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The Virgin Queen

  • Bars and pubs
  • Haggerston
  • price 2 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Andy Parsons
    Andy Parsons
  2. Andy Parsons
    Andy Parsons
  3. Andy Parsons
    Andy Parsons
  4. Andy Parsons
    Andy Parsons
  5. Andy Parsons
    Andy Parsons
  6. Andy Parsons
    Andy Parsons
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A pub and chippie taking over footie ‘museum’ The Albion.

This pub is an underdog of sorts. It comes from Remarkable Pubs – owner of local gems such as The Salisbury in Harringay – which acquired this Hackney backstreet boozer while it was operating as The Albion. For those unacquainted, this was a London legend that doubled as a museum to football as well as acting as a home away from home for West Bromwich Albion fans. Understandably, there was some backlash when the memorabilia came down and The Baggies made way for batter – with posh Viccy Park chippy Fish House teaming up with the new owners. But even if it’s footie heaven no more, the Virgin Queen offers a near-perfect pub experience of a different ilk.

West Brom’s crest has gone, but the gorgeous timber on the pub’s exterior remains. They’ve tacked on a conservatory to cram in more diners and it makes for a harsh contrast, especially when they’ve gone to such lengths to make the interior look so old-timey. It’s panelled in gorgeous carved wood and fabric-covered pews act as seats in the small drinking space. We were lucky enough to bag a table in front of a roaring fire, but there’s space for dining in a less atmospheric room at the rear or a sort-of medieval banquet space downstairs primed for private functions.

The beer range is enticing, with 15 taps mostly dedicated to what’s brewed within the M25, like a citrusy session IPA from Gipsy Hill. We couldn’t resist a bottle of muscadet, reduced to half its usual price and a perfect match for fried food. And portions of solid fish and chips were massive and justified the price (although a little more tartare sauce wouldn’t have hurt).

A mother helped her daughter with her homework. A pair of dogs yapped to each other across the pub. I talked everything from tax returns to American football with staff. The beautiful game may be long gone from here, but it’s still a striking pub experience.

Written by
Laura Richards

Details

Address:
94 Goldsmiths Row
London
E2 8QY
Transport:
Cambridge Heath Rail
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