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Pub Spy: The Crown, Grove Road, Bow

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:04 05 October 2010

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PUB Spy was pleased to cosy up in The Crown on a rain-swept autumn evening with a glass of organic Rioja Crianza or two. As the rain lashed against the windows of the pub on the south side of Victoria Park, a warming portion of chicken liver salad and a h

PUB Spy was pleased to cosy up in The Crown on a rain-swept autumn evening with a glass of organic Rioja Crianza or two.

As the rain lashed against the windows of the pub on the south side of Victoria Park, a warming portion of chicken liver salad and a hearty plate of steak and chips was more than welcome.

Much more gastro pub than local boozer, The Crown has an extensive menu which changes regularly but, although Pub Spy visited on a relatively quiet Wednesday night, there were a good few tables of people just enjoying drinks.

The wine list is good with bottles starting at around £14 while beers including Pride, Adnam's and Sharp's are on the hand pumps and Aspall's Cider and a selection of lagers on tap.

Having gone through a bit of a rocky time over the past few years, the pub's most recent incarnation appears to be a successful one since its opening last spring.

A previous stint as a tapas bar proved short-lived and although punters seemed to flock to the organic gastro pub before that, the management didn't seem to be able to make a success of the place.

A drastic makeover of the building saw the exterior change from lurid green to a much more tasteful grey but unfortunately the interior design is a bit try-hard.

Cow hide banquettes, stools and even tiling on the walls makes the place look like a herd of Friesians has exploded but is what owners Geronimo Inns refer to a "shabby chic".

Mercifully we were tucked away in a more tasteful, nicely cosy corner and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening eating, drinking and chatting.

The only element that slightly let our meal down was slightly soggy fries. Maybe I'll give the chef my Nanna's top tip for perfect chips; always blanch them first.

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