The countdown is almost over and this week planet earth’s sporting gaze falls on London and in particular its east end. But while we can all get excited about the likes of handball and hundred metre dashing, how about the bars for after hours events? Tourists, locals, athletes... follow us for the funky behaviour!
Stratford Theatre Royal Bar
If you’re short on money after shelling out for a seat at the Handball final then lucky for you, Stratford’s Theatre Royal Bar continues to serve up free entertainment on a nightly basis. DJs, musicians and singers turn the bar into one of Stratford’s most interesting venues with a community vibe that was around long before the Olympics came to town. The selection of drinks behind the bar is a fairly pedestrian range but the food on offer is another matter. The regular West Indian dishes are worth a visit as much as the free entertainment on offer.
The Palm Tree
With the Olympics coming east, it wouldn’t be right for visitors to leave this part of London without witnessing one of the historic gems of east-end public houses. The Palm Tree is truly unique – a copper/orange hue bathes the whole place and in it you’ll find the old wooden benches, dried hops, jazz nights, dart boards and the spirit of the ‘right old knees up’ very much alive and well. Intimate and cosy, it hovers next to the canal in Mile End Park like a romantic reminder of the past. It’s almost enough to get sentimental over…
Once this area of Clapton was at the forefront of the chicken shop scene – thankfully for its local population it now has pubs like The Elderfield leading a welcome change. A community boozer if ever there was one, along with all the usual pub antics of the likes of, you know, drinks and crisps, there are neighbourhood get togethers and a distinctly creative edge to the atmosphere. That will be the artists because while Hackney rents went up, Clapton got hip and arty and in turn the Elderfield was marked as a place to be – especially during the Chatsworth Market on weekends.
If it’s a range of characters you like to accompany your late night dancing and drinking then the Biddle Bros will be the brother for you. Located on Clapton road – just a huge javelin’s throw from the Olympic Stadium (a really, really huge throw) – the Biddle Brothers caters for Clapton’s local party crowd. Table football, loud, loud DJs at the weekends and a crowd so varied that there is an undeniable charm to proceedings. What’s more there’s a parrot that lives behind the bar – and it talks!
Folly of a Flyover
Finally, if all of the above isn’t enough to satisfy your east end nightlife cravings then there’s always an attempt at getting into Folly for a Flyover – the bar/café/cinema pop-up that has taken up residence below a flyover on the A12. There will be films, drinking, food and of course, catamaran tours around the Olympic site… naturally.