Stratford, London. I'd not been there since 1994. I can't even remember why I was there in 1994 apart from buying the LP This Is Reg Varney On The 88s In Abbey Road in a charity shop. An LP that was the start of a, some might say unhealthy, admiration for the Brylcreemed entertainer.
Anyway, I returned recently to check out Tap East. I took the Central Line tube from Liverpool Street and walked through the Westfield. Thankfully, it's only a short walk and I picked up one of the maps near the entrance so I didn't get lost in Primark.
Someone has done a grand job here, creating a brew-pub where you can easily forget you're in a shopping centre, particularly if you face towards the shiny brew kit.I counted 6 beers on cask and 9 on keg. Two of the cask ales were Tap East brews, JEB at 4.2% abv and Stout at 5% abv.
I made a good choice with the stout as the first drink of the day, it was an easy drinking beer, the kind you could drink a few of without it becoming too heavy going on the taste buds. I followed this with one of my favourite kegged porters, Henley Dark by Lovibonds. The beers are available in thirds pint measures if you can't manage a whole pint of Delirium Noel.
The Ploughman's lunches here look pretty good, and they also sell Mrs. King's pork pies. There's quite an extensive bottle menu. It's worth noting that there is 10% off the price of bottles for take-outs.
Love it or loathe it, this part of the East End is undergoing a massive transformation at the moment, at least you know there is somewhere to get a decent pint.
Tap East, Great Eastern Market, Lower Ground Floor, Westfield, Stratford City E20