ocated at the Walthamstow end of High Road Leyton, close to the Bakers Arms crossroads, the William The Fourth pub couldn’t be further away from my house and still be in Leyton, so it’s never been a regular hangout (I prefer my pubs a short stagger away). But its flower-and-foliage bedecked frontage was always a welcome sight that meant I was nearly home after a trip out of the city.
Inside, the pub was unashamedly old school: think carpeted floors, paintings and etched mirrors covering every inch of wall space, and all manner of things hanging from the ceiling. It was much loved for its friendly community vibe and selection of brilliantly-priced Brodie’s beers that were brewed in the on-site micro-brewery, the ultimate in hyper-local craft beer.
It was announced earlier this year that the pub had been bought by the Rose Pubs group. Thomas Barr, marketing big cheese for the group, told us back in May that “it’s a beautiful building with so much potential,” he says. “We’ve taken time to listen to customers who are keen for the pub to retain its authenticity, so we look forward to providing them with the real deal.”What that means is that the double horseshoe bar, original tiling and ornate fireplaces are in tact. The parquet flooring that has been hidden under the standard issue pub carpet for many years is now restored, and decorative details, such as the addition of textured wallpaper painted gold, add a touch of bygone glamour.
The Rose Pub group also owns The Chequers in Walthamstow, the Adam & Eve in Homerton and the Three Crowns in Stoke Newington – all decent pubs – so there are the usual wide range of local and American craft beers (we recommend the Five Points Pale), an emphasis on sport and music, and a strong food offering, although the menu has its fair share of pub staples. An open kitchen is the focus of a dining room that leads onto a decent-size courtyard with sharing tables.
Oh, and great service from a very friendly barman who seems made for the job. All in all, go support.
This article was updated on 7th August