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Palm Tree

Bars and pubs, Pubs Mile End
5 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(33user reviews)
Palm tree Pub.jpg
© Nick Ballon

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

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.

By: Laura Richards



Address: 127 Grove Road
E3 5BH
Transport: Tube: Mile End tube or bus 8, 25
Price: Free
Opening hours: Open 12pm-11.30pm Mon-Thur; 12pm-11pm Fri-Sun
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Users say (33)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:16
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:12
1 person listening
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.  

The landlord of this pub accused me of the theft of a pint of lager that his barmaid had sold to someone else. Horrible little man who, when found in the wrong, tried to bluster his way out of it. Not a very nice experience - also overpriced and 'forgets' to give change. Avoid,


I LOVE this pub! Stumbled upon it on a canal walk and go back whenever I am in the area. 

Definitely one of those 'local' pubs where everyone has a story to tell. The bartenders and patrons are extremely friendly and have had many a good conversation in the pub.

The atmosphere is unique. It's almost like a shabby, old-timey jazz bar you find in the States (and I use the term 'shabby' in a good sense -- has a lot of character). They have live-music (phenomenal band) and if you are lucky enough to go on one of those nights, you will enjoy an entire pub of happy, singing people having a fantastic time. 

The drinks are cheap and the location is perfect for a cheeky pint and a stroll around Victoria Park. 

(Tip: If you want to charge your phone - ASK the bartender before plugging it in. The staff has a bug-a-boo about people just plugging in their chargers) 

 I have been to the Palm tree few times since I moved to Mile end area. First time we were amazed by the pub. Great music, friendly staff.... Last night, our feeling changed completely. The bar was not packed, with few empty tables. My husband asked for a taste of their ale and it was refused. They said they are not giving tastes anymore as the this cost a barrel of ale by the end of each month. This was the first time we have been refused a taste in a pub. The price they charge in a pint is not cheap, they don't accept card, meaning that the price you pay for the pint in free of charge for them.... Anyways, my husband decided not to have an Ale as he couldn't try and ordered a common larger instead. Our surprise came when the landlord looked at me and said: what about the lady? I said I was ok for the moment, when he replied saying that I had to order something to drink if I wanted to stay in the pub! What? We were planning to stay there for the whole night, I would ordered a drink at some point, but he wanted to force me to buy a drink immediately. Again, this was the first time this happened to us in a pub! 

Now, reading the other reviews I realised that this is happens all the time at Palm Tree, and that we were just luck to have a good experience on the first time. 

We decide to leave the pub! There are amazing pubs around Mile End, where the beer is better and the staff is more friendly, where you can have a taste of an Ale, where you can decide when you want to drink... 

Go to the Victoria, or to Morgan Arms, or to The Lord Tredegar, or to Coborn Arms..... 

The Palm Tree is like no other. Very old school with live music mainly from the Sinatra era taking place over the weekend. They don't make them like this anymore!

Cash only, freestanding free house in the middle of beautiful Mile End Park.

Service was great and atmosphere was friendly. Do not ask for water unless you're looking to make it a very early evening. The owners are unapologetic and will ask you to leave, if you don't quite understand the purpose of a pub.

Food is limited to crisps, nuts, and similar bar snack fare.

The selection is limited, but nothing to complain about. Arrive on the right night and you'll be treated to live jazz. Fantastic place to enjoy a summer pint on the grass, or warm yourself on a chilly winter evening.

A gem in the park - striking reminder that my neighbourhood was a victim of severe air raids during the war. The Palm Tree is a shining beacon in a city of generic hipster bars. The highest praise I can give it is my Dad wanted to go back the next day!

Had a very unpleasant experience here. Went with a group of friends, all bought drinks, however after my boyfriend and I had put our empties on the bar we were aggressively confronted and physically shoved by the landlord who demanded we buy drinks or leave. After defending us and showing their half full drinks our friends and we were all turned out. It seemed we were picked on for being a gay couple as it was when we were standing together at the bar that the barman confronted us. In summary a very unpleasant experience of physically aggressive and homophobic publican- do not go here.


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


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. 


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. 

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!

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. 

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.

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!

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. 

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'

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

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

I was illegally refused tap water too (see , 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ( 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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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