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Birkbeck Tavern

Bars and pubs Leyton
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Regulars here cluster around the counter and banter with the amiable, larger-than-life bar lady. Walk in here again in five years’ time and it’ll be the same. Beers are chalked up like a Tote board. Runners and riders change almost daily: 100-1 shots might be Sweet Chariot from the excellent Mighty Oak brewery in Maldon, or Spring Cottage Biscuit from Caerphilly’s Newmans Brewery.

A sure bet, though, is Rita’s Special, in honour of a former barmaid, sold here and here alone. Rita’s costs a mere £2.90 a pint, a reasonable pricing policy that extends to tea (85p), coffee (ditto) and sandwiches (£1.60); perhaps part of the deal for being nominated for a Tetley pub award in 1992 was to keep everything at Black Wednesday prices.

There’s nothing grim about the surroundings: a nice walled garden hints at a previous life as a guesthouse. You’ll be lucky if you get a game on the dartboard.



Address: 45 Langthorne Road
E11 4HL
Transport: Tube: Leyton tube
Opening hours: Open 11am-11pm Mon-Thur; 11am-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-11pm Sun
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