nowhere Mile End venue for something money can’t buy – the Palm Tree provides a Cockney experience more intense than Danny Dyer pulling pints at the Queen Vic.

Signed pictures of obsolete celebrities and forgotten jockeys line the walls above the oval-shaped bar, and spaces that aren’t plastered with memorabilia are covered in gold chintz accented by cabaret-esque red lighting. Regulars can be real characters, but it’s refreshing to visit somewhere with a distinct lack of hipsters. Its canalside position is appealing to summer strollers, but it’s the evening vibe that’s the real draw. There’s often a live band, and since there are no neighbours within shouting distance, late-night knees-ups often get lairy.

Venue name: Palm Tree
Contact:
Address: 127 Grove Road
London
E3 5BH
Opening hours: Open noon-midnight Mon-Thur; noon-2am Fri, Sat; noon-1am Sun (last admission 10.45pm)
Transport: Tube: Mile End tube or bus 8, 25
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Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:9
LiveReviews|23
1 person listening
Giulia S
1 of 1 found helpful

Real disappointment. My first impression was great, awesome music, decor, position, but unfortunately largely overshadowed by the appalling service. As seems to be the case for most people, I quickly got sick of giving it second chances, and being treated like a nuisance by the neanderthal that is the landlord (a bitter, ignorant and rude loser who is clearly not interested in keeping clients.) A true shame, as  it's a beautiful pub and the music is top notch. I strongly suggest not going there, unless you like feeling unwelcome and paying overpriced, flat pints to an ill-mannered brute.  

Jboyle14
tastemaker

In a city that seems to sprout something new every week, this place is a testament to staying the same. The pub is set along the canal and you can clearly see marks of where the things around it used to be and how it has refused to budge. It's old and dated but that's part of the charm. On a Saturday night they have a live band playing Sinatra/Elvis etc and it's really not like anything else around. Worth a visit at least once in your time in London

Neil K
Tastemaker

My experiences of The Palm Tree have been bordering on magical, but I can't help but notice the polarised star ratings below. Seemingly able to split opinion like Marmite, I would suggest you do all you can to fall into the 'Lovers' category, as on the right night in the right setting you might find yourself having the time of your life. My fondest memory was my first visit, stumbling across the pitch black park from the North side on a cold wet night with rumours of a pub you have to visit. Packed to the rafters and buzzing with a live band barely fitting onto the tiny stage giving it all they were worth. I can't guarantee this is what you'll find when visiting, if your're lucky enough it might be, and is well worth a punt. 

Manningalive
Tastemaker

What a pub!  This place has withstanded the lure of the East London hipster takeover and its retained all the authenticity of a proper Cockney boozer.  Palm Tree has charm by the bucket load not least from the old geezers singing on the piano.  A must visit, if only to restore your faith in London when your love is waning. 

Olive Road

Step into the orange tinged interior and head back in time and lose all sense of time! Cosy pub and a friendly vibe. They don't let kids in, which is a bonus as most pubs in East London are like a creche on a Sunday!

Victoria M

I desperately want to love The Palm Tree.

I grew up in East London, my grandparents’ local was the Palm Tree. Part of the reason I bought my flat was because it overlooked the Palm Tree.

Unfortunately, every single time I have been to the pub, they have been nothing but rude, unprofessional and antagonistic.

This evening was the final straw. I went in to buy a pint and use the toilet, however because I had been sitting on Regent’s Canal (which my flat backs onto and the pub overlooks) – enjoying the live music from a travelling band & having a drink with my fiancé & our dog – I was told, in no uncertain terms, that “we don’t need your type”.

I tried to reason that I was not just coming in to use to facilities, instead I was hoping to buy a drink (& also was a local who comes to the pub a lot), however I was again refused service. Not only could I not use the toilet, I was barred from purchasing anything from the bar.

I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, however neither I nor anyone I have spoken to has had a pleasant experience in the pub. 

James Manning

The Palm Tree is Mile End's answer to China's nail houses: a stubborn hold-out against the new east London. Fifty years ago there'd have been nothing special about it, but nowadays (especially since The Victoria on Grove Road succumbed to the rising tide of twee – cupcakes, bunting and all) it's practically the only pub in the immediate area that's still worth going to. Actual old Cockneys with flowers in their buttonholes, bog-standard beers and wines (get it in a plastic cup to sit on the lawn outside in summer), live crooners on Friday nights, dim red lighting and mould-spotted photos of the old East End… It's like Instagram and 'street art' were never invented. And all the better for it.

Alessandra A

I loved it: I spent there my birthday evening with some friends and we all loved it. I was worried after reading the reviews but with us the staff was absolutely kind and awesome. They even chatted with us before closing being very patient while some of us finished their drinks.

The location and the building are fantastic!

Sally E

This is my local and I love it. The land lord is charming and has a brilliant banter. If you are after tap water and a fake smile don't bother this is not the place for you. They do not even pretend to tolerate fools or arrogance. Genuine East London boozer with fantastic music and no nonsense staff. 

oliver l

By exited last night we when for a drink. We was pushed out by drunk local man, place it's no even clean . Old, stinky, and full of bad ambiance. We ordered 2 pontes of lager and 2 shots vodka with lime, even the limes was so old you can't even get a juice out from the fruit. Location it's pretty inside the park. But rest of the things it's.......ad.

Joanne O'Toole

Thoroughly ticked off I cannot award this pub a minus-star rating. I have come to the Palm Tree several times and each time the service has been appalling. The staff seem like they are drunk out of their minds or stoned or incredibly hungover and inconvenienced by your visit to the bar. Once turned away for being a penny short and then laughed at for ordering a tap water. Flat expensive pints. The price of a round varies depending on what decrepid reprobate decides to serve you after a long wait. When they do serve you they often give the pints to other people! Absolute disgrace of a oub which is a shame as the decor and band are the main attraction sadly being overshadowed by the ignoramus of a landlord. They don't like hipsters? Why not bar them all and then see how much money they make. Won't be going again. Ever. I'll stick to the Victoria over the road thanks. J

Glen morrow

Best east end pub I have ever been to, brilliant landlord kindest people I have ever met would love to be a local to this venue

Alex

I was illegally refused tap water too (see https://www.gov.uk/alcohol-licensing , providing free tap water on request is a mandatory licensing condition since 2010) , and dared to report them to the licensing authority. And that is exactly what I will be doing, I am usually easy going but there are some things I won't stand for: I have never been either refused tap water in a pub before, nor treated so rudely and ignorently by a publican - who first pretended not to hear my request, then lied about the law, then moaned about the cost of mains water and all manner of excuses for not meeting her legal responsibilities as a licensee - and this treatment completely overshadowed the positive aspects of the establishment (traditional décor, nice cider, nice surroundings), as well as convincing me not to buy the second drink I may well have bought.

Jim

Hipsters thoroughly un-welcome here, hence all the negative reviews. A proper boozer serving great pints with a down-to-earth, no nonsense landlord. Absolute heaven.

Finton Stack

Lovely old pub, but sadly very expensive (£12.80 for two pints of cask ale and a vodka and diet coke: West End prices in Mile End) and my friend (who had just bought a pint) was refused a glass of tap water and had to fork out for a bottle.

Claire

If I could give this a star rating of zero I would. The landlord is deeply rude and unbearable. I have given this pub so many second chances thinking I had just caught him on a bad night. The tap water thing really irritated me the first time I went there, when, whilst purchasing a round of drinks over £20, he refused to serve me one glass tap water and instead directed me to the rather unpleasant and not particularly clean sink in the toilets. We had brought over 15 people to his pub that night. The second time, whilst still a student, he told us to "go back to where we came from" after a minor disagreement. It is disappointing to read about the homophobia experienced by others but I can absolutely imagine it. AVOID THIS PUB.

Becca

After paying £8 for 2 pints of Fosters tonight, I was refused a glass of tap water - they are charging £1 'service charge' (their words) if you want to drink water. Pretty sure that's illegal (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/2010/03/departments_differ_on_free_tap_water.html) but 2 male locals got really aggressive at me for questioning it (I am a 5 foot 2 woman with a broken arm, not that it matters), at 8pm on a Tuesday evening. I used to love this pub!

Ana

Yes, the pub has character and live music sometimes but service is abysmal. If you'd like to be in a cash-only, homophobic, unhygienic and sing-along 1950s atmosphere, you will feel at home. I love old east end music but it's just not worth it.

Jen

Could be a good pub but the landlord is deeply unpleasant. Great location so it's always packed but try asking for a glass of tap water and you'l get an earful. The soft drinks are always flat and warm. It's my nearest pub and fine to sit outside of on a nice day but a long way from being a friendly local.

Zef

Had a great evening there with the live music. The patrons are wonderfully diverse, a sign of a great pub. Amazing atmosphere and great drinks. Best pub I have been to in ages.

Bee

This is the hidden gem you must to see in London. Please go on a live music night...

Vincent

Awesome band, blues singers, wallpaper on we and great on sunny day as it s right in mile end park!

Nikos

I'm deeply disappointed with this pub. I was there recently with two lesbian friends of mine, and when the staff saw them kissing, they asked them to stop. They said they don't consider it proper to express intimacy in the pub, and when I asked them if they would treat a straight couple the same way, they insisted they would, although I've been there many times and I've often seen straight people kissing and not being asked to stop. I found this not only homophobic but also hypocritical.