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Pub Spy: The Carpenter's Arms, Cheshire Street

PUBLISHED: 14:24 18 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:54 05 October 2010

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AN array of more than 30 beers greets punters at the Carpenter s Arms in Bethnal Green s Cheshire Street. Pub Spy bagged the last available table for a post-work drink last Friday evening and settled down with a nice glass of Merlot and a Quilmes, apparen

AN array of more than 30 beers greets punters at the Carpenter's Arms in Bethnal Green's Cheshire Street.

Pub Spy bagged the last available table for a post-work drink last Friday evening and settled down with a nice glass of Merlot and a Quilmes, apparently Argentina's favourite beer.

On the corner of Cheshire Street and St Matthew's Row, the Carpenter's is just far enough away from Brick Lane, attracting a crowd of mainly regulars and very few Shoreditch t**ts given its proximity to the uber-trendy street just around the corner.

Reopened after refurbishment in autumn 2007 by Parisian Eric Lenovere and his partner Nigel Grocutt, the pub, which was bought by the Krays in 1967 as a present for their dear old mum Violet and still sports a portrait of the twins, has become very popular over the last two years.

The dark wood-clad front bar bustles with chatter and laughter and an impressive floral display graces the end of the bar while background music takes in pretty much everything from Pink Floyd to the Eurotrash theme tune.

Some of the atmosphere is lost in the back room but the pub's courtyard is always full of punters, both smokers and non, and the friendly and attentive bar staff do regular sweeps to clear away ashtrays.

Pub website Fancyapint.com awarded the Carpenter's its best newcomer award last year and it was also named in Time Out's top 50 pubs in 2008.

After opening purely as a watering hole, the pub now serves food including Sunday lunches and evening bar snacks.

But you won't find the ubiquitous burger here. Steering itself away from the label of gastropub, the Carpenter's is first and foremost a boozer, albeit a posh one, and meals like Mediterranean pasta and onion and goat's cheese quiche, as well as Sunday roasts, are served only at lunch times.

Evening fare is simple stuff for the kitchen to prepare like the cured meat board, selection of French cheeses and home made chips which are excellent for soaking up a bit of early evening alcohol.

Ratings

Beer and range of drinks: Barrel of beer

Burger and types of food: Two pints of beer

Bar staff helpful/friendly: Barrel of beer

Atmosphere: Two pints of beer

Overall: Barrel of beer

The Carpenter's Arms

73 Cheshire St, E2 6EG (020 7739 6342)

Marks... Barrel of beer/Two pints of beer/Pint of beer/Half pint of beer/Half a shandy


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