Hidden away on a pretty street lined with Victorian cottages, in a corner of E11 with a distinctly villagey vibe, is the North Star. It’s hard to believe, in fact, that you’re just a couple of minutes away from High Road Leytonstone and the Green Man roundabout.
Appealing from the outside and standard old time boozer from the inside, it’s split into two halves with a beer garden out the back. Although there are bottled beers and wine on offer here, it’s really all about the ales, which vary from week to week. It’s a real locals’ pub but they’re are a diverse bunch, super-friendly and welcoming, as are the bar staff, who are happy to chat (as long as there’s not someone waiting at the bar, of course).
As fewer and fewer pubs in east London show football these days, it’s worth noting that you can watch sports here. If you’d rather play yourself there’s a darts board; and for music lovers there’s a lively jukebox. The Sunday night quiz is free to enter and every couple of weeks there’s something special on. Last Friday, for example, was vinyl night, which encouraged a donation towards cancer support charity Macmillan in exchange for getting your record played.
On the food front you can currently chow down on Thai food – but only, for some unexplained reason, on a Sunday.
However, you’ll shortly be able to soak up the ale with pizza, just as soon as they’ve finished the wood-fired oven in the beer garden. Good times.