Visited: Friday 8 January by JC
The building on 359 Bethnal Green Road sits proudly on the corner of two roads, its ground floor resplendent with a grand wooden façade, adorned with hanging baskets and topped with a decorative railing. From this wooden trunk two further floors of brickwork grow, giving the construction a height advantage over its immediate neighbours, strutting out at the fulcrum of these two roads much like the figurehead at the prow of a frigate of olden times.
Christened the White Hart when it first opened amid the pomp and splendour of Victorian Britain in 1856, the pub survived thusly named through the end of the long 19th Century, through two World Wars and the death of the Age of Imperialism through the terrifying, dizzying euphoria of the millennium, before it was given the questionable new moniker ‘The Pleasure Unit’ in 2001, perhaps in a rushed and ill-thought-out response to the terrorist atrocities of that year. “Two fingers to you, radical Islam, we will continue to have fun”, perhaps they were trying to say. It survived in this form for just seven years (that’s not as long-lasting as certain other poorly planned responses to 9/11, incidentally) before taking the name it holds to this day: The Star of Bethnal Green.
If you’ll permit me a few words on the licensing history of the property and its various proprietors…okay, if you’re still actually reading then you win: I don’t actually remember anything about this pub, ok? Are you happy now? I thought I could bluster my way through a review until you got bored and stopped reading but apparently you’ll put up with any old shit. It’s good to know where your standards lie.
I had no idea I had even visited this pub until several witnesses assured me I had. All I can say for certain is: if you’re in Bethnal Green at about 1am on a Friday night/Saturday morning and in need of somewhere that will inexplicably still let you in and serve you the alcohol you so badly don’t need, then this is the place for you.
Want more information? Check their website or something. It does actually look like a very nice pub. And it appears to be sister pub to the Star of Kings in Kings Cross, which is an excellent pub. So check it out, I guess. Let me know what it’s like.
Do they do food? Let me just Google that for you…Yes, they do.
Are they in the 21st Century? They have a website.
Are there dogs? I hope so.
I want to smoke: Shut up