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Black Lion, Plaistow

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user reviews of the Black Lion, Plaistow

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

Popped in on Thursday 2nd July after the West Ham game and it was packed to the rafters, both bars were mobbed as well as the garden.

At least 7 bar staff on who dealt with the line of punters pretty efficiently.

Their were 3 ales on which but my choice Bombardier only had 2 pints left in the pipe so I switched to Courage Best. The first pint of Best was slightly ropey the next 2 were excellent.

The young bar man short changed me first time around but when I challenged him he gave me the right change back, good lad!

My 3rd visit here and I will return again as it’s a decent pub with good ales in an otherwise desert for real ale drinkers.
lezford - 29 Jul 2015 13:59
Have been there several times in 2014, building up to Friday 13th for a Trail, this Historic Pub may not look too much from the outside but the exterior hides a gem within, two cracking Bars - one is a quite Bar, plus a private function room! Even the large walled garden feels like its miles away from the noise & bustle of the Plaistow streets.
Tom the Landlord could not have been more accommodating. Six great rotating Ales, especially Captain Bob, good sarnies that fed 50 (plus) of us! Cricket, Football & Horse racing on different screens for sports fans, none of which were too loud to spoil a conversation.
Well worth another visit.

Herts_H3 - 28 Nov 2014 15:41
Still a great pub, captain bob , landlord broadside and doom bar, we're on when I called captain bob was just great,it so good I didn't try the others. Shame last reviewer would not concentrate on what happens inside a nice pub rather than what happened outside on the street. We'll worth the visit again.
spring - 20 Jan 2014 16:00
formworker123 - 20 Nov 2012 19:04
Not such a wide choice of beers as I'd hoped but no complaints about the quality, the Landlord was very drinkable! I was there on a Saturday lunch time and unfortunately they weren't doing food. (According to their website they only do food on a Saturday when West Ham are at home). Despite this it was still busy, with football on the large tv (and racing on the other one). Seemed very friendly, chatted with a couple of the locals and the bar staff were welcoming too. Hard to believe there are many better pubs in the area.
Doob - 30 Sep 2012 11:21
must say the cask ales are so well looked after. always a real good pint of ale available and usually plenty of choice. The food is also good. Real home cooked style. very poular for west ham home games but a friendly atmosphere at all times
pubchoice - 3 Jun 2012 11:35
I always passed this pub when walking to Plaistow tube station after watching a match at Upton Park and decided that it might be worth a visit. I'm so pleased I popped in to this fantastic pub. Great well kept real Ale, all beers are advertised on a board or a series of boards that you can see from anywhere in the pub. The service is just first class, friendly, quick and just fantastic. The people in the pub were nice, polite and it had a lovely atmosphere. This is one of the best pubs I have been to and will return very soon. The beer was fantastic. I feel really happy when I find pubs that are as good as this. It's what a pub should be. 10 out of 10 from me.
spectrumisgreen - 8 Mar 2012 00:35
Came in here after reading about it in last year's Camra good beer guide and I was not disappointed.

I'd been to the match at Upton Park so it was a perfect oppertunity and i managed to get in just before the large crowd arrived.

5 ales on draught of which I had a good pint of 'stiff upper lip' , as expected the pub was heaving, but it's a cracking pub and definetly worth a visit, it's only a short stroll from Plaistow tube search it out and get yourself in here.
lezford - 3 Mar 2012 00:25
A good East End pub survivor, with a decent selection of ales on offer at fair prices, two of them from Cornwall, and a pleasant uncrowded atmosphere in the early evening. One or two of the other customers seemed quite posh, but I imagine they were fleeting visitors on the way home from their well-paid jobs, and that the place could become quite crowded and loud later on. Well worth the 5-minute walk from Plaistow tube and a return visit is on the cards.
Stamfordian - 8 Apr 2011 11:01
Good selection of ales which is rare for any pubs near West Ham United on a match day. Can get very busy on a match day but service is quick and there's a big garden and a room at the back which does fill up quickly. A good stop on the way home for a quick pint after the game.
big_g - 16 Jan 2011 22:32
Good choice of beers at a reasonable price. A trifle warm for my liking but that's being picky. If you're down this way & you like real ale then I'd recommend it.
jjsint - 29 Oct 2010 09:54
I go here whenever Im down for the West Ham game, which isnt as often as I'd like. And YES I am sure about that!
This is a great pub and I come here because its always got a fair selection of ales and they always hit the spot.
I told my dad (from Stepney) about this place asking if he knew it, and he told me he used to train for boxing upstairs!? There was a little bag room and gym up there. This wouldve been in the early 60s.

DannyBoy2010 - 22 Sep 2010 22:47
Situated in Plaistow High Street, The Black Lion is a 16th Century former coaching inn that is immediately noticeable as looking much older than the surrounding buildings.

The main bar is up several steps from a smallish lobby and features a low beamed ceiling, a longish curved bar and fixed banquette seating. In this main bar, by the far door, is a framed newspaper article written by Harry Redknapp relating how, when he was a West Ham player, the players used to come here after games up the road at nearby Upton Park. Another newspaper snippet tells us that the pub used to be a haunt of smugglers when the pub was on the edge of the Essex marshland. Several plasma TV screens in this bar were showing horse racing and golf.

A separate "quiet bar", which can be accessed through the bar servery, or via a separate street entrance, is more comfortable and features patterned leaded windows. In this bar, a blackboard lists the real ales on offer.

At the back is a largish beer garden which can be accessed from the quiet bar or through a separate sturdy looking black oak door, which I presume is the original cobbled coach yard entrance. As you walk down to the beer garden, you pass the headquarters of West Ham Boys Boxing Club where Barry McGuigan ( a portrait of whom hangs in the quiet bar ) and Nigel Benn, inter alia, used to train. Opposite the Boxing Club is a function room, where, allegedly, Dick Turpin used to stable Black Bess. Some of the bench seats in the beer garden have seen better days and I'm afraid the garden does look a bit neglected.

The pub is run by an affable and welcoming Irishman who, on my recent Sunday lunchtime visit, came over and started to talk to me about the pub and its history. The pub displays an isolated Guinness poster and an Irish road sign, but this is certainly not an "Oirish" pub and the Irish influence is not overplayed. It's a former Courage pub and the old cockerel sign is displayed on one of the beams in the main bar.

Beers on were Adnams Bitter, Courage Best, Youngs Kew Gold and Northumbrian Bucking Fastard. The blackboard in the quiet bar indicated that other Northumbrian beers either had been on or would be coming shortly. The Adnams was in good form, but I might have expected it to be a bit cheaper than £ 3.20p in this area of London. The pub was in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for 2009 and was displaying a poster for the forthcoming GBBF. Based on my visit however, I'm doubtful if there's a lot of real ale trade here.

It's a bit of a trek to get out here if you're not from the immediate area, but I think it's well worth it.

JohnBonser - 30 Jul 2010 13:26
This is a top east end pub,

moved to plaistow about a year ago, and this is a real diamond in the rough.

Friendly community pub with a relaxing atmosphere on non match days, but a place where the less loutish West Ham lads come after the game on match days.

Main bar area is normally busy and shows horse racing and football (3D), with a nice quiet bar round the back if you fancy a bit of private chat.

Friendly bar staff and even though i hear the beer garden has been reduced, its still perfectly ample for a lazy summer afternoon.

Food is pretty good, but is bizarrely only served on weekdays.

Used to be an old coach house so has that authentic pub feel about it, its also steeped in history as this used to be the late Bobby Moore's boozer in days gone by.

Fantastic pub this and its made my stay in Plaistow that much easier. Give it a visit if you're in the area.

knowsgoodpubs - 21 Apr 2010 16:29
That's a funny photo - which does not really relate to the pub. Read the reviews before going to this pub but I agree, a nice place to have a drink. Very much like an Inn, low beamed ceilings, nice shape, and a couple of very quaffable ales on tap. A comfortable place to have a pint.
sefpacific - 16 Apr 2010 12:05
was in there last week again,beer just delightfull,english oak,oscar wild,adnams broadside and adnams best,previous comments about knocking pub down for flats way of mark, as i checked with licencee.
spring - 25 Jan 2010 20:56
Nice pub with west ham boys club attached shame the owner wants to knock it down for flats
secretboozer - 10 Jan 2010 16:39
An oasis in a desert. The number of closed pubs nearby and the remaining ones not selling real ale gives a graphic picture of the state of pubs in this area. There is a good selection of real ale with local breweries from Essex often to be found.
Granted it is expensive - where isn't - and the beer garden has been reduced to build a block of flats but nevertheless you'll struggle to find a better pub in the area.
EssexDave - 30 Oct 2009 14:12
its ok, bit boring. they dont make alot of effort to run it and the owner seems desperate to turn the only nice building in plaistow into flats
bowhammer - 1 Oct 2009 18:53
Entered main bar to friendly welcome & 3 handpumps, but just one clipped – courage. Fortunately a chalkboard at far end of bar announced ‘today’s guest beers’, served from three pumps in other bar, albeit Bombardier, Deuchars (yawn), but also Summer Virgin from Brentwood Brewing Co. (new to me), tho all at £3.20 seemed a bit steep round here. If you enter via the far door (from tube) there is a small seating area (near loos) before going up a coupla steps to the bar proper, lowish beamed ceiling, open brick surround, wood floor and long curved wood bar with room for a dozen well-spaced bar stools, opposite a row of tables with stools & long cushioned banquette below part-coloured windows to street. End of bar also carries sign stating ‘to beer garden and quiet bar’ and access is thru the bar servery itself (tho ‘quiet bar’ does also have separate street entrance). Here is well furnished bar room with more banquettes winding around 8 tables, open to smaller servery, and a plasma supplements the 3 in the main bar. A longer list of guest beers, with those currently ‘on’ being ticked, Robinsons & Mighty Oak were the more interesting possibles among mainstreams such as Adnams, pity I caught a day with less variety. Dunno if the postcode is wrong, but the pub lies on corner of High St & Richmond St, unlike map position shown above.
trainman - 19 Jul 2009 12:06
another good night in there, real ales spot on, friendly people and Sky Sports. I can't hink of a better east London pub....
oftenscore6 - 16 May 2009 16:02
what a nice pub, great choice of rotating real ales,even got a sample before i bought a few pints,good honest food,nice big garden.would recomend,best pub in the area by far.listed in gbg.and cask marque.
spring - 17 Apr 2009 18:58
used to live in the flats above the pub best pub by far in and around plaistow
coleman1888 - 20 Nov 2008 23:26
great ales, very friendly
oftenscore6 - 16 Nov 2008 22:39
Shame they sold off over half the beer garden to developers, used to be a good place to go with kids as garden was massive. Is still large though.

Great atmosphere
prime - 22 Jul 2008 14:52
great pint, good choice of ales....
visited as an away supporter after a trip to The Boleyn...
well worth a vist...
bloozer - 2 Apr 2008 21:51
grand wee boozer
coleman1888 - 14 Nov 2007 22:09
Nice beer, nice architecture but disappointed by the fact that they had no food at lunchtime. Looked it up in Time Out Guide to London pubs and it said it did food.

kpflude - 15 Oct 2007 09:36
An oasis in a desert of medicority.

However I hate the fact that as soon as the football or racing is on, the barmaids/landlord turn up the volume to stupid levels regardless of whether you're sat next to it and trying to have a conversation. Pure ignorance.

eddierowles - 8 Oct 2007 15:09

anonymous - 19 Sep 2007 22:27
decent pub, great for pre-match drinks ahead of a hammers' match.

two things to note:

1. in the main bar they have an excellent picture of bobby moore (taken in the pub) behind the counter. what a man.

2. veronica (the landlady) has a terrific pair of jugs.

that's got to be worth an 8/10!
DavidWaspnest - 14 Sep 2007 16:04
probably the best pub in the vicinity of upton park - historic and good range of beers. not exactly an undiscovered gem, though, it gets rammed on match days even though it's 3/4 mile away from the ground.
mozzzzzz - 14 Aug 2007 17:46
Brilliant pub with a great pint of Guiness. Go here on Saturdays before the game. Can get a bit cramped in the winter but the garden in Summer is great. Would recommend.
Cockney_Hammer - 28 Jul 2007 17:27
An absolute ACE of a pub. Well stocked cellar, knowledgeble and aimable barstaff, limited but well cooked menu...... All this may not be enough to make you jump in the car and head down there but you should remember WHERE this pub is. Plaistow is like Beruit on a "lets use up all our old ammo" day. Now I'm no longer a local and have only been using the pub whilst my dear old mum is in the local hospital, but I'm deeply grateful for the Black Lion as it provided a haven in an otherwise barren wasteland of Chav culture. If your in the area - phone for chopper cover and take refuge in here until armoured rescue arrives.
whufaninsawbo - 1 Jul 2007 15:08
Was in here last night (Sunday) for the first time in about 10 years and amazingly the pub is even better than I remember it. The low ceilings and oak beams give it real character and with the two bars and bar staff who know how to treat customers, the place has a genuine atmosphere. A surprisingly great experience.
Oskins - 2 Apr 2007 10:58
Normally three rotating real ales, but one was off when I visited. The beer garden itself looks out onto a green space. The boxing club (with stained glass windows) is West Ham Boys Amateur Boxing Club. I liked the pub, and it will stay in my mind longer than most pubs that I visit.
clissold345 - 21 Sep 2006 23:36
Nice friendly pub. Can get a bit cramped inside on matchdays but the large beer garden outside makes up for it, especially in the summer.

Bit like having a country pub in East London with a tower block next to it!

hadleighhammer - 20 Sep 2006 16:08
Lovely place. Loads of (changing) real ales, low ceilings, oak beams, good pub food, lots of space, and tables out back. A truly great pub...but it's in Plaistow. I can only presume the locals stole it from somewhere.
topdog_andy - 26 Jul 2006 12:52
Fantastic local - just about the only decent pub in Plaistow!
john_b - 21 Apr 2006 23:11
Best range of ales in the area, all well kept. Lovely old-fashioned pub. It's just a pity it is such an oasis in this part of E London - at least it's handy for the Tube to move on afterwards.
SJC - 23 Mar 2006 23:17
If you want rea lale then there's only this and Edward 7th in Stratford in the area. Black lion is an Old coaching inn near Plaistow tube, handy for a good pint on the way back from work. There's a boxing club at the back (Nigel Benn trained there apparently) and a large garden. Tom the landlord gets in 3/4 different real ales on rotation including Tim Taylor Landlord, one of my favorites. Usually kept well although I have had the odd dud'un. Good crowd no hassle unlike many of the other pubs in the area and if you want to watch footie on TV esp West Ham (ground is only 15 mins walk away) then it has a great atmosphere, although it can get really smokey when packed.
DrewBrew - 5 Mar 2006 13:11

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