Royal Oak, Bethnal Green

73 Columbia Road
Bethnal Green
E2 7RG
020 3437 0131


The Royal Oak is situated in the heart of the famous Columbia Road Flower Market which takes places every Sunday (photo 1).

It’s a Truman’s pub built in 1923 By Truman’s Brewery architect A E Sewell and has the familiar tiled exterior of inter-war Truman’s pubs (photo 2). The pub was listed Grade II in 2015 following a study by Historic England of inter war pubs. Inside it is relatively unspoilt and still has its wonderful 1920s white Vitrolite ceiling. It’s now open plan but the bar counter and wood panelling around the walls is original.

The Royal Oak has featured in two films about East End gangsters the Kray twins, The Krays starring Gary and Martin Kemp from 1990 and Legend directed by Brian Helgeland in 2015. The pub was also Samoan Joes in Guy Ritchie’s 1998 film Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. And it was used in several episodes of the 1990s TV comic time-travelling drama Goodnight Sweetheart starring Nicholas Lyndhurst.

The pub is big on food with perhaps a surprisingly traditional menu given the cool location. Regular cask beers are from Youngs and St Austell.

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