When a pub closes, as this one did way back in 1989, the worst thing that can happen to it is to be turned into a Tesco Metro. Next bad, demolition, followed by change of use to chicken shop or bookies. But sometimes, a pub comes back from the dead. Not in a creepy, zombie way, but a joyous, on-the-third-day style. And here is one of these born-again boozers – following wilderness years as a Chinese restaurant and a leather wholesaler, the Well and Bucket is once again brimming over with beer.
A lot of care has been spent restoring the big room to resemble a pub once again. The Victorian tiling was once noted across London for its splendour; it now looks a bit battleworn, but is brilliantly atmospheric. Close your eyes and you can imagine the place packed with porter-drinking, pipe-smoking, H-dropping Cockneys of yesteryear.
Phantom East Enders might be a bit unfamiliar with the huge array of craft beer on offer, which includes about 18 on tap: on our visit there was Evil Twin’s Hipster APA (vividly described by my companion as ‘dad-strong’), to the fruity, prickly, almost Hawaiian-tropical Omnipollo Fatamorgana. There’s even a little cocktail bar downstairs: in short, definitely one for the bucket list.