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Approach Tavern, Bethnal Green

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user reviews of the Approach Tavern, Bethnal Green

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

With the nearby Camel and Florist not really having moved on, a superb beer selection including Dark Star hophead and lovely big ceilings and roomy relaxedness keeps The Approach at the top of the pile of any list of superior Bethnal Green pubs. Full of kids on a weekday, close as it is to the Museum of Childhood.
BoehmBawerk - 3 Apr 2018 09:13
Decent backstreet pub with a gastro focus. Staff weren't the most cheery I've ever encountered but pleasant enough. A generous front terrace with lots of seating means it will get busy on the summer.
AlistairVonLion - 8 Apr 2015 09:55
Nearly £18 for 2 pints of Pride, a non-alcoholic beer and a gin and tonic. Wouldn't have minded so much as pretty lively atmosphere but sullen, unhelpful bar staff informed me that I should have specified bottled tonic when ordering the round when I objected to being given tonic from the gun and wouldn't give me the alternative - er, not at that price, love! Plenty of competition locally now so won't be going back anytime soon.
Londonophile - 13 Apr 2014 12:30
A pleasingly surprising find prior to a folk gig in The Gallery Cafe closeby. Lively & friendly crowd throughout, the pubs past is properly preserved inside with a heated canopied outside seating area up front.

Gales/Fullers HSB & Seafarer were in fine fettle, and York Guzzler, London Pride & Doombar also on offer. Wide selection of continental beers bottled & on draft, and good wine list. Food is not high gastro but well above standard pub fare. Theres an art gallery/centre above the pub

Curmudgeons will no doubt bemoan the pricing and safe selection of ales, and the predominance of 'Hoxton' types, but the custom of said curmudgeons would not keep this backstreet pub afloat. As said below "reinventions of pubs like this keep them going rather than being lost for good"
Wiccaman777 - 7 Apr 2013 14:40
Visited this pub for the first time last Friday and loved it! A real ale pub in the true tradition, away from the commercial parts of Bethnal Green. It was busy too, with a happy and lively crowd. I'll be there again as soon as the opportunity presents itself! Not many like this that I know of in London these days.
CliffordAlls - 27 Jan 2013 10:50
Nice pub, good food, bit expensive but it is worth a visit, good selection of beers and wines so a big hit with me and the fella.
Mrs_W - 25 Jan 2013 12:40
Great pub, cracking atmosphere, a decent outside area for sunny days or smokers! A little bit out of the way, but definitely worth the detour. Oh and its got a decent juke box as well.
kristianJ - 21 Apr 2012 16:08
Very good, foodie pub but still welcoming to drinkers. Friendly, laid back; upmarket but not pretentious, reinventions of pubs like this keep them going rather than being lost for good.
curioushistory - 8 Apr 2012 16:52
Victorian street corner pub situated in a tree-lined avenue in what I suppose you'd describe as the posh part of Bethnal Green.

Externally, the pub has that typical gentrified gastro pub look - a dark painted exterior, and a shop style green awning over the large outside pavement patio area.

Internally, it still retains quite a traditional feel with high backed wooden settles and a traditional bar counter. It was evidently, originally, a two roomed pub with a central partition, a fact confirmed by several interesting and evocative framed pictures taken in days long gone. Note also a photo of the pub showing war time bomb damage and a photo of regulars gathering outside the pub for a day trip to Margate in July 1954.

To the right of the bar counter, the seating area extends back into a room containing some reproduction war posters. At the far end is a small seating area with green painted walls and a sofa that doesn't blend in at all well with the rest of the pub.

Food fare is not gastro pub food, but is a clear step up from normal pub grub and I would imagine that food trade probably dominates at busy times.

Unusually for a pub, there's an art gallery on the first floor.

On the real ale front, there's 5 pumps - on my visit last Saturday morning these were dispensing London Pride, Fullers Discovery, Fullers Chiswick, Gales HSB ( which is of course now brewed by Fullers ) and Adnams Bitter.The latter was on good form, but ambitiously priced at £ 3.30p - this is East London, for gawd's sake ! - I imagine the Fullers beers are similarly pricey. Despite the existence of a CAMRA mirror on the wall, I didn't sense much of a focus or commitment on the real ale front.

As a pub, I didn't dislike the place, but it's a bit out of my normal territory and, taking this with the unimaginative beer range and seemingly high prices, I don't envisage a return visit.
JohnBonser - 13 Jul 2009 13:22
This place used to be my local and I definitely miss it. It's probably my favourite pub in London and it is well worth a trip to Bethnal Green if you don't live in East London. Of course there is nothing nicer than having somewhere like this just over the road...

The atmosphere is warm and friendly, staff usually good and seemed quite settled at the time we frequented it. The food and nice range of continental beers is not cheap but I would say it's worth it. I fondly remember their all day breakfast, burgers and nachos, sleepy evenings spent outside the pub which is covered and has patio heaters. I never went to the gallery upstairs but was aware of it and it just added to the overall trendy but not snobby feel of the place. You must visit!
Helen79 - 8 Jul 2008 13:04
Great place - it used to be my local. Lovely traditional decor, beautiful old bar, lots of historical memorabilia, and a great big heated outdoors area with lots of tables. A little pricey for the area; the staff tend to change regularly so it can be hit and miss on the service; but a fantastic pub that always has lots of atmosphere any night of the week.
stuartw - 24 Mar 2008 17:11
Good range of fullers ales, well presented. Our early Friday evening visit coincided with what seemed like an after school club where the mums could drink while the children played (outside). That said, it was an enjoyable enough visit and I would go again.
dagenhamdave - 19 Jun 2007 12:39
This is a great pub that is deservedly popular. Fantastic choice of real ales that are all well kept. Open till midnight on fridays and saturdays. Well worth checking out.
Orient22 - 22 May 2007 11:24
Good food, but often crowded and noisy. Unfortunately it's the best pub for food for quite a distance though. Nice beers too.
anonymous - 9 Mar 2007 17:38
Yeah, there is something irritating about sitting outside this pub but it is pretty decent inside as is the jukebox and beer. There is gallery upstairs, so if you visit on a 'private view' night then be prepared to rub shoulders with the Shoreditch victim set.
danrkelly - 11 Jul 2006 00:15
excellent pub! but avoid outside area with (as said before) screeching kids and smug parents, wearing nail varnish (men) and changing childs nappies on tables.
blackkettle - 9 Jul 2006 11:20
Great boozer, great juke box and really friendly staff worth checking out - Not tried the food but it looks good and seems to be fairly popular
booboo - 3 Jun 2006 10:22
Good mixed crowd, though sometimes a few too many screechy children in the outside area. Nice beers, and an absolutely cracking Sunday roast.
bethm - 15 Mar 2006 16:43
Brilliant pub. Good beers, excellent jukebox, good mix of people and you can almost always get a seat. Highly recommended.
SusanC - 9 Nov 2005 15:21
one of the best pubs in the area. Warm enough to sit outside but inside there is enough space and anexes to go round. It's got litovel on tap the food is great. People there range from yummy mummies to old timers. It's a good mix.
sollish - 19 Oct 2005 17:15
A lovely pub on a quiet leafy road. Plenty of space, friendly staff, good selection of ales and posh lagers (if a bit pricey). Nice honey roasted peanuts as well. Don't be surprised if someone's soppy old dog walks in and puts it's head on your lap...
katstevens - 22 Aug 2005 12:12
A great pub with a good atmosphere. Sunday lunch is absolutely delicious.

I would suggests trying it!
The_Hitman - 3 Jun 2005 17:23
Lovely local pub with lots of character. The jukebox has tons of excellent music, and the beer is good. The only downfall was the barstaff. I was served by a surly girl that looked like I had just stolen her new car from her. Nonehteless, an excellent boozer.
anonymous - 1 Feb 2005 17:36
Nice Eastend boozer, nice mixture of 'proper' locals (ie born and raised in eastend), students & suits. Good pleasant atmosphere, great covered heated patio at the front, excellent selection of beer, recommend the 6% Belguim one on tap - tastes of caramel, costs £4 a pint though. The place is always busy, havent tried the food but looks good. Highly recommended
tommy - 18 Oct 2004 11:37
Nice, honest, boozer. One of my faves. But there's always a gaggle of charlied up local geezers whenever I go there. Most odd. Great pub nonetheless.
Guy - 8 Sep 2004 14:25
London's best pub? So very close. Without a doubt this place just ozzes the type of Local we all want deep down whatever our age.
Great beer, terific food, friendly staff, and an atmosphere that is stunning - just leave by yourself with Dire Strait's Why Worry on you CD player.
Tim - 3 Sep 2004 21:59
Not a bad boozer- good service, good range of beers, pleasant atmosphere. Only trouble is, on two successive Sundays the food has been horrible- undercooked and probably the day before....A shame.
Bob Riddle - 19 Jul 2004 11:15
Victorian pub on tree lined avenue in Bethnal Green, good range of beers and heated patio area at the front behind railings. One of the cosier boozers left in the area.
Dan - 14 May 2004 10:29
Wonderful pub:great jukebox, excellent food, nice beer, and tasteful interior.
Why can't all boozers be like this?
Rachel - 5 Mar 2004 18:53
Good place, excellent range of quality ales, nice old style wooden interior and beautiful old Victorian (?) decorated glass.Best pub in Bow/Bethnal Green and one of east London's finest relaxing boozers
Will - 30 Jan 2004 12:19
This pub used to be good. The Czech beer leaves a bad after-taste, which is compounded by the outrageous pricing. There is nothing so special about their bangers & mash that can justify £8.

I kid you not, a few Sunday’s a group of three students occupied a table of 6 while they played the board game “risk”. Unfortunately a couple of good reviews in Timeout attracted the worst kind media types and pushed out the locals.

Gus - 19 Nov 2003 14:15
Best pub in Bethnel Green
Chris - 27 Oct 2003 11:12
Top pub - great beer - good food on a sunday
James - 14 Oct 2003 17:24
Sister of the Swimmer at the Gratton in North London. Sells Czech beer (yipee!) and has a very studenty/'Diesel kids' feel without ever attracting misguided and depressing goth images. Art gallery upstairs. close enough to the tube for a night out, far enough to lose the pikey element of the East End.
Adrian Jarvis - 20 Apr 2003 11:21
Victorian pub on tree lined avenue in Bethnal Green, good range of beers and heated patio area at the front behind railings. One of the cosier boozers left in the area.
Dan - 18 Feb 2003 16:53

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