Not much on my Dad’s bucket list, apart from a trip to Maidenhead Conservative Club, of course.
But he’d always wanted to go and see the Columbia Road Flower Market. A new Beer Guide tick in Bethnal Green and a clear blue sky made up my mind for me. Mrs RM came along on the promise of craft keg and expensive pastries.
Dad used to deliver fruit and veg down to (Old) Spitalfields Market, so he knows the route along the A12 into Hackney well enough, though of course it was all marshes and horse and carriages back in the ’60s.
I’ve never seen anyone as excited about a row of Boris bikes.
I may occasionally pity Londoners and their samey pubs and warm beer, but east London is peerless for street art, even if Dad didn’t quite get the appeal of this one.
He was a bit overwhelmed by the flower market. A career in floristry, and he’d never seen some of the blooms on display in this tiny bit of Bethnal Green. And at half the price you’d pay in your local garden centre.
Proper sheepskin coat geezers, too.
We’d been here a couple of times before, mainly for the overpriced flat whites and chocolate croissants, and the authentic looking but ultimately gastro pubs. The novelty hasn’t worn off, I’d never seen it so packed with daytrippers from N1 and E8.
You can spend £15 on your Sunday lunch here, or buy several carrier bags full of what I can only describe as “nice flowers“. Mum thought so, anyway.
Dad was happy to stroll the mean streets of Cambridge Heath to the Dundee Arms, though I sense he found it scruffy rather than invigorating under the arches.
I believe the Dundee could have been described as “invigorating” before recent gentrification (all forms of gentrification are relative).
Now it has the worn-in look beloved of E2, which frankly I quite like. “It’s distressed, not worn-in !” corrected Mrs RM.
Dad is not a #PubMan, at least outside of Spoons (which aren’t pubs), but saw the appeal of this one, as it had;
- An absence of drunks (it was noon on Sunday)
- A very polite barman
- Spurs v Palace on the big screen
- Old tat on the walls (always works well with OAPs)
- A dangerous cheese toastie that my Mum might not have let him have at home
A great Sunday lunchtime pub. Extra marks for apparently having just the lone Purity beer on cask (NBSS 3) and focusing on the evil keg Mrs RM so loves.
Mainly though, I loved it for the grilled cheese toastie, the best I’ve ever had
Dad was completely bemused by the trivial pursuit cards, mind.